A Travellerspoint blog


Odd Travel Moments - A Young Girl With A Bird On Her Boob In


This photo was taken in 2015 and for some reason I am just now writing about it all these years later . And I don't know how I missed posting this. Mark and I were with our friend Gillian on holiday in Lisbon. Our last day there we were having lunch in an outdoor restaurant and noticed this girl with a bird hanging on her shoulder. At first we thought it was a dead bird which we found a bit odd. But then it moved. She was wearing a live bird on her blouse. It was just sitting there and not bothering to fly away. I love odd travel moments like this.

Mark and I have known our friend Gillian for almost 14 years now. We are more family than we are just friends. Gillian visits us often. And we travel together frequently. She makes frequent guest appearances in blogs because when we are all together trouble usually ensues. I am not sure why. Perhaps it's because we tend to drink a bit when we are all together. Gillian will deny this of course. But trust me. It's a fact. From time to time she and I remember this girl. We always say she is part of a novel that should be written. Or we say that one of us really needs to write a blog about it. But it has not happened until tonight. Gillian, her time in the spot light has arrived. I hope I do her proud.

Times are tough. To complain about it makes you look juvenile. Everyone, world wide, knows times are bad. There is nothing you can say about it that everyone doesn't already realize for themselves. We are sharing this pandemic world wide. When 400,000 people have died in your country it seems selfish and callous to say how much you miss travel. Or it seems insensitive to say I wish I could go out to my pub. And then it really seems childish to complain that you have nothing to write about in your travel blog. There are far more serious things to be concerned about. I talked to two good friends today and both told me they have tested positive for COVID. That's very serious. I prayed for them both tonight. I can't sleep. Stress has robbed me of sleep for weeks now. So while I sit here fighting insomnia the unfinished blog about the girl with bird on her boob came to mind this evening.

Mark and I love Lisbon. It was never a place on our bucket list to visit. But once we arrived there it captured our imagination. We have now been to Portugal twice and would love to again. We have some travel friends who live in Lisbon that we enjoy visiting.

Mark, Gillian and I with our friends Miguel and Gloria


And the wines in Portugal are some of the best in the world. The food is very good also,


And then there is the mesmerizing Fado music that we learned to love. Having some wine and listening to Fado music is one of our favorite experiences when we visit Portugal. This is the Fado bar we visied in a back alley in Lisbon. There is a young girl dressed in black singing the melancholy fado music.


And yet the girl with the bird on her boob seems to be my one haunting memory. When I think of my time in Lisbon I almost always go back to that last day and seeing her. It was odd. This was to be our last day in Lisbon. We were to leave for the airport in the morning to bid goodbye to Gillian and start our flight home. But we wanted a good meal and a few laughs on our last day. We really wanted something that we would be able to remember and talk about for years to come. And there she was. Leaning against a wall behind our table. An attractive young girl with a bird sitting on her breast. It caught my attention and then Gillian saw it also. We tapped Mark and motioned for him to turn around and look behind himself and then he too saw what we saw. There was no point trying to explain it to him. It was easier just to tell him to look. So we all looked.

Our first thought was why does this girl have a dead bird attached to her blouse. So we started making up reasons why the bird was attached to her. None of them made any sense at all but it didn't matter. We were just confused. And then the birds head moved. It was alive! Then we wondered why and how she had attached it to her blouse. Was she cruel and stapled it to her shirt? No, the birds foot moved and it repositioned itself a little. It was just sitting there hanging on to her blouse. And it never left her or flew away. Finally she pet its head, took it off of her blouse and put it in a small box. Then she went inside the restaurant and to our surprise was working there as a waitress and was going on her shift. She handed the box to a waiter who was going off shift and he kept it for her. It almost felt like Woody Allen should be narrating this in one of movies set in Europe. I could almost hear his voice introducing the girl as the main character in his movie and her love interest who shared the bird with her. And then suddenly everything changed. Again Gillian and I noticed something else odd and we were transported from the world of Woody Allen characters to a John Waters movie. Just across the street from where we were sitting we saw a man, a true John Waters character. He was standing by a wall relieving himself right in eyesite of our table. Well if it was a Woody Allen character we would say relieving. But this had turned into a John Waters movie so this man was pissing against the wall. Directly in front of us. Did I take a photo? Of course I did.


I knew I would be telling this story one day. And I knew I needed an ending. And this man provided the ending for me. So now in January 2021 when I am stuck home quarantining from the pandemic and fighting with stress and insomnia I finally am writing this blog from the summer of 2015. You never know how a story will end. I assumed the girl with the bird would be the entire story. And then man started urinating. So there's the end of the story.

When this mess we are in is over we will travel again. And we will see more strange things happening around us. And yes, I will document them with photos and tell you all about them in due time.

Posted by littlesam1 07:10 Archived in Portugal Tagged birds lisbon portugal fado_music john_waters woody_allen Comments (6)

People Watching In Sintra, Portugal

Learning a lesson from an older couple

View Larry and Mark return to Portugal on littlesam1's travel map.

People watching from a small cafe in Sintra

I love to sit back and watch people when I travel. I know some where some place there is some one sitting back watching me also. But it's all part of being a traveler. So I am sure there is a photo of me doing something that someone else found amusing or unusual. I was in Sintra, Portugal in June 2015. It was very hot and Mark and I had done a lot of walking. It was time to sit down for a while, have a cool glass of Vino Verde and maybe a chilled can of Pepsi on the side. We found a little cafe just out side of the tourist center of the city. We took some time to talk about some of the things we had seen in Sintra. We looked at some of the photos each of us had taken. Then we ordered some lunch. While waiting for lunch to be served it was time for me to do some people watching.

I saw a older gentleman walk toward a table near ours and take a seat. He had two braces attached to his arms that he was leaning on for balance as he walked. He took his seat and removed the braces and placed them against the side of his table. He appeared to be alone. A few moment later an older lady came to the table. She had very large swollen ankles as a lot of senior citizens develop at her age. I am getting close to that age myself. They placed an order with the waiter. A few moments later they were served to cold beers. They smiled and raised the glasses to toast each other silently. It made me smile. I thought it was very sweet.


A little later our lunch was served. It was a delicious lunch. I ordered a meal a little heavy for a hot afternoon but it was so good I did not mind.

I was drawn back to the older couple. I glanced over to see what they were doing. I noticed that the lady had taken off one of her shoes. I thought poor thing. Her ankles must really be bothering her from all of the heat and the walking in Sintra. She casually took her foot and tapped the gentleman's foot under their table. He smiled. Then she slowly ran her foot up his leg and massaged his leg with her bare foot. He smiled even more and reached across the table and held her hand. This went on until their food was served. It was something totally unexpected and I could not stop watching. There was something so sweet and so loving about that moment. They were oblivious to every one around them and they were having a very intimate moment.

I enjoyed my glass of wine. Lunch was excellent. But I do think this couple had a much better lunch experience than I did. God bless them. An elderly couple still in love and not afraid to show their affection for each other. I thought about them for a while and thought how
sweet it must be to still be romantic with each other after all of their years together. But then I thought perhaps I was wrong. Maybe they were new lovers who had both lost their previous spouses. Whatever their story is does not matter. They left me with thoughts of getting older and still enjoying all that life has to offer. And perhaps I should put down the camera more often, stop editing photos over lunch, and just reach over and touch my spouses hand. Maybe some one younger will see it, sneak a photo and write a blog about it later.


Posted by littlesam1 06:47 Archived in Portugal Tagged portugal sintra people_watching aging_and_romance Comments (2)

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