Firm bodied. Smart. You are a Portuguese’s avó’s first son. I love you, but please let people pass. People are trying to walk by you but we cannot because your in the middle of the street, road, or beco.
Sadly, this plead won’t happen because this is Portugal and people stand in the middle of the sidewalk and have zero concern for other walkers.
Read more if you want to know more about those paragraphs (but honestly that’s the whole article. Go home kiss your kids..we done here.)
The Portuguese are some of the most fastidious walkers in the world and I decided to do a companion piece on their standing. Yes standing. We will stand firm.
The history of standing in Portugal goes back to the Roman times when the ancient Portuguese had to stand strong against the Moors, Spaniard, Tropical Climate and the short skirts of the local ladies. We will stand firm they told their wives. Double meanings I think?
In their collective learning how to stand they didn’t think one ounce about people around them. Zero because they had to be Portuguese.
- A small sidewalk, stand in the middle to defend you honor (or your futbol club).
- A large sidewalk in middle of the city, kiss for 20 minutes then hold arm in arm 8-deep to show you love your neighbor (and his/her neighbor and so on. you get the point).
- A parking spot. Park in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a garage and don’t leave your number on windshield so that people can contact you either via looking at your plates or just yelling “imbecil no renault”.
The Portuguese don’t give a shit about people around them. It’s like a bubble they have. They don’t notice their surrounding other then people who are pickpockets, sexy girls, cute babies, foreigners, their boss, Brazilians, random Angolan, the neighbor, emo kids or happy dogs. If you aren’t in that category then you don’t exist. They will stand firm.
How bad does not existing look? (I exist…..I think)
A Portuguese person will stand in the middle of Cais do Sodre, directly outside of the escalator on their mobile and not realize you grabbing their ass. I have seen it happen people. Full butt grab and girl shrugs it off. I would not retry this gentlemen’s experiment because it could get you beat-up or at least a blood feud….wait do we have those here in Portugal. Oh we do. That is for another article.
So I am walking and a weird guy (hairy dirty type who doesn’t shower…you know who you are) walked by a girl and did a full hand plant on a girl a behind, followed by a smile in Cais do Sodre and she on her cellphone didn’t realize or care. This is how they stand.
She brushed it off then told her girlfriend how shitty people are in Portuguese. Be it she was in the middle of the station, hundreds of people going up the escalator, zero movement. People couldn’t get out of the metro because she was in the middle. Zero f* given.
Don’t go to malls people. You will be freaked out. They stand in the mall like and will not even notice you.
Now the average salary here is less then 10k a year but the malls are packed. People need to buy those fake Adidas pantsuits or make believe they are ghetto rich.
When you are mall walking, looking at various items to buy in Colombo or in Oriente you will see the groups. These groups are people who don’t give a shit. Could be teen girls, could be husbands with wives on shopping spree or could be window shoppers thinking if the same piece of plastic that says Adiddas means something (trust me made 1-workshop down it’s a fakey).
As they window shop they will stop at doorways, at windows at places that make no sense. They will stand in the middle of any walkway to bathrooms, food courts, shopping or display window. They will stand firm.
So how have I adapt to Portugal’s ” We will stand firm.” – policy? I haven’t yet. My joints want to move as I cannot look at a thing in the window for more then 30-seconds without decide if I am going to buy or move on. I don’t know, maybe it’s the millennial in me but really…stare at window for 4-minutes then call your cousin Joao to ask if his son Nuno’s size is 50. Then get 10-people on the other line saying they think he’s a 48, no wait a 52. Get the bigger size it’s better. Thank you avo but you’re 38 and should be walking the mall looking for fun or good deals vs standing in the middle of the window stopping me from walking.
Last week we went for Friday drinks at our local quiosque . It is near Marques Pombal but the walking area is quite small. I with a drink in hand moved as people walked by. My Portuguese friends kept joking I was “swaying” because I had too much to drink. Eu não fiz. I was drinking Pedras (sparkling water), I just didn’t want to bump into people.
Portugal has done a massive marketing campaign over the last few years. Millions of new tourists seeing the beauty of Lisbon and Porto. Tuk Tuks everywhere (I hate them) and new monies coming into the government coffer providing excellent healthcare and increasing quality of life. But I ask you my Portuguese friends. Move. Just a tad for your fellow countryman/woman or visitor.
You’re not as skinny as you think and your screaming kid could get run over by a chinese tour group (happened to me in Rome actually. Was insane).