Pasteis de Belem – The Empire Strikes Back

It was our last day in Lisbon, and we had tens of must-see sights to cover. We had already lost half a day in just  waiting for various trams and buses, so time was of the essence. We firmly decided to get after those attractions immediately after lunch. So we obviously ended going off to Belem to have the scrumptious Pasteis de Belem… again!
We sat in the outside garden area this time, which was absolutely great, not because it was a gorgeous setting, which it was
but because it provided an easy access to my friends, the pigeons (For the uninitiated: Please see the following link for Part 1 of this Belem adventure-
I was already salivating in anticipation.
“Let’s order three pasteis this time,” said my wife. I couldn’t contain my joy. “Of course, my love, anything for you,” I replied, almost rubbing my hands in glee.
The pasties came
and so did my friend, the pigeon.
But imagine my shock, when she calmly kept ignoring the pigeon even when the poor chap flew in front of her face, and performed cartwheels on her head and shoulders.
Thank God I had a Plan B.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of music from the street outside. It sounded vaguely familiar, and definitely out of place in Portugal. And as the guy playing the music came in, he started singing, “Chura liya hai tum ne jo dil ko, nazar nahin churaana sanam…”
I sat transfixed, staring at a Portuguese guy singing an old Bollywood classic, one of my favorites, no less, in almost perfect Hindi.
“Now that’s what I call a distraction,” I thought to myself, “never leave home without a Plan B.”
And then it hit me. My Plan B had involved a flying tiger, rainbow-colored elephant, and a Polar Bear balancing on the antlers of a reindeer.
Then what the heck was this?
I forced my eyes to turn away from the musician somehow, and my wife’s beatific smile told me that I didn’t really need to look at the plate any more. All the three pasties were gone!
Note: While I have taken some minor creative liberties, the day did pan out more or less as I described. We did spend a lot of time in waiting for trams, and we did decide to go to Belem again, and have three pasties instead of two this time around. Also, we did mwet a singer who sang that song, though that happened in Lisbon, while we were having lunch.

About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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