June 07, 2007

Lisbon, Portugal
Domo Obrigado, Mr. Roboto

Morning flight from Dublin. Taxi to hotel. Sleep. Dance badly with 30 strangers.

Lisbon is fairly contained and reasonable as a city. You can get your head around it. Also, very pretty.

Some dancers took us out for Portuguese sweet rice and cakes. I’m not a daring eater, so this is always a delicate situation, but the culinary leap was not vast and I was starving anyway.

We picked up a straggler named Vikram from Mumbai. He was in Lisbon on business, so not on the email invite list, but he recognized me from the video and joined in. It cracks me up when that happens.

Linguistic factoid: learned that “arogato,” meaning “thank you” in Japanese, comes from the Portuguese “obrigado,” which I imagine has a similar root to the English word “oblige.”

How bout that?

I feel I need to address the recurring sentiment that I am not properly appreciating the places I’m visiting. Let me just clear this up: we are not on a sightseeing trip.

Organizing these events is actually a huge undertaking for both Melissa and myself. I am the engineer of a vast, unwieldy locomotive and Melissa is up ahead laying the tracks down for me. Any cultural enrichment that occurs between the flight catching, the hotel booking, the mass emailing, the paperwork, and the bad dancing is purely incidental.

I already got my free trip around the world. It was great. This is a different thing now. The priorities have changed.

The dilemma is that a lot of people read this site for vicarious reasons. I feel a certain obligado to “suck the marrow” and all that. So just know that I’m actually having the time of my life making this video, but it’s about more than just a guy who got a crazy-lucky opportunity and milked it for all it was worth.

To do that again would be...greedy.

Free wi-fi at the Hard Rock Café. Surprisingly tolerable pop music on rotation. Suppressed the urge to add the Lisbon branch to my swelling t-shirt collection. Cause you haven’t really been somewhere unless you can produce evidence in Hard Rock form.

Out-of-the-blue contact from a public figure of great renown. This happens every once in a while and I am not nearly mature enough to know how to handle it. But at least I have enough dignity not to blog about it…

…sorta.