Portugal A to Z – G to I

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G is for Golf

Everyone knows that the Algarve is home to a vast number of world-class golf courses.

While I am rather partial to a game, these courses are sadly off-limits to me right now as I am what I believe proper golfers call a “hacker,” and not in possession of a handicap certificate.

“I must sort out those golf lessons” is one of the statements that would make me rich if I were paid a Euro every time I uttered it, but I genuinely do intend to organise something soon. Great views, sunshine, and a hobby that gives me excuses to buy lots of gadgets and special equipment – what’s not to like?

Golf at Quinta da Ria
Golf at Quinta da Ria

So if you find yourself on an Algarve golf course in the coming months, and you spot an English guy searching for a ball in the undergrowth while real golfers tut and say things like “all the gear and no idea,” there’s a chance we may have crossed paths!

One other thing about golf: on our many flights to Faro, the golf bags always seem to be the first luggage off the plane and onto the baggage belt. My wife is considering purchasing a large golf bag and using it instead of a suitcase to speed our progress through the airport. I think she’s joking, but I’m not completely sure…

H is for Home

I am pleased to say that Portugal is now definitely the place we see as “home.”     This has both positives and negatives. The positives generally relate to a feeling of belonging – having a specific stall we always go to at the market, bars where people know us, and knowledge of shortcuts around the summer traffic.

Algarve - Home
Algarve – Home

This local knowledge also has a part to play in the negatives. Understanding Portuguese means we can now get angry about local politics as well as those in England. The fact we pay tax here now, and know how much more we pay than we did in England gives us a legitimate axe to grind when things don’t work as they should.  Finally, we’ve now been here long enough to know that however hard we cross our fingers, there is still going to be a winter at some point.

I is for IVA and IMTT

IVA is the Portuguese equivalent of VAT. It’s 23%, and makes our utility bills gargantuan. IMTT is the Portuguese equivalent of the DVLA, dealing with things like driving licences and car registration. It’s the place my wife goes when she doesn’t have enough stress in her life.

On the bright side, I is also for my new iPhone, which makes me happy. It’s nothing to do with Portugal, but I couldn’t resist mentioning it.

iPhone 4s - My New Toy
iPhone 4s – My New Toy

At this time in 2010…..we were doing a lot of exploring of our new home, taking in beaches, woods and lakes. Read about it here.

Image credits: acrib, nigeljohnwade

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Someone HAD to do golf, really, didn’t they? I’m not a fan myself but it’s obviously very popular, especially in your neck of the woods.

    I also see Portugal as my home and you made me laugh with the bit about the IMTT! Must get myself an iPhone instead 🙂

  2. The iPhone has the wonderful added value of giving you something to play with while you are wait in line at your local municipal offices.

  3. Thanks for doing G is for Golf Ben – now we don’t have to do it as it has been covered LOL!
    never been a fan myself – I love it when people find out you are in the Algarve and they instantly say ‘oh do you play golf then?’ @@!!??!
    Erm – no! 🙂
    ‘a good walk spoilt’ I think is the famous quote?!
    PS – nice iPhone!

  4. I’ll admit that I’m also partial to this game but I’ve never golfed in Portugal.
    I like the quote that Alyson added. Along the same lines, I have a fridge magnet that says: “Golf consists of a lot of walking broken up by disappointments and bad arithmetic.”

  5. Well, perhaps I will be the first one amongst us to get on an Algarve course, although I must confess I STILL haven’t got round to it.

    Best wishes to all + lol @ Ana re iPhone in council office queues!

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