Tuesday, December 10, 2019


  1. Very touchy as in physical. Men greet one another with a handshake and may pat you on the shoulder. They will continue to talk while holding the hand and shoulder. As a man, I’m used to shaking another man’s hand and letting go as quick as possible. When women are good friends they may walk around holding hands. At first I thought there were many lesbians here.
  2. Instant friends. Total strangers in a bus would chat amongst themselves like old buddies. Not only to the person next to them but across the aisle and with people behind and in front of them. Even the bus driver would chip in. Not used to this. We do not even make eye contact.
  3. Well mannered kids. Kids here are very respectful towards their elders. They would help old and frail people on and off the bus and across a road. Where I come from they would have their cellphones at the ready to video tape you should you fall.
  4. Helpful to foreigners. This can be somewhat embarrassing when you get to jump the queue at hospitals and clinics. They would spot me as a foreigner (blonde and blue eyes) and call me in first. This is so they can practice English and show how hospitable the Portuguese people are.
  5. If they cannot understand English they would grab your arm and shout to the surrounding people until they find someone that does.
  6. If an English speaking Portuguese person finds that you are English they tend to latch onto you and invite you to their homes to enjoy Portuguese food and hospitality.
Got to love the people here. :)
"Os portugueses são, sem dúvida, a raça mais feia da Europa. Bem podem eles considerar a denominação de homem branco como uma distinção. Os portugueses descendem de uma mistura de judeus, negros e franceses, pela sua aparência e qualidade parecem ter reservado para si as piores partes de cada um destes povos. Tal como os judeus, são mesquinhos, enganadores e avarentos. Dos mouros, são ciumentos, cruéis e vingativos. Tal como os povos de cor, são servis, pouco dóceis e falsos e parecem-se com os franceses na vaidade, artifício e gabarolice".
John Colbatch - An Account of the Court of Portugal under the Reign of the Present King Dom Pedro II. London: s.n, 1700

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