It’s been a week since my friends Patrick and Raymond returned to Canada and I moved from our shared Airbnb apartment in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto neighbourhood to a hostel in the Rossio district. I like the hostel and the new ‘hood but this city just isn’t the same without Patrick and Raymond.
A week ago today we were sitting in a street-level Starbucks when Patrick noticed a sign pointing to a hostel on the building’s second and third floors. We took the escalator to the top and found not only did the grand old structure contain a Starbucks but also a hostel and one of the city’s two train stations. That’s right, my new digs are mere steps from the train that I will take to Madrid and directly above a legal drug dealer! With just an escalator ride between my bed and a Grande Americano, I’m what you might call a regular. Not only have the baristas stopped asking my name but they now spell it correctly. No more Maik!
You know it’s been a slow day when it’s early evening and the highlight of the day came at noon while sitting in the aforementioned Starbucks and staring blankly at a wooden stir stick.
Let me back up and explain that my two-year-old eye glasses are badly scratched and getting worse by the month. I don’t know how this happened as I wear them all day, every day, and when they’re not on my head, they’re sitting on a bedside table. It’s not like I toss them directly into a backpack or clean them with the hem of a T-shirt. Well, hardly ever, anyway. So there I was, sitting in a comfy chair in Starbucks, glasses on my lap and wooden stir stick held about two inches from my nose. It was the perfect distance from which to examine the fine wood grain. (I told you it was a dull day.)
My ‘eureka moment’ came out of nowhere, as I suppose eureka moments do. It struck me that if the coating on my glasses has scratched off this easily, perhaps I could remove what little that’s left if I just had the right tool. The job would require something hard enough to scrape the fragile coating but not so hard as to scratch the actual lens. Would a wooden stir stick do the trick, I wondered?
About 20 minutes later I had my answer – and perfectly clear lenses. I can live without the Transitions feature for which I probably paid $200 as I never really liked it anyway.
Tomorrow I will see Lisbon in a different light. I will still be missing my friends from Canada but at least now I know when I will see them again. A few minutes ago I found and booked a July 23rd flight from Barcelona to Toronto. Now all I have to do is make my way to Barcelona.
The adventure continues. Clearly!