We always like to try and speak the language of the country we are in. I think its good manners to not expect everyone to speak English just because you do and we did fairly well at it in Spain – granted hubby is more of a linguist than I am but I still made a valiant effort.
Then we arrived in Portugal and after a few weeks gave up the idea of mastering even the basics. All I can say is that Portuguese is a very odd language to get to grips with. It sounds nothing like Spanish which was greatly disappointing to me given that we are no more than 30 miles from the border.
No, it sounds more like we are in Eastern Europe as it is very clipped and crisply spoken. I am ashamed to say that I only have a few phrases that I can speak – ‘obrigado’ being the main one!!
Nightlife like most other things here is very slim on the ground and although we have valiantly attempted to go and discover bars and restaurants we have had about as much success as the English football team have at recapturing their 1966 victory!!
The bars around here are more like someones front parlour with wooden benches and chairs lined up outside. At all times of the day little old Portuguese men can be found sitting in these said chairs chewing the cud and whiling their days away. Sometimes they leap up and launch themselves towards the edge of the road where they teeter unsteadily on the curb causing major panic to yours truly who always seems to be driving past at the wrong time! They seem to enjoy this, almost as if they are playing chicken with you.
Cinemas are like gold dust and dvds (when you can find them) start from about 20 euros – and that is for a film that is about 10 years old – I have no idea!!??
As with the shopping I suspect that we are in the wrong area and that the more cosmopolitan and tourist areas around the coast will be different. We are off to Lisbon for the night soon to see if our theory stacks up – I will let you know!!
All my observations said and done I have enjoyed being in Portugal. We wanted somewhere off the beaten track where we could enjoy the summer in peace without the constant stream of holiday makers traipsing through the campsite and we certainly got that.
The weather has been fantastic and the Portuguese that we have encountered have been nothing but helpful, cheerful and very open and I am looking forward to seeing Lisbon and another side of this country.
However, I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t looking forward to getting back to Spain where it is a little easier to be rural and quiet but still within close enough proximity of civilisation – I think if this summer has taught me anything it is that I like a bit of both in my life!!