So, you’ve just landed in Portugal, ready to start your new adventure! Before you know it, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the delightful customs of this sun-soaked land.
It’s all part of the experience.
However, there might be a few things you need to know before first.
1. The Morning Ritual
First things first, you’ll soon notice that your day doesn’t officially kick off until you’ve had your morning coffee. The usual cup of tea and a bacon sandwich will soon become a Café com Leite and a Pastel de Nata. The coffee in Portugal is almost as good as the wine! Savor that cup of coffee, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get lost in conversation with a friendly local.
2. Embracing Lunchtime Closing
When you see shops and offices closing down for lunch at 1pm, don’t despair. Despite what many expats might say to you, the staff are not all having a siesta in the back of the shop. These longish lunchbreaks are the only time for busy mums and dads to pick up children from schools that have insane timetables, take care of a relative that needs some extra help or even do some shopping. So Be patient – it is not all as it seems.
Many of the larger supermarkets are open during lunch, so go and have a coffee and another pastel de nata, and chill until they open again.
3. “Fashionably Late” Takes on New Meaning
“Arriving fashionably late is not just acceptable; it’s practically mandatory”. That is what lot’s of expats seem to think. That time here has a different dimension and if you’re punctual to a Portuguese gathering, you might find yourself in a quiet room for a while. I actually think that it is just an excuse for expats to be late and say that they are becoming more accustomed to the Portuguese way of life. I know plenty of Portuguese who are excellent time keepers.
Ah, the beloved Bifana! These porky delights are part of Portuguese culture, and you cannot say you have had the Portuguese experience until you get your lips on one of these beauties! The thinnest pork slices you have ever seen marinated in a secret magic mix of tastiness. Slapped onto a Papo-seco (soft Bread roll) with a dash of mustard. Hard for anybody to resist.
5. Pão com Chouriço
You can normally, but not always, find these in many of the local fairs. Dough stuffed with slices of the finest Portuguese chouriço and baked to perfection in a wood oven. These were often served at the ‘Danceterias’; that was where all the young people used to go to dance before all the clubs opened.
If you have never danced with a brush – you can’t become Portuguese!
6. Navigating Tourist Season
Now, let’s not forget the Portuguese. They have been living the Portuguese life for generations. They might be dealing with tourists all day, serving you their favorite ‘Bifana’, or patiently waiting for you to arrive for that coffee date, but they will do it with grace. Living on low wages, with an overstretched health system while keeping their optimism and a smile on their faces is a true talent that many Portuguese nationals have mastered.
So, as you settle into your life in Portugal, remember to savor those morning coffees, be patient, be polite, and keep your Pastel de Nata cravings in check. Life here might not be all you thought it was but it’s all part of the charm of this wonderful country!
Also, learning the language is a must and the sooner you start learning the better. Locals really appreciate it.
If you are looking for Portuguese lessons , look no further. Compact online lessons for beginners.
If you have any further questions about the Portuguese language contact me directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org