Chapter 26: My Laptop Broke lol

My MacBook Air bit the dust last week. But we back 😤

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Brief update: my laptop died Thursday. I had my last recap from Berlin saved in a word doc, but it’s now gone forever (or at least til I get back to an Apple Store in the States). I bought a new MacBook from an electronics store in Lisbon, Portugal on Friday.

Turns out the keyboard is formatted differently in the US than the rest of the world. Whoops.

Anyways, we’re back. Considering my previous write up got control+alt+deleted, and it’s been like 11 days since the last post, I’m going to abbreviate the last couple of weeks.

Berlin Round 2

I didn’t have to be anywhere until Liverpool on December 10th, and I wanted to visit Lisbon for a few days before heading back to Sevilla. So I figured I may as well extend my stay in Berlin for four more nights.

Hudson bounced on Sunday at like 3:45 AM 🥴 and I extended my stay through Thursday. Upgraded to the private room though, because $50 for a fat bed to myself was an absolute steal. After grabbing breakfast, I met up with Letícia, the Brazilian girl that I met the day before. We went to some futuristic tech museum and hung out at a cafe for a bit. When we got back to the hostel, Murray, Shannon, Andrew, and Sebastian were watching Premier League football in the bar.

I watched the lads from Liverpool until 7:00, when the hostel put American (read: real) football on. NFL RedZone baby. I never realized how difficult American football is to understand until I tried to explain it to a group of Brits. There are a ton of moving parts lol.

Sebastian, Letícia, and I went to a Christmas market afterwards, where I drank glühwein (a warm Christmas wine common in Germany) for the first time. They had some massive slide that you could sled down on a tire, and I was all over that.

We got back to the hostel and hung out in the downstairs bar for a bit before I called it a night. I didn’t do a ton over the next three days. I hung out with Letícia and one of her roommates, Rikarda, a good bit. I probably went to like 3 Christmas markets. I wrote a ton of stuff. I got curved by Letícia (she’s out here doing God’s work keeping me humble in these trying times. Minor setback for a major comeback though). And I met another American, Brandon, from Texas.

The two of us ended up hanging out with Letícia and two of her friends one night, and one of those friends, Patricia, claimed she could out-chug anyone. Except Brandon challenged her, and she declined because she had “work in the morning.” What a soft excuse smh. Come on Pat!

Brandon and I went out with some Israeli dudes for a bit on Wednesday, and I headed out after lunch on Thursday for a flight to Lisbon. I almost missed my flight, thanks to the German police stopping my train to the airport for 30 minutes. But I did make it. Hopefully I won’t have any followup missed flights.

Lisbon

I wore shorts for the first time since September, and it felt GOOD. Sunny and 60+ on the Portuguese coast. My flight landed in Lisbon at 6:00 Thursday night, and I made it to the hostel by 7:00.

I highly, highly recommend staying at the Selina Hostel in Lisbon if you ever visit.

  • Comfortable beds? Check.

  • Pool? Check.

  • Cool bar/restaurant downstairs? Check.

  • Great crowd? Check, check, freaking check.

The crew at the Selina was fantastic. Probably the most fun overall crowd that I’ve met anywhere. Apparently a ton of travelers had all booked multi-week stays before I arrived, so they had formed a pretty strong social group by the time I was there. Americans, Brits, French, it was a little bit of everything.

I went to the room to shower, change, and charge my stuff. My laptop wasn’t charging (red flag!) but my phone charged fine. I came downstairs to dozens of folks already hanging out in the hostel bar.

Nic, a half French, half American, was an instant homie. He was from NYC but came to Lisbon to work remote.

Panda (actual name is Dries), was a Belgian guy staying in Lisbon for a month or two. He got his nickname as a teenager when he DJ’d under the name “DJ Pandastique” lol.

But the most interesting dude was this 40 year old guy named Dragan (real name!) Dragan was a Serbian multimillionaire who had started mining Bitcoin back in 2012. He was in Portugal for tax purposes to cash out of crypto and reallocate in real estate. Wild stuff.

Anyways, Thursday night pretty much our entire hostel group went out to a local bar, before ending up at some night club. The Lisbon atmosphere felt a lot like Barcelona. Everyone in the streets walking back and forth between bars and Latin music all over the place. I stayed out with the crew til 3 or so and headed back.

Friday morning I found an outdoor gym and got my second real workout in the last 10 days. Much needed. I walked all over the city to get a feel for the layout. There was an overlook near my gym where I could see all the way across the city to the bay. Pretty cool view.

After exploring the city for a few hours, I headed back to the hostel to test my laptop again. Well it wouldn’t power on. And I had two calls that afternoon where I would probably need a laptop. So that wasn’t great.

I went to an Apple store in Lisbon to evaluate my MacBook, and I was informed that it would cost $500 to fix it. And it would take 10 days for them to get the part.

Considering it was a $1000 MacBook Air and I haven’t stayed anywhere for 10 days in the last three months, I just said screw it and bought a new MacBook. Fun fact for the Americans reading this: European keyboards have a different layout.

I ended up taking one of my meetings from a McDank’s in the Lisbon mall.

It turns out another girl I had met in Croatia, Sym, was in Lisbon as well. She is a teacher in Spain, and she had traveled to Lisbon with a friend. We met up back at the hostel before heading to a rooftop bar nearby. The same hostel crew went out again, but this time we ended up on Pink Street, a famous road in Lisbon that is painted, you guessed it, pink. 

I woke up to dreary, drizzling weather all day Saturday. After grabbing breakfast from some nearby cafe, I followed my patented rule of walking uphill until I find a cool view of the city. I ended up stumbling into a fortress overlooking all of Lisbon, and the views were 🤌🏼

Saturday was a very important day, because the #1 UGA Bulldogs were playing the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. When I got back to the hostel, I whipped out the new laptop and found some illegal livestream of the game. All of the Europeans thought it was weird/hysterical that I was watching college football in the bar, but it would have been unAmerican not to do that very thing.

As you probably know, Georgia had a rough game and got wrecked. Hopefully we get a shot at round two in the National Championship. We shall see. Though it was a Saturday, I called it a night after the game. I had a 7:15 AM bus to Sevilla in the morning, and there is nothing worse than a bad hangover on a bus.

This wasn’t a great recap. Honestly, it was a pretty terrible recap. But I couldn’t really fit a great recap of 11 days into one post, and I didn’t want to make two separate posts this late. I’ll bring my A game on the next one. 10 more days in Europe before I head back to the States, hope you guys enjoy the next couple of write ups 🤝

-Jack

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