Thursday, 1 October 2015

5 Things I've Learned Since Moving to Lisbon

As I currently sit and write this I have just surpassed the three week mark of living in Lisbon. Everything is so utterly and completely different from life in the UK and these past few weeks have been challenging. Settling in here has been physically and emotionally exhausting and at times also terrifying, but they have also been filled with some of the best days in my entire life. So, here I am today filling you all in on some of the things I've learned so far...

1. The concept of time in Portugal is virtually non-existent. So if you are also from the UK as I am you will know that we work long hard hours with hardly any time for leisurely activities in between where our so-called 'weekends' are actually filled with either more work or just catching up on sleep. Over here things are much slower paced and people are much more laid back with regards to work. There are no Monday morning traffic jams or angry commuters pouring onto the metro and if you fancy a cup of espresso (they call it a 'bica' here) then expect to be kept waiting a while. Don't expect anyone Portuguese to show up on time either. 

2. Scottish stereotypes are extremely ignorant and a little bit insulting. Since I arrived here in Lisbon I've lost count of the amount of times I've been asked if I drink whiskey and for people to be genuinely shocked that I don't like the stuff ("but I thought everyone in Scotland drank whiskey..."). I've also been asked numerous times about Braveheart and 'that sport you play in Scotland where you throw tree trunks' as well as the bagpipes and the Lochness monster. And if that wasn't bad enough the amount of people who have actually told me that I DON'T HAVE A SCOTTISH ACCENT. But you know I'm sort of getting used to it now. 

3. The supermarkets are always super crowded no matter when you go in. Yes every time I have been food shopping so far I have barely been able to work my way around the shop from the amount of people pouring in and out of the entrance and exit. The aisles are ridiculously narrow, and none of them even make sense!! I mean Gluten free bread beside the chopped tomatoes?! Condiments opposite the milk?! Also don't be surprised if the English name on something means something completely different for the Portuguese. Sometimes the 'milk' turns out to be cream and the 'tea' turns out to be coffee, but you get used to the element of surprise. 

4. No matter how brown you are you will never be as brown as the locals. Something I love about going on holiday is being white on arrival and coming home a good few shades darker and looking remarkably exotic beside all of my British friends. However, despite having now acquired the deep mahogany looking tan I dream of every summer I still feel pale next to the locals. And if you even so much as burn a tiny bit PEOPLE WILL JUDGE YOU like the time I put brazil nut oil on and got a burnt bum and they all laughed and looked confused because I don't even think they know what sunburn is. 

5. Unless you want to be judged then you don't 'dress up' for the club. Jeans and converse are perfectly acceptable clubbing attire while that little black dress and those platform shoes need to be left at home. I've learned that dressing up in clubs here makes you look a bit desperate and who wants to look like that really? It gets confusing though because shorts and flip flops are however NOT acceptable attire and some clubs won't even let you in as such attire is marked under 'inappropriate' on the club Facebook page. Makes sense right?

Overall, it's been a massive learning curve and I'm kind of excited to learn some more about this beautiful city and the people who live here. As much as it is scarily different from the UK there are some things that I much prefer here! 



  1. I can't believe how many people have been rude about where you are from! Hope apart from that your having an amazing time x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

    1. It's not so much rude as uneducated I think but I'm kind of used to it now haha! I'm having an amazing time though thanks :D xxxx

  2. I live in Porto (I don't know if you had the chance to visit the city yet but you definitely should ;) ) and around here things might be a bit different! You can always find a supermarket that it completely organised and where you can actually find stuff (I know some supermarkets can be a bit weird sometimes) and we never go to a club on jeans and converse! I guess it's really different the north of the country to the south area but either ways I really hope you enjoy being in Portugal :) Xx

    1. Hi ! Yeah I am really wanting to visit Porto at some point I've heard loads about it :) yeah I can imagine lisbon is really different from a lot of other places because it's so big and sooooo many students here! I'm really enjoying it though! I live with two Portuguese people and they are so lovely ! Need to start learning a bit of Portuguese though haha xxxx

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