Today Laura and I were invited to learn more about the Consular section of the embassy. It was very interesting and extremely different from the activities of the Pol/econ section, which was a welcome opportunity to understand the foreign service more deeply. We had so many questions for everyone working there that we basically ran out of time! but the amazing consul chief made sure to herd us along if we were in one place for too long.

This afternoon was the Hail and Farewell ceremony, among other things, and I found this paper plate after the event was over and I was eating the baked bries and berries and cookies that were catered:

I thought it was very funny. There has to be such a good story about Julio involved. Who was speaking at the time this was written? What did the plate look like when the note was passed–did it have food on it to be inconspicuous? I am probably getting too far into this, haha.

This evening I tried a second time to make Biang Biang noodles, and this time, I was much more successful. The noodles pulled well–though I don’t have a photo to prove it. I waited the specified three hours for the dough to rest, so that was pretty crucial. anyway. I also made tofu for the first time, and I fried it to a crisp in a pan–though I could have seasoned it better. next time I’ll cut it smaller so there’s more surface area too. But yeah! it was a culinarily successful day.

the “gherkins” of noodle dough, almost ready to roll out and stretch!

Below you see the Pressing of the tofu (to dry it out before soaking it in flavors–I wasn’t so good at the flavor soaking part so the tofu tasted kinda bad).

Now most of the excitement of the week should be over and I can start preparing for the craziness of next week, with the 4th of July and all. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by–and there’s so much I still want to do in Lisbon alone, not to mention the rest of Portugal and the surrounding countries. aghghghgh….

Much love!