Not Living In Lisbon

I left Lisbon. I had to - needs must and all that. I'm back in the UK, freezing my imagined nuts off in the wilds of Yorkshire.

The Portugeezer followed me. Apparently he loves me just that little bit more than he loved Lisbon. I have yet to conclude as to whether that's a good or a bad thing, considering how many culture clashes we now seem to experience.

As an example, meal times can be pleasant affairs, on occasion they can be downright merry. On the other hand, I think that we have, at least twice, declared the Anglo-Portuguese alliance null and void.

I can tell when a meal's going to turn into the equivalent of the Somme due to the following two words, words that the Portugeezer tends to use as an opener whenever he's feeling piqued about ...

"you English ..."
Those two words are the Dinner Death Knell. They're also used to signify that I, me, one UK born citizen out of how many million(?) am the whole nation. I'm like his own personal UK Head Of State. The Queen if you will.

Only I hate small yappy terriers and would happily choke the shit out of anyone that bobbed, curtsied and tugged their forelock anytime I swam into their vision.

Without fail, those two words always precede a slow descent into the blame game, one that includes accusations such as:
  • how crazy you English are
  • how much you English don't appreciate what you have
  • you English don't know a thing about being poor
  • you English just take ... take take take
  • and so on
You could say that the problem stems from his frustration at how cavalier we English are about certain aspects of our culture, our country, and the way in which we don't appear to know a good thing when we see one.

Personally I think it's because we English won't let the Portuguese drink on his lunchtime, or smoke in his workplace or, heaven forbid, call round to our apartment without a three week warning.

You can take the Portuguese out of Portugal but you can't take the Portugal out of the Portuguese.

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