We are nearing the end of our gas canister and hubby had read on the internet that we would need a different type of regulator for it in Portugal so yesterday we went off in search of one.
Serbo at the campsite had given us the names of two shops where he thought we would get sorted and marked them on the map for us so off we went armed with the phrase we needed to ask for it all written down, dictionary in hand and optimistic hearts!!!
Into the first shop, hubby does his bit in his best Portuguese and back comes the answer ‘no’. Luckily we had a back up phrase all ready – ‘where can we get it from’ and the chap directed us to the other shop that we had been given.
So, into the second shop, same request, same answer ‘no’. This time when we asked where else we could try the chap led us out the shop and pointed us in the right direction for shop number three; which was actually a garage.
Into the garage, again we asked, again they answered ‘no’. Hmmmmm getting a bit bored of this now….. Again we asked where else we could try and this time a lot of gesticulating, looking at our map, sighing and shaking of the head ensued. The chap then went and tore off a piece of till roll and drew us a very basic map of where to try next.
So, off we trotted again in search of the elusive regulator. As we were on route to shop number four we passed the Tourist Board and so popped in to see if they could help as well. The lady there looked in her phone directory and found the same place that we were headed for next and managed to find it on our map.
10 minutes later we arrived at the fourth shop, asked again for what we needed and again got the same reply ‘no’. Then the young lad got on the phone, had a very animated conversation with his collegues, spouted off a load of Portuguese to us (which he received blank looks for) and then grabbed his car keys and indicated that we follow him!!
So we did. Like two little lemings we trotted out after him and followed him about 5 minutes back down the road until we got to a rather derelict looking garage. As we walked up to the garage a little old man appeared and shook both our hands!! Then he led us all inside to a car that a chap was working on. He had a quick word with the man in the car, the young lad said goodbye and left and we just stood there not having a clue what was going on and waited. The guy in the car finally came across and again hubby asked for what we needed. The guy then led us back outside to a stack of gas canisters and IN ENGLISH explained that we didn’t need another regulator as they were the same in Portugal as in Spain.
Lots of smiles, lots of ‘muito obrigado’s’ (many thanks) later and we were on way. Utterly exhausted,sweat pouring down hubbies face we made it a few yards back up the road before falling about laughing with relief. What a way to waste an hour or two!
So, moral of this story, stop believing everything the internet tells you and instead learn the language of the country you are in so you can converse with people and save yourself a lot of hassle!!!