Just across the river, on the south bank, one can find an idyllic place with some of the most amazing views of the city. Still not as crowded as the core historical centre of Lisbon, Cacilhas is just the right place to unwind and take some time off from the daily grooves.
It was my second time here and the excitement I got upon stepping my foot off the cacilheiro was undeniably high. The derelict warehouses, the disrupted promenade, the grimy piers, the old-school neon, the bright yellow chairs overlooking the hills of Lisbon… Everything here looks and sounds harmonious.
Buy some drinks and snacks, at Pingo Doce in Cais do Sodré, when the sun is still high above the iconic bridge that spans across the river. Then head to the boat terminal and board the one heading to Cacilhas. Take a left once you disembark and walk along the promenade until you reach a green area. Lay down the blanket and get ready for a mesmerising sunset.
THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
Netflix is a well-oiled marketing machine. Almost everything that is under its umbrella is highly scrutinised by the media and usually met with great receptiveness. The End of the F***ing World is not different.
A TV series premiered on the British broadcaster Channel 4 in October 2017 and it only gained international momentum once Netflix bought the rights to be aired beyond the Brexit Kingdom.
Short and thriving, The End of the F***ing World follows the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes to be a psychopath and kills animals for his own pleasure. Grown tired of such endeavours, he seeks for an upgrade: killing a human being.
Enters Alyssa, a cocky and grumpy girl who brings a breath of fresh air into James’ life. Mutual interest leads them to cut loose with their past and embark on a dark and indie (yeah, something) adventure through midland England. Blood, swears and tears and complete this package.
You get involved in the story from the get-go, and eight episodes of roughly 20 minutes each seemed too short. I was craving for more and the ending, albeit perfectly suiting the show, left many things without an answer. One way to unravel what might be in for a future season (unclear if that is going to happen… with Netflix, who knows?) is by reading the comic book by Charles Forsman, with the same name, in which the TV series is based.
Also worth noting the excellent photography and soundtrack.
Ahead of Christmas I came home to find this in the mailbox.
Written in German and addressed to me and my sister:
Liebe Catherina, Lieber Viktor, viele liebe Grüße aus sendet Euch Wilfried + Maia aus Ungarn. Danke für Euren Kartengruß gut zu wissen, dass ihr gut wieder in Portugal angekommen seid. Zu den Feiertagen alles Gute und ein gesundes Neue-Jahr 2018.
Mr. Wilfriend wrote us!
Before writing anything else, I have to thank T. for introducing and taking me to this play yesterday evening. If it wasn’t for him, this would have slipped under my radar.
Introductions aside, let’s get down to it!
Avenue Q (locally translated to, you guesses it, Avenida Q) is a musical first presented on Broadway in 2003 and given its popularity, it has ever since been produced in various countries worldwide. Portugal was no exception, having Avenida Q first performed earlier this year. The Lusitanian season has been renewed due to the public continuous interest in it.
So, what is Avenue Q?
Imagine Sesame Street and “The Real World” having a baby. It would be Avenue Q. The show mixes human characters and puppet characters interacting with one another. The actors who give life to the puppets are not concealed, instead they have an on-stage presence alongside the other characters.
The story evolves around Luís, a recently who moves to Avenue Q because he can’t afford to live anywhere else. In that place he ends up finding others who struggle with life in one way or another. We can easily very easily relate with the characters or with bits and pieces from each one of them. The difficulty of growing up is smartly conveyed throughout the show. And also the importance of celebrating our failures. We are humans, after all.
The Ursinhos das Ideas de Merda (loosely translated to Little bears of shitty ideas) were my little guilty pleasure. Who wouldn’t love to have two cute, strident teddy bears by your side ready to instigate you into bringing out your worst. No rules, no boundaries, no limits. And then there is Paula Porca. A sex-bomb that cannot be overlooked.
I can honestly say that despite not being a fan of the whole “musical” concept (I mean, on what purpose do performers start singing so perfectly synchronised with great choreography?), Avenue Q was created with the finest ingredients: snarky sarcasm, humour and enough irony mixed with catchy songs. Enough to head home with a smile on my face.
It’s been one month since our family grew bigger.
Ever since I can remember, my mother (who is the one that dictates things at the house!) had always been reluctant about having a pet. We live in an apartment, so there’s not much space for an hypothetical animal to live within walls. Bodas came to our family quite unexpectedly. My mom began giving hints that she would like to have a cat and soon the five of us became very excited about the idea!
We came across a pet shop in the neighbourhood with a few kittens up for adoption. A cute little that we found there melted our hearts.
My father soon came home with a few bags of cat food. The layette was ready for our “newborn”.
A few days later, my mother went back to the shop to finally adopt the kitten. The employee informed her that the adoption came with a few requirements, meaning that she had to spend €30+ on food and other (un)necessary goods for the cat. A questionable practice, no doubt!
So we waited patiently.
On the 5th of October, in Oeiras, the municipality where we live at (2780 zip code!), a pet fair was held at the local park. Cats and kittens could be found there, ready to get a new home.
This cute little yellow one caught our attention. He had to be the one.
As strange as it might sound, the name Bodas pays tribute to my parents 25th wedding anniversary. Traditionally, when a couple hits the 25th mark, the celebration is called a “silver wedding anniversary”, which loosely translates to Portuguese as: “bodas de Prata”. Hence the “Bodas”, which sounds cutesy enough be his name.
Portugal is not only made of postcard-like cities, pristine beaches and breathtaking natural areas unspoiled by men. Every summer of every year, wildfires ravage the country, engulfing trees, forests, animals, villages, people… It has become such a commonality that people are no longer surprised, like the news of another shooting somewhere in the US.
This year was no different. Besides what was lost as part of the ecosystem, more than one hundred lives were taken alongside. O.N.E. H.U.N.D.R.E.D.
Is this the future we want?