Tag Archives: Lamps

How Three Months In Brazil Turned Into One Week In Lisbon

Sometimes things don’t go to plan. And I’ve had a rather strong inkling since September that it just wasn’t going to happen…

Let me re-cap very briefly. In early spring last year, my friend Sofia suggested that we’d spend this winter in Brazil to have fun and to learn Portuguese (she needs it for her travel business).

Now, Sofia is just about the busiest person I’ve ever known, and often we don’t manage to meet up, not even for quick a coffee, for weeks on end, despite living within 10 mins walking distance from each other.

In the end, as I had anticipated, owing to business, family and teaching commitments, plus some wearisome health issues thrown in, Sofia couldn’t extract herself from her life for three whole months. However, she was still very keen to get away over Christmas, as was I, so we’ll be spending a week in Lisbon.

Am I a bit disappointed?

A tad, perhaps, but to be honest, I’m not heartbroken. I’m really excited about Lisbon, as I’ve never even been to (mainland) Portugal before… but that’s only part of the reason.

In fact, I’ve been considering Portugal as the most likely candidate for my next country move, and after my, uhm, mixed experiences in small town Toledo, I would definitely want to be in the capital.

So, this coming week will be a reconnaissance mission for me, pivoted firmly on a list of cafés, patisseries, bakeries and cake shops supplied by my Portuguese teacher, an authentic Lisbon native.

And here’s a lamp picture, taken last Thursday in a bar in Sonseca, a town about 30 mins drive away from Toledo.

Sonseca Lamp

I imagine my brain to look a bit like this …addled to the hilt and none too bright in the middle.


Language Boat Guest Post

A while back, Amy Estrada, a blogger from California now living in Taiwan, asked me to write a guest post for her fantastic blog Language Boat. She runs a series called Perspective Collective, in which the contributors talk about their language learning approaches, their motivation, and what advice they would give to other language learners.

Here is what I wrote, plus a rather strained-looking photo of me.

But Amy’s blog is not just about language stuff. Oh no. Posts entitled What American Guys Do To Women That Taiwanese Guys Won’t, I Will Never Date Taiwanese Women Again!,  and I Actually Did Want To Have Sex With Him! are compulsive reading, whether you have any interest in languages or not 😉

Language Boat’s latest post, Public Nose Picking In Taipei, ended with this whopper of a cliff-hanger:

A Taiwanese friend recently called me out on a behavior he finds offensive and gross, so in a future post, I will share what I, and many of my fellow Americans do, that Taiwanese people regard as disgusting.

How the hell am I meant to sleep until then?!? Damn you Amy!!!

Picture of a lamp, just to add a splash of colour:

Taken in a Toledo tea house

Taken in a Toledo tea house