Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll? The Mafia? Deadly disease? Lisbon is more dangerous than you could ever imagine, because it’s where you have to face the kind of danger you could never avoid. And yes, you read that right. I said ‘Lisbon’, not Bangkok or Mexico City. So, how dangerous can Lisbon be? Well, you better ask yourself, and ensure you are prepared for everything, and anything, before Lisbon takes your last breathe away.
1. The wind
Living in Lisbon, you often questions yourself ‘Why am I wearing a coat when it’s 20 degrees, and sunny as fuck?! The answer; the wind. Yup, just like Amsterdam’s little sister. Besides making you feel cold, this invisible bastard here so strong that it can actually blow you away from one side of the street to the other, and I swear I’m not exaggerating. Sometimes you can’t even stand still when you’re facing it. Don’t be too naïve. I often dreamt that the wind would blow me in the direction of my true love, but it’d be much more likely to have been blown into the middle of a busy road and hit by a bus, or truck. To conclude, the wind; it’s strong, dangerous, and it can get a little chilly.
2. The hills
A foreigner may ask a local, “Excuse-me, how far is Castelo do São Jorge?” Only to be answered with “Oh it’s very close! It’s only 10 a minute walk from here!”
Then you walk endlessly from Baixa-Chiado to Castelo do São Jorge. Like perpetual dejá vu, you see hills and hills over and over again. You probably already know that Lisbon is also called “A cidade das 7 colinas” which translates to ‘The City of 7 Hills’- very poetic. This fact can drive you crazy because it’s exhausting, every 5 minutes, having to walk up and down the hills. Seriously, there’s no way to avoid these deathly knee breakers. My advice is; get your bones checked every year, just get used to it, and be well prepared when the summer comes!
3. The sweets
Pastel de natas, Fios de ovos, bola com creme… Who could ever resist Portuguese sweets? You can find lovely, traditional cafés, with these kinds of confectionaries, in just about every corner in Lisbon. Besides the authentic, mouth-watering taste, the price of these scrumptious little treats are really good, even at the more famous cafés. You can end up eating tons of egg tarts and wonder if there’s a zero missing in the bill, and an extra zero on your dress size. To sum up, you can easily gain weight, or type 2 diabetes, eating Portuguese sweets and it is possible that to become obese in such a short time! So, better control your eating habit unless you’re into renascence beauty. I suppose all of those hills come in handy when you need to burn off an extra couple of hundred calories.
Getting involved in Lisbon nightlife is like a brief insight into a deep, dark underworld of sorts. When you first experience it you’re enticed, and quickly become stuck in this vicious circle forever. Not only for the cheap price of (strong) drinks, but also the unique Lisbon party atmosphere, where people tend to stay outside the bars and chat while enjoying fresh air combined cigarette smoke (say hello to lung cancer). Moreover, every day is a celebration in Lisbon. Monday nights are karaoke parties, Tuesday nights are indie rock nights. On Wednesday’s there’s kizomba parties and Thursday’s there’s always a house party. Friday nights are the fantastic, glow in the dark party, a cacophony on the senses, and Saturday nights showcase some brilliant rooftop parties, highlighting the breathtaking scenery. And to finish, Sunday is always somebody’s birthday party. By the end of the week, if you manage to make it to school, you’re like a walking corpse, although often, I found it was much more likely not to make it at all.
5. Hot girls/guys
Since Lisbon is a multicultural city, you can find all kinds of nationalities here. You’ll eventually find someone you’re mentally and physically attracted to, and when that time comes you’ll be glad for those hills. They turn out to be perfect ass workout machines. Anyway, what’s dangerous is falling for someone! You gotta pick the right person; it’s like picking the right way home in the middle of the night. If you go on the wrong way, then you might get hurt…or robbed and murdered. Wait, I’m not saying that you might find someone who’s capable of killing you… although that is possible… Damn! You never know! Maybe it’d just be easier to be a nun! Anyway, I digress. You just need to be careful and make sure that the person you’re dating doesn’t fool you around, otherwise you’ll become a stereotypical Portuguese, crying, grieving, you know, sad spinster, just like Fado singers!
Special thanks to : my editors Palm&Tom and a random Portuguese student at the bus stop