Jon Graham’s Travel Journal : Lisbon, Portugal
“Channel 1 Networks Jon Graham has moved from Boulder to Florida and now Portugal. Jon will be sending dispatches from Portugal, Europe about his travels and impressions of European life compared to American Life.”

Lisbon June 4, 2017  Jon Graham’s Travel Journal Places are very remote here in Portugal and you need a vehicle to get around, so that’s been rough on us. There may be English-speaking people in southern Portugal, but now is the high-priced season for rentals. At the end of the summer, the prices are supposed to go down. We’ve just got an apartment in town for 850 euros per month for six months. We needed an apartment that was unfurnished because we have a 20-foot container full of possessions that we need to store somewhere. We don’t want to have to pay extra for storage space somewhere. It is supposed to be a good neighborhood in Esoril, a small town north of Lisbon. A seaside resort.

I am already tired of being surrounded by the Portuguese language. The markets are small and nothing like King Soopers, Walmart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and so on. Not much selection at all. I am not a history buff or a language buff, so it is not that interesting to me. Plus I cannot read directions, find addresses, and so on and on.

The dogs were very expensive to bring. They were in their cages without water for ten hours — Miami to Lisbon. They drank rainwater from the streets with all their strength as soon as they could get out. They recovered after a couple of days of rest.

It is much harder to keep the animals in this apartment. We are on the fifth floor. At first I took them down on the elevator for a walk three times a day with plastic bags to pick up the poop. Now I take them down one or two times per day and let them pee and poop on the balcony when we have to go out. It’s easy to clean up there.

The younger dog is 4 and she’s full of life. The older one is 14 and he has lost a lot of weight. His back legs don’t work very well anymore. He deserves an easy life with lots of naps. Susie doesn’t want to put him to sleep yet. But it seemed crazy to fly him here at his age.

Apartment Monte Estoril

I was very skeptical about taking them and I was right.

I was also skeptical about shipping the 25′ container to Lisbon and I was right.

Susie has family in England, near Wales. Maybe we can ship the container there and drive there in a van with our luggage and the dogs. Susie has a good retirement income, but I don’t.

It makes sense to me for her to live near her family there. She doesn’t like the weather in the winter, though.

I don’t know what to do yet. I’m considering getting my Colorado driver’s license and a voter’s registration card, then get on the waiting list for Section 8 housing and other housing programs and get myself back to the US. Even though Susie and I have had a pretty good life together overall for the past eight years. She has been very good about taking care of me. We used too much credit and I didn’t earn enough money. There was no substitute teaching work in the summer, either. That caused us to sell out and move from our townhome in Jacksonville.

I had a condo in Remington Post which would have been a good place to retire, also $30,000 would have paid it off, leaving only the condo fee. At the time it was about $120 per month and that included water and heat. Plus underground parking and an almost olympic-sized indoor pool. There were two tennis courts, too.

I think it was a big expensive mistake to come here, but we didn’t know then all that we know now.