Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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10 Things I Love…..

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Things are pretty good around these parts at the moment after our recent complications. So here’s a little list of the things currently making us smile.

1. SMILES FROM STRANGERS – It occurred to me yesterday that so many interactions with people here involve a smile and a “Bom Dia,” – from visiting a butcher or a market stall or walking past someone on a quiet beach, people here are generally rather pleasant to one another. This is a stark contrast to living in London where a lot of interactions involved scowling and the use of the word “wanker.”

2. WEATHER – Yes, I know I am like a broken record about this, but now the rain has stopped, the sun seems to shine for at least some of every day – it’s just so much easier to be cheerful.

3. OUR NEW APARTMENT – We would never have realised it while we were still in the UK, but we are far more suited to this modern place than we were to a leaky damp traditional townhouse – sunny days or cosy nights, we feel lucky to be here.

4. CABLE TV – After waiting four months and encountering lots of red-tape related hassle, we now have proper TV. We can finally watch the American trash everyone talks about on Facebook so we don’t have to feel left out, and we can also watch Portuguese kids TV to help us with the language…….AND it rewinds, records and all sorts!

5. THE SMELL OF ORANGE BLOSSOM – Everywhere at the moment and beautiful.

6. WALKING – Tavira was a very nice town to live in, but the ability to walk

Flowers spotted on a walk

Flowers spotted on a walk

for ten minutes and smell the sea is worth any number of extra shops and restaurants. We have also discovered several beautiful walks nearby – coastal, woodland, hills and a nature reserve all at our fingertips. We love it.

7. HEARING CRICKETS AND FROGS FROM THE TERRACE – (rather than traffic and chavs.)

8. BEER WITH A BURGER – Yes, I know I have a food and wine blog, but we all have a hankering for junk food occasionally, and I love the fact that Burger Ranch, the Portuguese equivalent of McDonalds, offers a glass of beer as part of a meal deal. Very civilised….and their burgers are freshly made and really rather good 🙂

9. BROADBAND – Proper broadband finally, rather than a pricey 3G stick – welcome back Youtube, Skype, Soundcloud, and luxuries like antivirus updates!

10. TIME – Yes, we do have less of it than we had hoped – we still always feel like we have too much to do, but at the same time we are listening to a lot of music and reading plenty of books – things we never had time for in England.

What about the bad?

I always like to give a fair contrast. At the moment things are generally positive, but in the interests of balance, here are a few things that have pissed me off in the last week.

1. MEAT – It may have a use by date a week away, but if you open it any more than a couple of days after you buy it here, there is a fair chance it will be off. Irritating, but possible to work around.

2. MOSQUITOES – Everywhere…..and they can smell the blood of an Englishman.

3. CERTAIN BRITS – “2 LARGE BEERS!” does not make for a respectful greeting in a cafe. Just learn “Ola” before you come here for crying out loud.

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  1. Olivia says:

    I absolutely agree with all 10 points. 🙂 Well, besides no. 3 but in 2 weeks I’m going to be in my V2 (so I do might agree with the “our new apartment”). I’m very curious about the life and how our move will be. 🙂 Soon to be found out.



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