I don’t like the drugs, but the drugs (or at least dealers) like me…

Visiting Lisbon has so far been a very fun experience, so if I'm to put my finger on one specific thing on the negative side, it has to be the ridiculous amount of drug dealers here. Or at least, the apparent drug dealers.

Rossio Square

Rossio Square

In Oslo, Norway, where I'm from, I have never been approached by anyone trying to sell me drugs of any kind. In just a few of days here in Lisbon I have lost count of the number of times this has happened. Though i doubt this is what Marilyn Manson had in mind when he wrote song from which I borrowed the title, it seems to fit a little too well here. Do a quick google search and you'll see this is pretty normal here.

During a walk through the Baixa area, I asked a couple of police officers about it, and they told us that many of the dealers are actually just selling sugar and spices, making it difficult to arrest them because they will be looking at a wrongful arrest if the perpetrator actually does not have drugs on them. Dealers usually move to the next street whenever the police patrol the streets, but whenever the coast is clear, they'll be in your face right away. He was also geniunely embarrased that this was going on on his watch.

So, if this is your thing, you might enjoy it, or maybe risk overpaing for a bag of oregano. Personally I find it irritating to have people approach me like this on a near constant basis here.

However, in the big picture, this is just a small stain that isn't enough to ruin the impression of this beautiful city.


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