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What Happens When Someone From Portugal Moves to the UK

United Kingdom Portugal Student Work
by Sandra Guedes May 29, 2015

1. As you walk around High Street you feel strangely excited. Then, you realise it’s because it has been 10 days since the last time the sun come out, and you feel it might happen today.

2. You wonder what the hell happened to meal times. Lunch is now inexplicably gone and dinner was for some reason rescheduled to 5:30pm.

3. You look around the bar slightly confused the first time your new “mate” tells you the next round is on you.

4. You have replaced the words chuva (rain), chuva miudinha (light rain) andchuva molha tolos (rain that only gets silly people wet) by drizzle, mizzle, trickle, dribble, sprinkle, light showers, spells, and spit, not to mention all the new words for rain when it’s ‘chucking it down’.

5. You were once asked to fill out a form, and you checked the ‘white’ box. You tried to explain you were told you are white. The secretary lifted her t-shirt and said: “This is white!”

6. You quickly learn that you have to say you have “olive skin”.

7. After making lots of strangers uncomfortable by hugging and kissing them on the cheeks when you first meet them, you realise the trick is to buy them a drink first and greet them later.

8. Your tea consumption goes from a cup of an herbal tea per month to 5 cups of PG tips per day. But you still are keeping the faith that you will someday find that Portuguese coffee shop…

9. You realise you do not talk about the weather to break the ice anymore. It is serious bus stop talk during the day, and a great way to make new friends outside a bar at night.

10. You walk over to the tin section in the supermarket only to check if the canned sardines are from Portugal. And you don’t even like sardines.

11. You arrive to a new city and instead of looking at the local attractions, the first thing you do is start frantically looking for a Portuguese coffee shop that sells Delta.

12. During the winter, as you walk in friend’s warm and cosy apartment you always say a personal prayer to the ‘Gods of Central Heating’ and take ¾ of your clothes off.

13. You start organising more house parties and going out less – that way the price of the rounds goes down considerably.

14. You start using the money you saved on drinks to organise your own Portuguese party buffet with all kinds of finger food: rissóis de camarão, croquetes de carne, chamuças, and you of course don’t forget to include pastéis de bacalhau.

15. In August, you swap the sun block cream you had previously packet by the least protective sun tan lotion you can find at Boots and consider hopping in a sun bed to finally gain some colour again.

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