Teenagers can buy alcohol and consume it at 16 years of age. But they can't get a drivers licenses until they're 18. We've been told that the parents of these teens have to pay for a driving course that costs as much as 2,000 euros ($2,500) before they are allowed a license.
However, the streets of Portugal are the most dangerous places to be, in my humble opinion. There you'll find very old people walking with canes, cyclists, ladies driving home from work on mopeds in heels with a plastic tarp across the front of themselves to shield the rain and wind. You'll find tractors where the old men proudly perch their wives on the wheel well. At times you can find herds of cattle, parked cars, loading vehicles, old ladies pulling carts of produce and stray dogs. All of these things take priority over the "car". A car is the last thing you'll find on a street, but it's by far the fast moving object to be found. I've been told that Portuguese drivers are considered the worst in Europe. I fit right in.
In the malls you'll find, well...everyone. Malls are THE place to go. However, the average person cannot afford to buy anything their except for a cup of coffee. Espresso (which is all they drink) costs .70 cents. They'll walk around and window shop but very few have bags in their hands from where they've purchased anything. Besides a great cup (shot glass) of coffee, you find lots of PDA. (public displays of affection) I've tried to convince my husband that we can't truly try to be Portuguese until we've 'made out' while going up the escalator.
For some reason, he doesn't buy my argument.
Cool play place
We've just recently discovered this really neat children's play area right on the coast. (notice the marina in the background)
With the rain holding off and sunshine upon us, we've frequented this area with our kids and dog. Here we've met a few folks, thrown a frisbee for Major, pushed the kids on skates and even taught a teenage boy (imagine Napoleon Dynamite) how to play basketball.
With the 5 kids, we get a lot of stares. Sometimes these folks will let us talk to them. Yesterday, while I was talking to "Napoleon's" mom, all she wanted to do was tell me how much work I had to do with 5 kids. The dishes, the clothes....she would roll her eyes. She couldn't believe I was still standing!
Michael using the dog to meet some teenagers
After playing we went to a cafe
where we were met, yet again with stares. While Michael was ordering our food, two ladies at a table next to us were staring. One of the ladies shushed her friend, inclined her head and even stopped chewing her food to listen to Michael while we was talking.
Talk about being obvious! The Portuguese aren't subtle.
More to come......