Every once in a while I’m reminded I should carry some cash.
Recently I was in Lisbon, and as usually used my card for everything. However we decided to head to the beach of Cascais, as it was going to be warm (20c in Feb isn’t bad).
Of course after a while on the beach with the Diabolo and my partner, a toilet break is needed. So going for a walk around Cascais to spot a toilet in a shop, I saw a nice restaurant called Pistachio Bar. I knew I was missing a good Portuguese coffee, so I thought I’d buy a swifty espresso and make the excuse to use the toilet at the same time.
They started to make the espresso and I went to pay for the espresso with my card. But they didn’t accept card payments under 5 euros. The manager came over and they talked about the payment, I thought about other things I could do including turning it into a Americano/long black, etc all while needing the toilet still. In the end the manager turned to me and said just take it for free.
This would be great, although I couldn’t do it, especially since I still needed the toilet. There was no way I could take the espresso and then use the toilet for free. So I looked around and noticed a full bar, and offered to buy two shots for the manager and staff member. Manager said no way because they are working, however I thought some shots for me and my partner could work nicely.
I forgot shots in Lisbon is equivalent to about 2.5 shots in the UK. After finally paying and finally going to the toilet, I walked back to the beach with a espresso and two more espresso sized take out cups filled with dark rum. But happy with the positive story and a reminder I should have some cash!
On the way back I had a similar story after getting on the train back to Lisbon and realising there was no toilets on the trains. There was time to go in the station but once again there was no option for cards, so I did that turnstile hack. A angry Portuguese woman came into the male toilets and shouted at me over and over again. I tried to explain but I was kind of busy. Afterwards I offered an explanation and showed I had a legit travel card but it wasn’t enough. Conscious I needed to get the train and my partner was waiting for me, I just had to apologise again and again as I ran to the gate for my train.