Working and travelling in Lisbon, Portugal

I got a chance to spend 3 days in Lisbon.   I was working there installing 30 new computers for a big company.   This was my first time working abroad to carry out a project in a tight deadline, I did get one evening to see places.

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The tower of Belem is an interesting fort structure in the sea.

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This is a weird place.   Its a stadium for bull fighting.   This cruel and outdated sport is probably not popular here, but I didn’t realise the Portugese did it, I thought it was just  a Spanish thing.   It looks like an Islamic building, which it is and it isn’t.   Its design was influenced by Muslim architecture.

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DSCF0216I chatted to some staff there at my work place and to some taxi drivers.    They are eager to ask what I think of Brexit.    I would say to many non-Brits this is a little bit of a taboo subject as its got so many f my people upset and uncertain about the future.

I really like Portugal, but salaries are very low, and young professionals are leaving.  A taxi driver told me he works 6 days a week and long hours for 1000 Euros a month.    Looking at this, I was shocked to see that salaries are half of Spain.   Portugese are often mistaken for Spanish and this gets them annoyed.   I did managed to tell a waiter ‘Gracias’ instead of ‘Obrigardo’ when I finished my breakfast and he took my plate, a few seconds later I realised my error.

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Ask for a beer (ie: a non specific size) in Portugal and you will get a 200ml class.  I got a paella type (it was called something else) fish dish, which came with bread and this nice soft cheese.  Most popular local beer is called Super Bock.   Ask for a beer in Sweden and you get 400ml.   Ask for a beer in Austria and you will get 500ml.    That’s where I went next.   Portugese custards are really a must also!

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My visit to the tragedy struck Grenfell high rise block

As its not far from my work I took the train to the recent Grenfell block disaster.

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My motivation is to see what was happening with the community there, and to see if Christians and churches were helping out.   I also wanted to walk around and discretely pray for this area.

I was nervous with trepidation as this was a few days after it just happened, the grief was still new and folks were putting up posters of lost family members fearing the worst, after all some people left in the night clothes and may not have a phone, wallet, money and details of how to get hold of loved ones.   Getting closer to the neighbourhood you can smell the remains of this charred 1970s concrete relic.

The police and fire are still around assessing if much of the building is safe to enter.

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This church on the right tirelessly serving the community.   Several different Muslim groups are out too, as well as a van from the Chabad Lubavitch (Orthodox Jewish) movement.

The piles of donations from kind citizens took up a whole street.

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From nearby tube station as I was going home.   This line is now shut as wind is pushing debris across the track.   From here this has the closest view, as much of the streets are shut off from the public.   Once the train moved I could see a kids play area strewn with burnt fabric from the building.

People are now very angry about this and want to blame someone.  It seems logical for many to blame our current government.   I wish people would stop stirring up trouble and allow our government and charity to do their job and getting these people rehomed and the failings of the building thoroughly investigated.   Its not right for this to be manipulated for political gain.

I’ve noticed there is a great deal of similar political battles to what’s going on in the UK in Europe.  This isn’t been from the news, I got to visit a few cities in Europe for work.   I’ll write on this later.