I was asked to write an article about the Portugal brand or to write about the impact of inflation or interest rates on the real estate market, but as I recently came across the testimony of a Brazilian citizen about her experience in Portugal, I saw that it reflected much of the good that Portugal, and thus I had to leave the technicalities of interest and inflation to others.
Portugal is not perfect, it is far from it. In fact, we humbly have to accept that our country lacks metropolises, perhaps the bold architecture of a capital like Madrid, or a specific "context" such as the city of London or the magnificent buildings of Paris. Instead, Portugal has everything that other capitals already have. When we leave the airport and head towards downtown Chiado, it seems that we have stopped in time... It is a country of mild customs; it is a country of virtues and traditionalism.
To start gastronomy, the French would learn that those dishes with tiny portions don't make everyone happy; the Germans would discover other side dishes besides the potato; and the English would learn everything from scratch. Cod and pastel de nata? No, there is a whole world of flavors, mixtures of sweet and salty, gastronomic experiences rooted in culture and traditions. The pork is from Alentejo and the Porto wine is from Porto. And the bread? There is no bread like what is made in the Portuguese bakeries.
Portugal is perhaps one of the oldest countries in the world. We were known as discoverers, but now discoveries are made with thousands of citizens from around the world who seek to develop their activities in this corner of Europe. The world should know how to connect the land to family and history, as the Portuguese do when they join their grandfather or grandmother or godfather and godmother for any celebration. Living from and with history connects us to our origins. It is no wonder that our emigrants maintain connections to their lands of origin by buying and investing in these regions. And if some say that Portugal still lives in the past, I'm sure that's what makes us have such deep and strong cultural roots.
The world should have more of the balance between rigidity and the affection that the Portuguese have. Every language should contain warmth in everyday words like the Portuguese language does. In Portugal, words are mixed with slangs in the streets, in family conversations, and in long meals that are shared with friends under a cork oak somewhere in Alentejo. The playful use of diminutives, names, and nicknames that are used commonly among co-workers, friends, family, or simply on the street with the employee who recognizes us from always going to the same place to drink coffee.
While everyone accelerates, in Portugal you don't run. We enjoy the sunset, the width of our deserted beaches, the green mountains, the waterfalls in the rivers, the alleys of our cities, the castles and other monuments... time stops and allows ourself to enjoy the moment more.
In short, Portugal is much more than the sum of its parts, culture, gastronomy, history, people, regions, rivers, seas, beaches. I was asked to write about real estate, which is in great demand from clients from different backgrounds, who perhaps also do so because they understand that the quality of life in Portugal is not just about spending less money than they usually spend, but because in little more than 92000 m2 of surface, the country has a lot of life and a lot of diversity.
There are a lot of truths in that column, most of which are left me nodding in agreement. But Portuguese food is hardly a thing to boast about. This is a wonderful country but only the foolhardy or the inexperienced can truly say that Portugal has good food. To use your comparison of UK and Germany, London is without doubt one of great food cities and the bread in Germany is a dream compared to the dreary Alentejo loaf. But hey ho, there is more to life than food and this country remains one of THE great destinations of the world.
By David from UK on 27 Jul 2022, 16:41
Portugal is 92,000 square kilometers, not 92,000 square metres! The latter would be less than 10 hectares, the size of a medium farm.
@David, the food is great in Portugal. You can't compare to London with its extortionate prices, snobbery and pretentiousness, all typically absent from Portugal. You've never tried delicious grlled sea bream or Alentejo pork with salted potatoes? There are a few delicious wines too, and not necessarily the most expensive ones are best.
By Billy Bissett from Porto on 27 Jul 2022, 21:28
I have lived in 8 countries, now I live in Portugal. Yes, Portugal is not perfect, but it has potential to become one of the safest and nicest countries in Europe. The only way the Portuguese can mess this up is by following EU dictates.
The reason Western Europe has been in such terrible decline, is because family, tradition and conservative values have been eroded. So Portuguese people, think long and hard, before you trip over yourself, trying to please a master who is currently destroying their own; he will destroy you too without batting an eye.
By Hart from Lisbon on 28 Jul 2022, 07:00
I agree with everything written in this article.
I recently moved to Portugal and fell under its beauty.
I would not compare the food and bread with my country : it's cultural after all. But , I really love how Portuguese are attracted to their families: it doesn't make feel homesick as it's the same lifestyle in my country.
Finally , Portugal is the most wanted destination: a charming country to visit and lovely people to meet and live with.
By Willy from Lisbon on 28 Jul 2022, 08:21
So true about how we've found life in Portugal. It is an absolutely wonderful place to live, warts and all. The Portuguese are also a fantastic friendly, warm race of people. I love it here and have no desire to go back to the UK.
By Marion Verling from Algarve on 28 Jul 2022, 11:06
Yes it's great if your a tourist or rich. We live on nothing. !!!!!
By J from Lisbon on 28 Jul 2022, 17:26
not perfect, but pretty well sorted
By Ian from Other on 28 Jul 2022, 19:08
J, leave Lisbon. Central Portugal is cheap and the people are friendly.
By Ian from Other on 29 Jul 2022, 07:14