Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Start feeling positive...

So I'm a bit sick of all the bad news. In fact, a bit sick is probably putting it lightly. Portugal is bottom of the list in everything, Portugal is going to default on its debt and Portugal is the smallest, worst, ... bla, bla, bla!

I choose to live in Portugal - I could move to the UK or US in a heartbeat because I am British as well as Portuguese and my husband and children are US nationals. I've decided to make a point, though, of remembering why we choose to live here, so this blog is going to be all about why Portugal is worth it.

I know all about the bad stuff, but I'm choosing not to highlight it here, so... if anyone is reading please keep your downers to yourself, but if you've got any good stuff to add or helpful suggestions then go for it.

It's going to include some very trivial as well as some very serious positive things about this small corner of Europe, but it will certainly not be mentioning Fado, Fátima or Football... there are better places to discuss all three of those.

So, here we go. Enjoy the ride.


  1. I took a fellow Rhode Islander, who visited Portugal some years ago, to a one of these “festas” that seem to take place every weekend in the summer just outside Lisbon in the “zona saloia”. A sort of county fair. For some reason I’ve never forgotten what he told me: “this is like the US was about 30 years ago.” Some people may take this comment in negative way, but it clearly was meant to be positive and there are a lot of positively positive things that can be taken from this. There are still loads of things that are done the old fashioned way in Portugal. I’m not talking about pretending or re-enacting. I’m talking about the real deal. Stomping on grapes with your feet for wine. Making cheese with your hands. Taking on a young bull for fun. Planting “couves” in your front yard - it’s beautiful as well as practical! There’s something to be said about a country that does not have every single thing regulated and homogonized with other countries. Yes, Portugal may be known for football, but it has other quirky and interesting sports like “hóquei em patins” or games that are still played in villages like “malha”. Sure, everyone knows “fado”, especially as it recently got UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage award, but how about “canteres alentejanos”, “ranchos folclóricos” or “música de intervenção”? Handicraft – there is just too much to mention here. In Portugal you can still go out for a meal, call a plumber, not to mention a number of other basic things, without feeling like you got ripped off. The three Fs: Fado, Fátima and Football. I personally would change one of these to… FOOD! Actually maybe two of these. Or how about creating an alternative to this, like the three Ss: Sunshine, sardines and… can you think of anything?

  2. I'll make sure to highlight some of those things. Thanks.