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Porto Day 2, Part 1

LIES ...

semi-overcast 12 °C
View Europe-2012/13 on Kimerinallanah's travel map.

You may have been wondering if everything was ok as there have been no blogs since our first day in Porto. Well, after being attacked by the toothless, bandanna wearing grey haired chihuahua i have had to recover from my sore stomach from laughing. Kim could hear the dog barking ( I say attacking) from the apartment.

So after my recovery ( *sigh* and a few pastries to ease to fear) This is my first ( ... and last) contribution to the blog after nagging from Kim.

We have settled well into the apartment. Lígia has been a great host, and the apartment is exactly as the website depicts ( was a little nervous after the teeny tiny bathroom in Lisbon) After my now religious early morning walks ( via the bakery), we all end up having a nap after 2nd breakfast (coffee and pastry) for a few hours, partly to keep warm in the 3 degrees and the other is to stave off any serious illness (Kim and Allanah that is, I am not sick *cough*) because I would hate to have to navigate through the maze that is Portugals medical system. To give you a little taste of what it is like, Beatriz had an accident 2 months ago, she was scanned and x-rayed and still not has been given any information as to what is wrong or what things she should or should not be doing with her injuries. So, um ... We are not sick!

After our little nana nap we head for the first time down to the water. We zig zag down from our apartment through the little lane ways accosted by waiters to go into their restaurant. We stop at a couple and read the menu, nothing jumping out except at this stage Allanah's stomach. It is almost 2.30 by this stage and she had a few bread rolls and some orange for breakfast so she is fading away to nothing and we are certainly reminded by her everytime we pass by a restaurant.

We continue to admire the view and head towards the bridge on the eastern side of Porto. We find ourselves towards the end of the hawkers selling their restaurants and decide on one that is set back off the main drag.

  • ***The following events may cause some distress and is recommended to be viewed by a mature adult. Contains some mild foreign language

We are greeted by a young waiter who awkwardly hands us our menus as we sit down to lunch. This not only gives our feet a rest from the walking but also our ears as Allanah is so much closer to filling the rumble in her belly. I was so impressed by the fish we had the day before in Nazare that I am more than happy to eat again, so I order the fish and so does Allanah (because ... It has chips with it). And Kim orders with bachlau and chorizo to start.

Our entree arrives with quite a show. A flame covered chorizo that cooks in front of us - it is like a bus crash, I cant look away I am fascinated at how the fat bubbles and burns and the meat changes colour. I notice out of the corner of my eye that that waiter is back and is standing nervously with a bottle of lighter fluid watching the flame slowly go out leaning towards the platter.

I have a thousand thoughts that run through my mind and that one that is screaming at me is that Allanah is in the firing line if this little whipper snapper decides to squeeze the lighter fluid into the dish from where he is standing. I imagine flames everywhere, burnt meat and hours in a hospital in Porto with no answers and Allanah in pain ... He must have ESP (or something in the look on on my face .. I dont know) because he walks away and comes back empty handed to serve the now charcoal coloured chorizo.

Allanah and Kim tuck in, I take a bite and complain that it is cold in the middle to Kim scolds me and says that it is smoked meat not raw. So, I finish what I started and give away the rest of my chorizo. I am not impressed and can taste the lighter fluid slightly.

By this stage Allanah has only been mildy "commenting"on how hungry she is and considering we (Kim and I) both still have our arms I think she is handling this very well. Then the mains arrive and Allanah is frozen in time watching the waiter bring our dishes over. She spies the pile of fried potato (vegetable #1 in portugal) and starts to hyperventilate. The waiter has not placed the dish on the table yet and she id starting in on the chips. I watch my plate placed in front of me. And,
I don't know what to say.
There is some salad.
It looks fresh.
The chips I can see are hot.
They looked cooked.
I see the fish and am disappointed that it does not look like the fish that I had yesterday - I cant help but look.

I see Kim looking at my plate. His furrow deepens.

Kims Baclhau arrives and is placed in front of him.

He asks me if the fish is fresh, so I cut open my fish to find that the fish is cooked.
But find that these are frozen fillets. I tell him this and show him. "%}*^ this is a restaurant, bloody ^%}{* dont serve frozen food when you are on a river and ocean with fresh fish on your door step." Grumble, grumble grumble (which means that Kim is trying to not only compose himself but also formulate the right words in Portuguese to give the waiter the "feedback" they deserve)

We tell Allanah to stop eating and her face face says a thousand words. At this point she probably thinks that she will not be able to eat forever and her face shows it. We explain to her that this is not the right thing to serve in restaurant and that we will be complaining and leaving.

The waiter is in the doorway and spots us not eating, hesitates and walks over.

Now at this point I look at Kim - to see what the waiter will be seeing when Kim talks to him in Portuguese.
I am scared, and I am not talking to him. He eyes are dark almost black and he sits up in his chair making him look 6ft tall sitting down (almost the same size as the waiter standing up!) and a VERY deep furrow. Uh oh ... Kim is super pissed. I want to run ...

Kim starts of quite calmly - I am impressed and think that maybe he is not as pissed he looks on the outside. I mean, what do I know only having lived with him for 15 years ...

He asks the waiter if the fish is fresh and the waiter responds in Portuguese. Kim replies to him in Portuguese and seems to be caught off guard. From Kim's hand gestures and some of the words that I can hear I know that he is asking why don't we have fresh fish and why are they serving the frozen fish, it is not what they advertised. He mentions they only fry and heat up, no real cooking. My stomach lurches at the thought of the chorizo. How old was it, will we be sick, should we have eaten it cooked in LIGHTER FLUID FLAME????????

The waiter walks away and comes comes back with a girl the same age as him. She explains that her English is better than the waiter and how can she help. Kim tells her about the frozen fish etc (he is getting more and more pissed) and they say that there is no fresh fish in the grotto ( area of where we were on the water). Kim tells her that we will not eat, and the waiter takes the plates away. Kim says he will not pay for the fish but ok for the drinks and chorizo.

We paid the €9 for the 3 softdrinks, 1 chroizo and STALE bread ( which we both kick ourselves now that we even paid for it at all being €3,50) and walk away pissed off.

Allanah and I head closer to the bridge with Kim trailing behind fuming and talking to himself in a language close to Portuglish (Portuguese and English) - probably going through the conversation over again in his head and trying to work out if he used the right words at thenright time and what else he could of said in Portuguese to let them know they were bloody idiots for selling frozen store bought fish to customers.

We decide that we need to walk off the stress of the lunch escapade (Kim definitely does-maybe a stroll to...... France?) and head over the bridge toward Villa Nova de Gaia on the opposite site of the river Allanah still hungry, Kim pissed and I just want to go to sleep (not sick *sneeze*)..............

I will wait for comments/feedback before I post Porto Day 2 part 2 (because I think Kim does a better job than me)

Posted by Kimerinallanah 00:21 Archived in Portugal

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Dear Pinto's
I am soooo enjoying your blog!
Food in Portugal sounds really reasonably priced - we are finding the same here in South Africa. (I guess Australia is just friggin expensive!!)

You are very brave- travelling to Europe at this time of year. Hope you have a few warm days!!


by Talytail

You both do a great job xxx

by Mel

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