Photo: eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

15 Signs You've Become Culturally Portuguese

by Sandra Guedes Jan 22, 2016

1. You have heard of Mr. White Rock, befriended a Mr. Curly, work with a Mr. Rabbit and live with a Mr. Olive Tree.
And you face it all naturally now — even when the secretary says, “Mr. Little Chicken will be with you briefly.”

2. It’s no longer confusing that the people around you are using two forms of ‘you.’
Actually if in the beginning it felt strange, now you have fully embraced it. You treat your friends as “tu” and save the “você” for their parents. And when your friend’s mother replies, “A senhora está no céu,” you know she is not the lady who is in heaven but you now have permission to treat her also as “tu.”

3. You’ve found yourself telling other expats that Portugal once owned half the world.
“What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Tordesilhas Treaty?”

4. You only really drink Portuguese wine now.
Your taste buds gotten used to green wine, white wine and red wine, but not so much rosé. You’re constantly filling your glass with Monte Velho and you’ve even felt brave enough to try the wines with strange names like Mata Queimada and Papa Figos. When someone suggests a wine from a different country you think, “What do you mean there are others?”

5. You cannot make it through the day without visiting the coffee shop.
Even it is after dinner, you will make it there. It’s time to catch up with your friends, greet your neighbours and discuss the solutions for the world’s biggest issues.

6. You’ve been invited to at least one Portuguese wedding or christening and you know exactly what you’re going to eat there.
Even before you look at the menu. You’ve started playing a guessing game before you get out of the house, and you feel very disappointed if rissóis de camarão, rissóis de carne, pastéis de bacalhau, mixed salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing, bread, olives and fish soup are not on it.

7. It’s not funny anymore when someone says they live in Roasted Meat (Carne Assada) or Fat Head (Cabeça Gorda).
You went from giggling, to laughing out loud, to barely keeping a straight face, but now you ask yourself, “What was so funny about it?”

8. Coffee doesn’t keep you awake all night long anymore.
If in the beginning drinking a minimum of three strong espressos per day broke your sleep barriers, now you can accept all the coffee your friends offer and still have a good night sleep.

9. You’ve chosen your favourite coffee brand.
From the obvious Delta to Chave d’Outro, only one of them fills your cup.

10. You don’t get it when someone asks you what your favourite coffee chain is.
Can’t I just choose a café from Rua dos Cafés?

11. It’s not weird when your friends show up unannounced.
And when they do call to find out if you’re home, it’s suspicious. You want to ask: “O que é que queres?”

12. You feel slightly disappointed when you have cod back in your home country.
After eating Bacalhau à Brás, Bacalhau à Lagareiro, Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo for long enough, when someone serves a different kind of cod you feel you should demand an explanation, “What do you mean it isn’t salty?”

13. But you know Portugal is not the only country with delicious salty cod dishes.
You’d never say it out loud though. Or admit to it when someone suggests other areas of the world are pretty good at cooking cod too.

14. You’ve started going for a run every morning.
Not because you like to exercise, but because you’ve been putting on weight ever since you landed in the country. But you do not mind, you know that the more you run, the more meals you can eat.

15. You’ve realized eating snails isn’t a French thing.
If you thought that before, it was because you hadn’t been to Portugal yet. Now you’ve watched a sunset on an esplanade in Ribeira d’Ilhas or in Guincho, facing the Atlantic after spending the day falling of your surfboard over and over again. There are only three things you need, a Portuguese friend, imperiais and plates filled with tasty snails. It’s moments like these that make you wonder “Why? Oh why, didn’t I move here earlier!?”

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