Thursday, November 3, 2011

Playing Frogger in Lisbon

There's an old video game from the 80s called Frogger in which the player must direct frogs safely across a street, dodging vehicles and whatnot. During a recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal, my travel companion D and I found ourselves playing a similar game. However, this was the real life version and not on a road. We were playing Frogger on the sidewalk and the "vehicles" were the people who stand in front of restaurants and try to entice (or ensnare, depending on how one views it) unsuspecting pedestrians into eating at their restaurant. We tried to dodge their advances and avoid being sucked into the restaurant, practically running through the corridor.

Unfortunately, the staff members were quite devoted to recruiting us. D is especially unhappy about such advances so as we gained an unfortunate tag-a-long, she irritably said she was from Canada when asked her place of origin. Of course the interloper wanted to know where from and he suggested Quebec. That was going to be her original answer, so she shouted "Toronto!" as we hightailed it out of the danger zone.

Once we had successfully completed our game of live Frogger, I asked her why she said Toronto and not Quebec (we actually do hail from Quebec, somewhere along the line). D had decided that if she was going to lie (which she usually doesn't), she was going to lie big.

After reading this, it would be no far stretch for the reader to think, "Well, have they ever considered just saying 'no thank you'"? Yes, we have definitely tried that. It doesn't seem to make a difference for the very devoted staff.
Feel free to chime in below: how do you respond to those guys (or ladies) who stand out front of restaurants and are very in your face as they try to get you to eat there?

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