lisboa: sightseeing

Posted on April 7, 2006



by o mundo de claudia

While showing a foreign friend around town, we bumped into a very characteristic sight in the old parts of Lisboa: knickers hanging outside right on your face. He took the mandatory tourist photo of it and, later, browsing on Flickr, I found out that he wasn’t the only tourist to do so.

"Maybe, the knickers are a sign. You know, in Amsterdam they close the red curtains and in Lisboa they hang out the knickers while they’re busy."

"Noooo! They’re not prostitutes!"

But the touristy imaginative ramble goes on.

"Or, maybe, since they don’t have windows like in Amsterdam, clients can judge their appearance by the size of their knickers. Boy, apparently all portuguese prostitutes are huge!"

So, the proper explanation is: these are old women’s knickers. They hang them outside because these are centuries old buildings and they have no back yard. And yes, in small, old neighbourhoods people aren’t as fond as their privacy as in most other places.