Last Night In Lisbon – Hanging Out Where The Fake Rappers Beef

Nells 300x225 Last Night In Lisbon – Hanging Out Where The Fake Rappers Beef

We had a good 5 hour sleep and decided that since it was our last night we should try and go out. But to just where on a Monday night we had no idea! I called Helder (remember him? Say Samthing LOL) since he is club head to find out where we could go. I hadn’t spoken to him since the night of the “Say Samthing” incident, but when you are battling against language barriers, there is no room for awkwardness.

He recommended a place called “Nellooj,” (that is how he said it) It was a club in an area called Campo Grande. We thought we’d call Ruth’s American basketball friend who lives in Lisbon to see if he had heard of it. It was from him that we found out the place was in fact called NELL’S. He said about it and I quote,

“It’s a ghetto club.”

Wondering what he meant by ghetto Ruth asked him to elaborate. This is what he said, and I quote ( I know this exactly because Ruth was scribbling notes to me while she was talking):

“They are fake rappers who say they have beef with the same peeps they ride the bus with.”

Ooooooooook… I’m wondering what that has to do with the price of of bread and Ruth then asks him,

“But is it safe for us to go there?”

“Oh yeah yeah yeah, you won’t have any problems.”

On hearing this we decided that we were going to go there. The plan was to leave out by midnight, in order to catch the Metro (the Metro stations close at 1AM)

However me being me and Ruth being Ruth means that we ended up leaving the guest house at about 10 minutes to 1. We got to the metro and walked down the stairs to enter. There was a station guard closing the gate. As we tried to enter he told us that the the station was closing, so we turned away. After all if he was shutting the gate we figured there wouldn’t be anymore trains anyway. As we started walking up the stairs, a man was rushing down the stairs. Out of curiosity we turned to see what would happen. He said something and walked through the slightly still open gate. WHAT??? Quickly thinking we followed behind him, running through the gate to catch up with him. Luckily he spoke English. He told us that there were still another train or two that was going to pass through the station. He seemed sure, but it just did not make sense. Why would you close the station before the last train? The man continued on towards the tickets barriers hurriedly in a half run half walk.

It was only when we got to the ticket barriers  that we thought about tickets. We didn’t have any! We were in a panic thinking that we were going to miss the train, so Ruth went and got a ticket and I ran through on hers (just in case there were no more trains left.) In my scatterbrain state I wasn’t thinking about what would happen if there was in fact a train and a guard at the other end… which as luck would have it. There was!

Campo Grande 300x225 Last Night In Lisbon – Hanging Out Where The Fake Rappers Beef

A train came after a ten minute wait. The journey to Campo Grande took about 20 minutes. We got off the train and headed towards the exits, before which were of course some barriers and a guard. Ruth was trying to encourage me to run through on hers but with the guard not too far away I didn’t think that was a good idea. I mean even if you are a tourist, your lack of language can’t excuse squeezing through a ticket barrier on someone elses ticket, that is something you just cannot explain. Ruth passed through and then I stood on the other side rummaging through my handbag feigning ticket loss. The guard wasn’t even seem interested in what I had to say, which was good. He simply opened the barrier and waved me through without a word.

Outside the station was deserted, apart from a few taxis parked up on the side of the road. Ruth described it as,

“Like leaving South London and getting on a tube to Kentish Town in the middle of the night to arrive at nothingness.”

Unfortunately I have not been to Kentish Town so I cannot confirm this.

We walked to up to one of the taxi drivers that was parked up and asked him to take us to Nell’s, as from where we were there didn’t look like it could be that close. Apparently I was wrong. The driver told us that it was too close for him to take us and directed us. His directions weren’t that clear and we asked another two people before we actually found it. We found the place, well… we stood opposite it across a big ass road, and it was closed. There was no music, no  people, no open door, nothing. What a wasted journey.

While looking for Nell’s we had come across a large food stand, so since Ruth was hungry we headed back that way. Ruth ate a hot dog and we drank beer and listened to Ivete Sangalo on their radio singing “Poiera.” It was a strange  moment as I had played the same song the night before leaving London while Ruth was straightening my hair and now it was the last night and the same song was playing, almost as a marker of the end of the trip. While at the food stand two girls approached and asked us if we knew where Nell’s was. We told them where we had just been and that it was was closed.

It was only after the beer and hot dog, when they were long gone that we decided to go back to Nell’s to make sure it was really closed. It was them asking for the directions that prompted this mind change. Why would they be looking for Nell’s on a Monday, unless they had heard that it opened on a Monday? Plus we had only stood across the big ass road and since we had come all this way on our last night, we decided that we may as well go up to the door and make sure.

As it turns out Nell’s was open.

It had just looked closed because of the blacked out windows, the lack of queue and non earth shattering music. There was actually no security on the door, so we just wandered in. There was no need to put our coats in the cloakroom as the place was practically empty. An emptiness intensified by the fact that the place was rather large, with huge sofas and mirrors scattered around the edges of the dance floor. The few people I did see didn’t look like fake rappers who beefed on the bus! LOL They were mostly alot older in smart clothing.

Jamie the bartender came to ask us what we wanted. There was no brandy so I had whiskey and Ruth, rum. Since there wasn’t much work for Jamie to do (everyone else seemed to have bottles of spirit) he cotched on our sofa the entire night. We found out what Ruth’s friend had meant by ghetto. Instead of the usual complimentary nuts that you get in bars, they had Bombay mix with dried bananas as one choice in a bowl and salted popcorn as the other in another bowl on each table. That is kinda ghetto isn’t it?

Ruth and Jamie

Nells2 300x225 Last Night In Lisbon – Hanging Out Where The Fake Rappers Beef

If you look carefully you can see the two bowls on the table with the popcorn and Bombay Banana Mix:

 Nells3 300x225 Last Night In Lisbon – Hanging Out Where The Fake Rappers Beef

The night was pretty uneventful. We had a few drinks and then decided to leave. As we went to leave this older guy (40′s) with a group of people (his brother, brother’s wife, best friend and father, according to him) decided to stagger over and invite us to drink from his bottle. TOO LATE! Whats with that? He saw us drink plenty of drinks, but when we had our coats on, ready to leave he starts offering? He wasn’t serious. He probably thought that if he offered out of courtesy there was a possibility of taking one of us home that night.  



We made small talk, politely declined and left the place to find a taxi back to the guesthouse to sleep the hours away until check out. Monday 9th April 2007

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