Nothing has changed

On our last day in Portugal, as I watched Rita packing things, whilst the little man napped, I started to think of what new things we spotted on this visit.

I tend not to pay much attention to what’s happening in Portugal in the broader sense. I follow the dire political & economic scenes but apart from that I’m pretty much oblivious to what is trendy or not over there, so I try to spend a bit of time discovering what’s in whenever we visit.

We always had plenty of foreign shows that have been adapted to our country, like in many places, but one of the things I’ve noticed is that it seems that everything that is on national telly is pretty much based on foreign stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love, whilst I cringe, to watch these adaptations.

‘The Voice’ is pretty big at the moment. There must be a sort of guideline to determine what sort of people are deemed as judges. We’ve got all the budget versions of the elderly music legend, the black dude with shades, the guy that no one knows who he is & of the girl. In this case the girl is actually someone no one knows who she is but really tries to be gutsy, like her role model. Jessie J.

The show served a dual purpose as it made me realise who is the trendy music act of the moment and that man is Anselmo Ralph, with a song that’s been released 3 years ago. This seems to be the norm in Portugal. Nothing wrong with his music, pretty catchy actually but the fact that even a Portuguese speaker, that has strong roots to our country, reminded me that, in general, music is actually pretty slow to reach here and that is quite weird for a country that hosts so many quality music festivals.

What’s even sadder is that Pimba is still a thing… As you will would see & hear on this year’s Eurovision folly in a few days time, if Suzy had actually gone through. If you are remotely interested in Pimba music, think of it of the kind of music Jordan (that’s her name right? The one that had kids with Peter Andre) makes and multiply it by 100. That bad. This will show you how bad it is. And this isn’t the worst example.

Going back to telly adaptations, Masterchef has arrived too. This time the copied version is the Australian one. But… Full of product placement. Drama. And, from what I saw, not that good food. Which is a shame as Portugal is full of great food & ingredients.

And if this isn’t enough to convince you Portuguese telly is absolute shite (apart from the odd exception), all you need to do is watch a bit of the news and spend 20 minutes of your life watching them cover a story about 3 cruise ships docking in Lisboa… They were interviewing everyone & everything…

Oh well. At least there’s always Benfica. You might not care but Benfica is now in the Europa League final & they won the national league. Those are big news. There were more people out in the streets to commemorate than to protest against a corrupt, cheating & unfair government. Football is king. Can’t say I don’t like it. Our little man is ready to support Portugal on the World Cup with his fancy new jersey but the sense of disappointment, anguish & dissatisfaction that the Portuguese people seem to not be able to break out of is frustrating. Benfica seems to be the glimmer that saves the nation.

What else? On a country where coffee is really popular, when I say popular it is normal for an average person to drink about 4 espressos (our bica) per day, Nespresso has conquered. By doing that it provoked a boom of similar coffee makers from almost every coffee company, cheaper and in some cases better than the original. The one I actually was curious about was the Nescafé one as you could get hot choc capsules from it & tea too. I liked that!

Feels like nothing has changed since we moved to the UK 9 years ago. Beaches are still amazing. Sun is still warm. Lovely holidays.