Meet the kindest lady in Lisbon. I was visiting for work last week with five other people from my team. On the way back from Castelo de Sao Jorge, the sky darkened and the rain poured. We all scurried across the cobbled street to find cover; the slightest overhang from a roof or a narrow doorway. I managed to pin myself pretty flat into a doorway.
A big wooden door across the street opened and little old lady poked her head out from behind some orange curtains, gesturing for us to come over. We thought she was suggesting we stand in her doorway but she quickly herded us into the house. The three of us filled her tiny living room containing ornaments, pictures frames, wooden furniture and a small TV. There were no windows though. Her cat wasn’t sure what to make of us and slinked off to its food bowl.
She rustled around in a bag at the back of the room and gave each of us a small towel to dry our faces and hair. As we did so, she whipped around our legs. I was worried about dripping water all over her floor but she was more concerned with making sure were dry.
We stood looking out of the door at the rain and the rest of the team who were still hugging narrow doorways. She chattered away in Portuguese, then Spanish and although I didn’t know what she was saying, I could see she was happy to have us in her home. She offered us a large umbrella but I smiled and gestured I had a hood. When the rain stopped we thanked her and exchanged hugs. I was a stupidly British and shook her hand. I wish I’d given her a hug but I came over all shy!
Her house was so small (about 9ft wide) that I can’t imagine there would be space for two people but I hope she has a companion. If I spoke Portuguese or Spanish I would have asked how long she has lived there, who the people in the photos were and the name of her cat.
So there you have it; the story of the kindest lady in Lisbon. Unfortunately I don’t know her name but I plan to send her a postcard from home to say thank you. Letting four strangers into her house was very kind and she even agreed to pose for a photo.
Later that day the rained starting pouring again so we darted into a shop doorway. This time someone took the opportunity to try and sell us weed and cocaine. Two opposite sides of humanity in one day…