Café Pingado

Tiles on wall in old section of Lisbon
Tiles on wall in old section of Lisbon

Lisbon is not as old as other European cities as it was completely destroyed by a 8.5 earthquake on All Saints Day in 1755. The sidewalks are covered in tile and even some of the streets are tiled. Many of the buildings are tiled as well. The distinctive blue and white tile, so typical of Portugal, is everywhere but I like the geometric patterns.

We had our first really good cup of coffee in a café across the street from where we are staying. We stumbled on the café pingado by asking for espresso with milk. It turns out there only a drop of mall in the tiny cup but it was like heaven.

We were still struggling with the basics of Portuguese but it doesn’t matter in the old part of the city. Most people want to speak English. Our waiter told us people his age don’t even use the Portuguese word for “yes,” which is sin, because it is too close to the Spanish word for yes, “si.” They resent Spain because it is so much bigger. They use the German word, “ja.”

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