Portugal Trip : Day 8

Day 8, 20 August: Cathy’s conference over, we left the Marriott. Our Rough Guide suggested O Duque, just under the crest of the hill in Bairro Alto.

We went and were treated gruffly by a man there who said he hated George W. Bush. He even had a cartoon that he shoved under our noses as I was signing in. Something from Le Monde. The man was going on and on in Portuguese and French about what a monkey George Bush was.

He had no idea what my politics were; for all he knew, I too disliked Bush. But he didn’t care. I was American, and that was enough. I made one mistake. I said, “But surely there’s more to America than Bush. You know, our culture, our people, freedom, democracy … ”

This simply touched him off again. America had no culture, freedom and democracy were a joke, etc., etc.

Cathy was becoming very nervous. So too was the man’s boss, who may even have been the owner, and who must have been wondering what our idea of Portuguese hospitality was. I can assure you, our idea of it is very, very good. You get people like that guy everywhere. It’s part of living abroad.