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How to be Portuguese...

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What can we say about the Algarve lifestyle other than it's wonderful, that's why you come here on holiday and return again and again. Long hot, idyllic summer days with cloudless blue skies and long cool evenings, that the Portuguese enjoy to the max.

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At night a billion stars above you, lead to unforgettable memories. After a few days on the beach by the sea, you will feel an exceptional slow down of your senses. You can breath deeply again. Your senses are alive. You smell the fresh sea air, taste the charcoal grilled fish or have a market fresh salad and finally have a snooze on the beach. There will never be an app for this feeling!

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Five Crowns on Alvor dunes and beach. A day to remember. Also try Restinga Ria Restaurante on the Alvor beach. If it's good enough for Prime Ministers, its good enough for us! Both have reasonable prices!

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Grilled Salmon above, Restaurant São Gonçalo, Lagos and Prawn and squid Kebab, at Cinco Quinas (Five Crowns) in Alvor.

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And of course the all time favourite, grilled sardines are found pretty much everywhere near the coast!

The Portuguese love children. They are welcome in 98% of the Algarvian restaurants. Children's portions are served or they will be happy to let you split a dish in two. They can always play on the terrace or just on the beach in front when they get bored.

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People come here for the sense of total relaxation, don't spoil it by being anxious if your dinner takes a little longer to arrive. There is never a rush in Portugal. Why would there be? Tomorrow will come as surely as the dawn follows dusk. And that is how you have to think if you are in the Algarve for a holiday. Just have another glass of the marvelous local wine or chilled beer or even a nice large local brandy.

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SPECIAL PORTUGUESE WORDS

'AMANHÃ' is a very important word in Portuguese, literally translated by 'tomorrow'. It took a lot of years living here to realize that 'amanhã' means anything but tomorrow. If a Portuguese worker tells you 'it' will be ready 'amanhã' that does not in any way mean he has said 'tomorrow', although literally he has. What they actually mean is later, later in the week, later in the month or later in the year! There is no word for 'later' better than amanhã. This is a very good lesson to learn if you spend any time here. Don't complain, you wanted to be relaxed? Cant have it both ways. If you want tomorrow to mean tomorrow go to Switzerland.

'Muito Difficil', this is another phrase that is very difficult for the foreigners to understand. Literally translated by 'very difficult'. However if you are asking a Portuguese person to do something for you, ie repair the sink, repair a broken window etc. he may say 'muito difficil, and by that he means 'No'! A 'muito difficil' will not be changed to mean, 'it is very hard, but I will do it'. NO. A 'muito difficil' is a nice way of saying 'No', and 'I have no intention, ability or desire or inclination to do it.' Immediately you know you have to find another person for the job.

Bom Dia, Tchau, Boa Tarde, Boa Noite Good day, hi/bye, Good afternoon, Good evening (after dark)

The two most important words are

Obrigado, thank you from a man

Obrigada, thank you from a woman

'Se Deus Quiser'

If you plan something for the future with a Portuguese person, they will often say ''Se Deus Quiser' , meaning quite literally, 'God willing'.

Meeting Portuguese

You can meet Portuguese everywhere, on the local transport, the mall, shopping, supermarkets, but the best place is really the pubs, coffee shops, or in the beach-side cafes.

Holidays

It is traditional for most Portuguese, who live in Portugal, to take their holidays in the month of August . There will also be returning 'immigrant' Portuguese who work away in France, Germany, Holland, Canada, USA, and Britain coming 'home' for holidays in August. Everyone wants to come to the Algarvein August. Everything is crowded from the cafes to the supermarkets, to the beach parking lots. Remember if you go early in the day, you have a better chance at everything.

And remember the crystal blue sea, the soft powdery sand, and the brilliant sunshine can lead to 'I love the Algarve' malaise, that is only cured by another visit. Come to the Algarve and enjoy! I did 33 years ago and have never really left!

And have a glass of local wine or brandy and relax!

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