Friday, July 17, 2009

Door-challenged in Lisbon.


Well, I made it back from Europe in one piece. The first few days of my lovely trip were spent in Lisbon, where I was participating in a group show at Pavilhao 28. Here are a few excerpts from my travelogue regarding my trouble with doors in Lisbon.

July 1: I am staying at Sandro's apartment in Alvalade, and he is staying in his other residence. After he showed me around the exhibition space, we dropped me off at the apartment building and gave me his key, which is roughly the size of my forearm--a giant, old-fashioned thing. I spent about 15 minutes trying to open the wrong door, and had just started to panic when I realized I was on the 2nd instead of 3rd floor...

July 2: Alfredo picked me up at 10:30 sharp for dinner from Sandro's place. I stumbled down the pitch-black staircase using my cell phone as a light, and then I could not for the life of me open the front door of the building to leave. I was shaking the door and calling out to him that I couldn't budge it. I tried going out the back door and ended up in a fenced in garden, shouting over the fence to Alfredo. I had to knock on a door on the first floor to ask how to get out. A 17-year-old guy in nothing but underwear and tan skin opened the door, which flustered me a little. I apologized for bothering him so late and for speaking in English, and asked him how to open to the front door of the building. He stared at me blankly, and then called out a name. A young girl, also dressed quite skimpily, came to the door followed by several floppy spaniels that danced around on their back legs and shook their enormous hairy ears. I gave her the same spiel, and she serenely came out into the hall, pushed a tiny red button on the front door and popped it open. The floppy spaniels all ran out into the night, but the girl didn't mind.

July 3: Last night I returned to Sandro's apartment at about 4:00 AM, after having spent a very happy (and alcohol-soaked) night out in Bairro Alto with Alfredo and his delightful friends Joana and Pedro. I climbed the dark stairwell and pulled the gigantic key out of my purse (I had to carry a large purse with me to fit that key into). I stuck the key into the door, and turned it this way and that. Two turns to the left, but the door didn't open. Three turns to the right, but the door didn't open. I started to panic a little, because I was stuck out in the hallway, Alfredo had left, and I had to pee. I kept turneing the key and turning the key, and it just wouldn't work! I called Alfredo in a panic, who of course couldn't do a thing. I raved on the phone about how I was stuck in the hallway, and kept turning and turning the key until finally... POP! The door opened. How totally and utterly embarrassing.

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