Being Portuguese

I've tried very hard at being Portuguese since I came to Lisbon. Very hard indeed.

I was never one for drinking much of anything, above coffee. Or the type that would drift from café to café like an itinerent hobo hoping to keep warm. These days, I drink far too much wine and spend inordinate amounts of time in cafés, if for nothing other than because everyone else is doing the same.

The only difference between me and the Portuguese though, is the fact that I always feel a little guilty. They quaff alcohol with wild abandon and amble from café to café with well heeled aplomb. I'm a lot less well heeled and a little more towards furtive.

The British culture doesn't factor in all day drinking and aimless non-reasons for idling away quality time in dens of caffeine iniquity. Oh no, we Brits binge drink on weekends or after work and only enter a café to grab a quick cuppa, not as a means of socialising with friends and family.

Yes - we've got such habits prioritised quite nicely, thankyou.

Besides which, I have a confession to make. I was just 40 the first time I tried Sangria. I was in downtown Lisbon, Bairro Alto to be exact. Somehow, between the hours of ohhhhh say 21:00 and f**k if I know, I got seriously leathered.

The Sangria kicked off my evening rather nicely. Having never tried it before, I discovered an instant 'like it? I love it' feeling. From there, it was downhill all the way. Literally. I hit the floor at least once and spent maybe an hour or so back in my hotel room convinced I was going to die.

I woke up the next morning, hanging upside down off my bed. Regaining consiousness and having the hangover from Hades was a positive. I'd survived Sangria, Black Vodka and ... ... ... ... ... ... ...*insert whatever, I have no recollection* alive, intact and sporting a dirty great bruise across my forehead.

From that day to this, I have managed to assimilate the Portuguese way of all day alcohol without actually looking drunk. In fact I'm almost a natural at it. And apart from the picture below, I have only slipped off the British Binge Wagon once of twice.

An example of not being Portuguese

Ahhhhh ... I eat Portuguese (food, not men), I speak Portuguese, I breath Portuguese. I'm being Portuguese. The rest of the time ... I'm a Brit to the marra.

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