Feb 112016

I’m certainly guilty of having used this title a few times during the many years of my “Songs of the Day”, but I guess you can see why I did it again this time.

Of course we’re in Praça do Comércio again and we’ll approach the end of this Lisbon series. One more week and it’ll be over. Promised :)

3395 – Young Racers

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Feb 042016

Directly below the Miradouro there is a park. It’s a fine place to stop at a kiosk and enjoy a sip of white wine. Well, it was only from a plastic cup, but nevertheless it was nice.

The light was already low and golden, and of course I couldn’t resist taking a few more images. I like this one for the perfect position of the young man and for the way the edge of the cloud mirrors the way through the park :)

3394 – Blaming the Muslim

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Feb 032016

Here are some multi-layered tiles from a wall. I have no idea whether the image of the man has been there in the beginning or not. The area is called Mouraria, the Moorish Quarter, and maybe this should be a hint. In any case paint has been added and tags have been written.

Portugal has a long tradition with a Muslim minority, originating from the times of the re-conquest, more than 850 years ago. Furthermore Portugal has a long colonial history of about 500 years, and there are still ties to the former colonies. That absolutely shows. Lots of colored people from Africa, lots of people likely from Morocco or elsewhere in the Maghreb.

With Portugal being a member of the EU, the treatment of refugees and migrants is, well, conformant to the mainstream: they are not welcome and, like other countries, Portugal seems to deny them the opportunity to work and to legally earn their money. As a result you see them selling drugs, umbrellas, selfie sticks and whatever a tourist may need.

Did that make me nervous? Well, no. It’s just people trying to make a living. They are polite, they don’t stalk or molest. One time in Praça do Comércio a guy asked if I want to buy a selfie stick. I showed him my camera, smiled and said, it won’t work with that. He smiled back and asked “Hashish”?

Being openly offered drugs once every few minutes (at least in the hotspots of Baixa) feels strange, but it is no problem at all. You just smilingly say “No, thanks”, and they won’t bother you.

If you think of it, this is much less a matter of our security, it is a matter of theirs. They have no way to live and be not in conflict with the law. Thus they are easy prey whenever a police officer feels like it or a politician want to show the iron fist. They are kept in a state of lawlessness that can always be exploited. Can you imagine living like that?