Lisbon, Portugal

Monday, December 17, 1928

Today I got up at 9:30 and got out the old needle and thread. No use being so darned conspicuous, at least not when you want some peace for sightseeing. The big hole in the seat of my britches was the victim. I flatter myself that I got all sides together though I won’t say how. Looks like it’s pinned with a safety pin and I’ll have to sit down easy. Went to that darned Cook’s to find out the way to get to Seville, etc., then to the Post Office where I found 7 letters. Two from Mother I can’t open till Xmas which is rather hard but I have stuck them away for a week. Guess I should have saved Dudie’s too for in it I found a nice Xmas present of 5 clinkers. I’ll just pretend that I didn’t open it till Xmas. It’s great to get so many nice letters from your friends. I have been receiving letters from about 27 different people and have written to about 35, writing to some 18 people regularly. Keeps me pretty busy with all the other things to do.

After lunch I went to the American Consulate where I had a nice long talk with the Vice Consul, who is a dandy young fellow. He said they could do nothing to get my duty back on my bike. It seems to be a bad habit in Spain to collect duties and not give them back. He told me of a theatrical troupe which had paid several hundred dollars in duties which they were not able to recover. He also said the same thing would probably happen in Portugal. Thus the cheapest thing for me to do is to forget my bike and leave it here. A pretty darned lowdown dirty practice I calls it and hard on a thin pocketbook. I’ll make it up along the line somewhere. Hope it is in Spain. I’m going to write some Spaniard a mouthful—don’t know who it will be yet, but he’ll get my opinion of his country and Spaniards in general and particular. Next I went to the British Consulate where it took me an hour and three-quarters to get a visa for Egypt—and 220 escudos or about $10.75. That’s hard to take too. The English Consul or Vice Consul, whatever he was, was a nice chap, very English and therefore very interesting. It was five before I left there. Next I went to Wagon-Lits to get the dope on how to get to Seville, not trusting Cook’s. I have two ways to go. The cheaper is by a train, taking some 22 hours I believe. I think I’ll leave here Wednesday night, travel all day Thursday, reaching Seville in the evening, stay there two days, take a bus to Gibraltar Sunday and so be there the 24th. Another fortune shot.

The downtown section of Lisbon is between two hills. The streets are narrow, the buildings old, and things are rather dirty. I am near the market which is the old story over again. The Place du Commerce with its large arch and statue is unattractive and on the waterfront. $11.59.

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