07 April 2011

Confessions of a rubbish tourist (2)

Pretentious tourists call themselves travellers. I'm by nature a holidayer, a tripper, and I sometimes think that I'd be happiest holing up for two weeks in a chalet in Leysdown, with a good supply of books and beer.

And, of course, a telly. I love watching foreign television even if, especially if, I don't understand it. I could probably spend all day in my room flicking through the channels. The hotel in Lisbon had these:

4 Portuguese channels, ARD, TV Italia,  BBC World News (which had an alarming obsession with the coming royal wedding), Swiss TV5, Eurosport (which was showing a snooker match that seemed to be lasting a week), CNN and CNBC (both news porn for the tired businessman), RTE Internacional, some Russian language station, and RT (Russia Today) dubbed into Spanish.

The best show was RTP1's version of This Morning, called A Praca da Alegria. Each show begins with a musical performance. Here are the bands they had on Monday and Tuesday.

and while they play their slightly folkloric tunes, the studio audience dance fairly gingerly.
After that, they get an expert in to discuss a consumer/lifestyle issue. On Monday, it was a body posture expert discussing how to tell if your suitcase is too heavy. (Hasn't he heard of wheels? Every bloody suitcase in the world has wheels these days. Noise levels at airports are reaching dangerous heights with the clickety clack of them on the terrazzo tiles.)

If I had my way, if I wasn't scared of being judged by the hotel staff, I'd only leave my room for food. Actually, in Portugal not even for that. I hate to say it, but Portuguese food is dull. I like salt cod as much as anyone, but it needs something like a spicy tomato sauce to bring it to life. I think there's no word for 'spicy' in the Portuguese language. There is certainly no entry in my English/Portuguese dictionary for 'spicy'. Someone's crossed it out, possibly in every copy. 

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