Solo Travel: Table for Two, Lisbon, Portugal

My first night in Lisbon I arrived at the hostel around 7pm. After settling into my room and making several videos “TALL CEILINGS!”..I was hungry for dinner. Tired, I wasn’t up for roaming the streets to find food, so I opted for the hostel restaurant. 
“Please wait to be seated” the sign read. This place was nicer than I’d envisaged. I’d brought a book. I was more hungry than self-conscious about dining alone at this point anyway. 

A tall elegant woman with an expensive coat joined me in the line. 
“She’s probably meeting someone..” I thought. 
We started chatting, discovering we were both solo-travellers. I quietly hoped she’d be up for eating together so we could continue our conversation. 
“Table for two?” The waitress asked. 
We glanced at each other, trying to read the other one’s mind. I didn’t want to impose if she really did want to eat alone. 
“Yes please!” We said simultaneously.
I was relieved to have a friend for dinner. 

“How romantic..” she joked as we were shown to our table. The lighting was low but warm, lively music played and the leaves of a giant plant of some kind hung around her seat. 

We clicked straight away. Talked about everything. 
Travel, books, art, writing, families, friends, relationships, Damien Hirst. I was fascinated by her job in the art world and she was intrigued about motherhood. She described what it was like living in Paris and told me interesting stories of people in her life.
Born in the same month of the same year, we talked about turning 30 and what it meant to us. 
Two women, leading very different lives, yet with so many shared interests, and so much to talk and laugh about. 

It was a sharing menu, so we ordered several plates of food I’d never ordinarily consume, like squid with green froth and raw prawns with fried chicken skin (tasted better than it sounds). I remember thinking how funny it was to be deciding on what we should order to share, having only met minutes earlier. 

As empowering as eating alone can be, I was thrilled to have such wonderful company that first evening. 
A perfect welcome to Lisbon. 
Thank you Anastasia.


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