Little Lettuce

Alfacinha – Wikipedia:

Alfacinha is a term to denote a person from Lisbon, the etymology of which is unclear. The first known reference arises in the mid-19th century, in the book Travels in My Land by Almeida Garrett (1846), “For you shall be Alfacinhas forever, supposing that all the squares of this world are like the Palace Square …”

According to one explanation, the term comes from the fact that in the region of Lisbon, lettuce (alface) is an abundant plant, and given the Arabic origin of the word, has been cultivated on a large scale during the Muslim period.

As Caipira is a Portuguese word that means bumpkin and caipirinha – also a lovely alcoholic beverage – means little bumpkin, alface means lettuce and alfacinha is a little lettuce. Tell me, have you heard of a cuter name for an inhabitant of any city than “Little Lettuce”?

Glorious Bench

I discovered this bench on Sunday. The lane is called “Travessa do Cabral” – Cabral’s Lane “Travessa da Portuguesa”. Very little traffic noise. Just the occasional person walking up or down the stairs. Some of them might huff and puff by the time they arrive at the top. People who live on this lane must have stronger calves and thighs than most. Do they have stronger hearts from a lifetime of walking up and down the stairs? The cars at the bottom are not moving; they are parked. Wonder by what system they are parked. Do they know who can sleep in and should therefore park closest to the other stairs we can see in the distance, and who needs to leave early in the morning and should therefore park in front of the others? I sat down on the bench for a little while. It’ll be even nicer when the tree in front of the bench gets taller and gives shade in the middle of the day. A woman came up the stairs, out of breath from carrying a big bag. I got up and walked away, to offer her the bench to herself. I hope she sat down and enjoyed that bench. It was still in the shade.


Sunday morning I left the apartment at 0730 to take a walk. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go but I put one foot in front of the other foot and ended up discovering that sections of street I knew actually belonged to one and the same road. I walked nearly six miles and enjoyed every second of it. When I looked at the photos I noticed how many of the images had a pink-ish color in it. It was a rich photographic bounty and I will post more images from that walk. So often the aimless walks turn out to be the best.

You shall not pass

Do not attempt to drive down this street. I may be fragile but I am taking a stand. You shall not pass. You can destroy me easily but here is where I will remain. It’s the right thing to do and now is the time.