I arrived in Lisbon at midnight with no place to stay. I was hungry, thirsty, and wandering around the huge statue that towered above the station’s entrance looking a little overwhelmed. Luckily, a stressed looking 21 yr old with a huge backpack seems to be some sort of international SOS service, as a huge guy in a singlet and thongs (another useful symbol- this one meaning aussie and/or bogan) strode up to me and enquired “are you looking for the g-spot?”. I thought to myself -“this is either some sort of bar,club or the worst pick up line i’ve ever heard,” and so tentatively nodded my head. It wasn’t so much a nod as a slight noncommittal wiggle, combined with an expression that said “i’ll forgive you the VB singlet if you take me to a hostel.” Luckily Mr ‘Straya, or Alex as i’d later get to know him led me down a few crooked streets to a tiny doorway where he rang a bell and an American popped his head out.
“Do you have any beds?,” I asked.
“Actually we’re totally booked, but don’t worry about that, come in- are you hungry?We just had a Portugese BBQ”
Welcome to the G-Spot. The most ridiculously named, enjoyable hostel i’ve ever stayed in. After i was plied with free food and beer, Nick the American set me up a bed in the staff area for free. “Just til some beds free up tomorrow.”
Then the entire hostel, staff included, went out on a wild pub crawl, leaving our sobriety and often, dignity on the cobbled lanes we tread.
I planned to stay a night, i was there for four and probably would have stayed longer for the free dinners, queen size bunks,crazy nights out and the totally comfort of the place if i wasn’t trying to make it to Edinburgh by the 1st of August.
Some of the better experiences included meeting Jayden and Connor, the 18 and 19 year olds from Gippsland on a GAP year. I forgot what teenage boys were like.
Somehow on the topic of pregnancy, Jayden inflated his chest and proudly informed he could have “got like 3 chicks pregnant by now.”
“Meaning you’ve slept with 3 women?” I replied.
“FIVE!” He stuck out 5 meaty fingers to correct me.
But who’s counting right?
Later the same night, Connor earnestly informed me that SMART cars were “like 80% plastic” and the three of us could definitely move one if we tried. Thus ensued a night of running around Lisbon attempting to move every smart car we found. Success was not immediate, partly because the owners of said cars were often in the vicinity and weren’t as impressed as we
were by the sheer lightness of their vehicles, and partly because we weren’t working as a team. Liefe, the cheeky scot we enlisted to help was only interested in tipping over the cars, which the 2 gippsland boys staunchly refused to participate in.
Eventually we moved one, not a smart car but some sort of three wheeled vehicle that i considered a cop out, but the boys were pleased with themselves.
Aside from the nights lost to sangria, there was the flea markets during the day where i tried my hardest to squeeze just one more dress into my overstuffed backpack. There was a beautiful afternoon spent lost, wandering the streets in search of film for a camera, where i met a Lithuanian girl who had hitch- hiked across Europe. We sat on the wall of an old castle (it was 7euro to get in and the view from the wall was better than what lay inside) eating yellow plums and discussing travels. She told me such beautiful stories of Morocco that i find myself writing this on a ferry headed there now.
So hopefully when i write again it’ll be from beneath the heady smoke and smells of Marakesh.
Until then xx Bridget