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14 Signs You Learned to Drink in Portugal

Portugal Student Work
by Sandra Guedes Oct 16, 2015

1. You accidentally got wasted with less than €10.

And you didn’t even question the waiter when by the end of the night the clay jugs were empty and the only thing left in the entremeadas tray was the pork grease.

2. You only realised you drank illegally when you turned 30.

Somehow drinking those beers with your friends Saturday night on that beach by the Atlantic was against the law. Not to forget the imperiais cortadas you had with your brother in his favourite bar when you were 15. Apparently, drinking restrictions do apply, but you hadn’t heard of them.

3. You take pride in that you know how to drink properly.

You give evil looks to those who try to get drunk as fast as they can. Drinking is not a main course, it’s a side. So, surely as common sense says, the best way of drinking is at barbeque, in an almoçorada or a jantarada worthy of kings and shared with your friends and family, like when the roasted chickens keep coming along with imperiais or clay jugs filled with sangria or vinho da casa.

4. You do not feel racist when you order outra preta por favor.

Especially because the waiter knows you’re on your second black Sagres.

5. You know you must not let the beer die.

There are a few reasons why an imperial (small draft beer) comes in a sexy small glass. But the most important is to make sure your loira (blonde) stays cool and fizzy from the moment your lips touch the froth at the top to the moment you feel ready to order another one.

6. You can speak Russian.

Or any other language you have never studied, from Romanian to Spanish and any language in between. It starts slowly as you start slurring down your speech and kicks in fast when one of your friends responds, “si, si cariño.” You might be accidentally drunk, but there is no reason not to be culturally drunk too.

7. Drinking at breakfast is only acceptable if you have not slept yet.

Especially on Sundays. If the sun is nearly on the horizon and the bakeries are already open, you might consider going for an early sugary breakfast of cake and coffee. But, otherwise, you will quickly track down the nearest roulote (food truck) and hold a bifana, prego, pita shawarma or an exceedingly tasty hot dog in one hand and a Super Bock in the other while you watch the sunrise.

8. You got drunk on a school day.

You were probably in secondary school and it was one of your colleagues birthday so you had the brilliant idea of starting the birthday celebrations at lunch time before the I.T.I. class. One hour and a few bottles of BSE later, the keys on the computer were starting to dance together.

9. Your parents gave you your first alcoholic beverage.

Most likely you were only a child and your parents were trying the latest batch of your neighbour’s homemade ginginha. Your mother, seeing how confused you were, decided to say to your dad, “desengana a menina.” Which ended with you running through the fields with the bottle in your hands when they said you could not have it anymore. A mistake they spent all of those long teenage years mending by telling you, “Only if it does not have any alcohol” every time you asked them, Can I have a beer?”

10. You walk your friends home when they are drunk.

Because none of you can mix alcohol and directions. At some point in your life, you found yourself going around a roundabout in circles, unsure of how long you had been there. And ended up choosing the wrong exit and walking several kilometres in the opposite direction. By the end you learned that it’s better to get lost together.

11. At some point you tried to convince one of your friends they should not drive home.

But he only agreed to swap seats when the police stopped you.

12. You see vodka as a good fuel to start a bonfire.

But your friends don’t. Especially if it is Absolut.

13. You know what type of wine goes with food.

And you created your own wine drinking mantra, tinto com carne, verde com marisco, branco com peixe, e cerveja com petisco (red with meat, green with seafood, white with fish and beer with tidbits).

14. Being with a cadela does not mean you own a dog.

It means you’ve drank too much licor de merda or licor beirão — or both — and now you are with a carraspana, bezana, buba, piela, tosga, gosma, bebedeira, borracheira or estar com os copos. In another words, you are drunk!

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