Those of you, who have read my two-piece text about me dealing with the Portuguese culture (Thanks, I appreciate that.), might have already figured out that I am pretty confused by a few things. But I can tell you, there are plenty of other facts that make me freak out on a daily basis. Here is a list of weird things in Lisbon compared to my home country Austria:
weird/cool things in supermarkets
- The price for colored noodles is the same as not-colored noodles. (yay)
- I don’t know how to pronounce that brand, but I love pingo doce. (for my Austrian readers: equivalent to Clever and sBudget, but still cheaper than these)
- Many product labels are in German.
- Much more product labels are in Portuguese. (thank you, internet-god for online dictionaries)
- Every time at the cashier: “amewoiweneoadjads = Do you need an extra bag?” (At least I think that’s what it means.) Me: no. (Hoping that the Spanish word “no” is also “no” in Portuguese.)
- And my favorite: They sell colorful toilet paper!
closed metro stations
Now this makes me appreciate the naively trustful underground system in Vienna, where you don’t need to scan your ticket every f* time you enter the metro station. Thanks, Wiener Linien. (Austrian metro operator)
Oh.. and by the way: Great thanks to the Wiener Linien for operating the trains through the whole night during the weekend. 😀 –> Which brings me to the next point, since I have to take a taxi when staying out later than 1am:
A few days ago when I took a taxi home, the driver kept talking to me in Portuguese and after telling him twice that I don’t understand anything he is saying, I just went on replying to him “mmh :)”. I tipped him quite generously, because I guess he was saying nice things. 😀
“first name, last name” instead of “last name, first name”
Imagine someone asking you for your name, because they want to tick it off a list. What would you tell them first? Well, since on the list the last names are in an alphabetical order, I would say my last name first. WRONG! Believe me, this has already happened to me a couple times, when someone was NOT able to find me on a list because the people were listed with their first names first. WHAT? I mean, now that I think about it, it’s not that weird after all, since some people might have much more confusing last names than first names, but it’s just not how it is done in Austria.
This happened to me when I picked up my monthly ticket for the metro. On the form, that I filled out it said: “How do you want your name to be written on the card?” Of course, I write: “last name, first name”. It took the man at the office about 5 minutes (usually it’s done in 15 seconds) to find my ticket. During that time he also made 2 calls to whoever might have it. Same situation when receiving my student ID card, applying for the language course and at the student union’s welcome dinner.
slippery floors – EVERYWHERE
In many parts of Lisbon (at least in the areas where I have been so far.) tiles were being used to build the sidewalks. When you think about it, they put a lot of effort in it to make it look really cute, which is nice. BUT one thing no one thought about back then is that it is going to be a tiny, little problem when you 1) either walk fast/run or 2) you walk down or up the hills (of which Lisbon definitely has more than you can imagine) with shoes that have no grip . By now, I have managed not to fall, but since I know myself very well, falling down in the tough streets of Lisbon will surely happen during my exchange semester. When you plan a trip to Lisbon anytime soon, make sure you bring your hiking boots. 😀
Well, you never stop learning. Ok, bye!