We’re only making plans for Europe…

Another blue-screened post out of the hopper, from Feb 23.

Trams de Lisbonne, plan de la ligne 3 (Portugal)
Photo by trams aux fils

It’s tricky to know how much to budget for this trip.  Twenty-four weeks. Three people.

It has been a while since we took a trip like this.  Now we have to plan for steroid days and room for a teenager to get away from her parents and proximity to board game meet-ups, whereas once upon a time, we slept on night trains and train station floors and at the Guesthouse Skaterhockey.

That last one was in Berlin, back in 1992.  As far as we could tell, a teenager was renting out his parents’ apartment – in their obvious absence – to as many people as he and his buddies could round up at the train station.  They passed out homemade Guesthouse Skaterhockey fliers as we disembarked, corralled their herd of budget-minded yokels in one corner of the station, and then led us, follow-the-leader style, to the building. After waiting while the boys huddled up (apparently trying to figure out where to put us all), we were assigned places to sleep: some to the bedrooms of the apartment, others to the living room, dining room and even the hallway. The bathroom was shared by all.

I must admit, it was a pretty good gig for those young gentlemen. The rooms were completely filled with the family’s possessions, so they obviously didn’t have to do much prep work. Their clientele cared more about price than any other commodity, so they did not have to provide anything other than space to crash. They were able to make a full day’s wages for about two hours’ work (and plenty of legal risk, about which they were apparently unconcerned). Teen entrepreneurship was alive and well in Berlin, and we were its thrifty beneficiaries.

We now walk a fine line between thrift and comfort. We have discovered that we can rent a furnished apartment for under 700 euros a month, if we want to go directly to the mall for sheets and towels and kitchen supplies. Otherwise, we will be paying more than 1,000 euros for less space.  Decisions, decisions…

I know, I know — don’t worry, Dad — I have a Serious Health Condition and it’s worth the extra money. We’ll take good care of ourselves. No Guesthouse Skaterhockey this trip!

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for poor Patti. She has had to have infinite patience with me today, as I decided to rework an entire procedure before teaching it to her. The worst part was that she gave up complaining for Lent!
  • I’m lighter! We used our time pretty well tonight. We learned all kinds of things about Lisbon neighborhoods, train and tram and Metro stations, and possible apartment locations. Of course, we didn’t pull the trigger on anything yet.

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