Friday, September 11, 2015

Tuk Tuk Tour

Yesterday was my first day out somewhere besides my home and school neighborhoods. CIEE teamed up with a Tuk Tuk company to give us a tour of Lisbon. A Tuk Tuk is a little golf-cart like vehicle that either runs on gas or electric and is used to give tours around the city (see below pictures), which is convenient because many of the streets are very small. We teamed up in groups of 6 and each team received a packet. In this packet was a list of sights in Lisbon with questions underneath each. Pretty much the tour turned out to be a scavenger hunt and through this we got to see many neighborhoods/landmarks. It was very long, around 4 hours, but also very fun. It was hot and a lot of us were tired but there was just so much to see that it didn't even matter. Our driver's name was Pedro and he was really nice, even cheating and giving us some answers. I didn't have a camera, we didn't spend a lot of time at each site, and there was a taxi driver strike against Uber blocking half the roads so I will hopefully be taking my time and going back to each place to get a better feel of each. Something I have noticed about Portugal is that people are very friendly, but also that they like to stare. People will seriously stare at you for about 5 minutes and when you look back at them they will not be embarrassed or stop looking. This aspect of Portuguese culture became really entertaining during the tuk tuk ride because when we were driving and someone on the street made eye contact with me I would stare back at them really intensely until we both started laughing at each other. People would also wave at us so the whole tour I spent my time interacting with people on the sidewalk and zooming up and down steep hills in the historical parts of Lisbon.

Here is my group completing the challenge to take a picture with the Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese writer and poet) statue:

Pictures my friend took of me in a Tuk Tuk:

When we finally did finish, we all received pasteis de nata. For people who don't know these are extremely popular Portuguese desserts. The best way to describe them is as a custard tart:

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