Don’t play cards in public!
It’s illegal… Yes that’s right – we were playing in an outdoor cafe and the owner sidled up to us quite embarrassedly and asked us to keep an eye out for the police and if we saw them to stop playing immediately! We did and we did. Said owner came rushing out looking most sweaty and stressed and advised us not to rack up another game… Apparently it’s something to do with gambling laws.
Don’t be surprised if you get offered drugs as an alternative to fake Ray Bans
Yes we were and yes it was broad daylight. And yes it happened more than once. Maybe it was the company I was with, or the fact I was without my kids which probably does make a difference, but the dodgy fake sunglasses man offered the fake Ray Bans with his left hand and upon rejection opened his right to reveal a bag of grass – needless to say I said no to both options!
Don’t be shocked about the blatantness of the prostitutes
Admittedly I was rather shocked for the first day but soon got used to it. Although we were staying in a cheap hotel it wasn’t in a particularly rough part of town, in fact it was just a couple of streets away from the main designer shopping street of Avenida da Liberdade. However at night our road was clearly the place to come for prostitutes and they were so obviously touting their wares. Police regularly drove up and down and didn’t seem to bat an eyelid… And to think that we got into trouble for playing cards!
Don’t be anti smoking
Yes I’m afraid it’s another one of those European cities where you can smoke on the dance floor – and they do! So hair washing and clothes changing is a necessity every morning (if indeed you decide to go dancing – which I highly recommend you do!).