Sunday, March 19, 2023

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Keep Mcm Spirit Anyone Tried Cork Flooring

We bought our dream MCM home a few months ago. It has a legal basement apartment in half the basement. We use the other half as a groovy den. It is echoey and has ancient tiles that have asbestos in them currently. I want it to be more quiet so we can keep peace with tenants. I am considering installing white or gray cork flooring over current flooring to cut down on noise and echo. I dont want to deal with asbestos removal. Has anyone done this? Do you think cork flooring would keep spirit of MCM? Pictures can be see here

The Who You Know Attitude To Business

To get ahead in a lot of industries in Portugal, its all about who you know. This maxim is true in a lot of countries, of course, but its especially true in Portugal.

In a lot of English-speaking countries, like the UK and US, who you know opens doors but it doesnt make it impossible to break into certain industries. In Portugal, not knowing the right people can make it impossible to do business in a lot of industries that you could break into in other countries.

This isnt unique to Portugal, and is quite common across most of Europe.

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Corruption Is A Fact Of Life

Ask a Portuguese person what the biggest downside to life in Portugal is and almost all will say corruption.

Backhanders can permeate every area of life, from your local council right up to the higher echelons of government. Its just seen as a part of life or a tax for getting around bureaucracy.

According to Transparency Internationals 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, Portugal was ranked 30th out of 198 countries for corruption.

This isnt unique to Portugal.

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The Lack Of Customer Service

Customer service, the art of solving customers problems and keeping them happy, is an artform but its not an artform thats particularly popular in Portugal.

You may not like the American model of customer service where everyone is overly nice, smiley, and helpful. You might think its fake and, being honest, it is. But, when youre trying to get a problem solved, youll wish that Portugal had adopted this approach.

This isnt unique to Portugal. Many readers living in countries like France, Germany, and Spain have said the same thing.

Learning Portuguese Language Is Challenging

For some people having to learn Portuguese to live in Portugal is a fact of life. To others, its a big downside.

It isnt so much that people dont want to learn Portuguese , but rather that its a big stumbling block that prevents you from integrating into Portugal. It doesnt take too long to learn enough Portuguese to get by in daily life, and even in more difficult bureaucratic situations, but it does take a long time to learn enough Portuguese to really integrate.

Portuguese is nowhere near as difficult as Chinese or Arabic, or maybe even German, but its one of the most difficult romance languages.

This is obviously unique to Portugal in that Portuguese is seen as harder than some other European languages, particularly Spanish. That said, its probably not any more difficult than German.

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The Rising Cost Of Living

The cost of living in Portugal is on the rise, particularly when it comes to property prices. This is obviously more of a downside for the Portuguese living in Portugal who typically have less buying power on average, but its still a downside for expats as well.

House prices are rising throughout Portugal, but particularly in Lisbon and Porto and the Algarve.

The Glass Half Empty Mentality

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The Portuguese mentality can be frustrating for a lot of people, particularly for entrepreneurs and go-getters. If America has a can do attitude, Portugal often sits at the other side of the spectrum with a cant do attitude.

There are a lot of reasons for this difference, particularly historical and cultural reasons, but regardless of them, some people will still find it hard to deal with.

This isnt completely unique to Portugal, but it does seem to be more common in Portugal than in neighbouring European countries.

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Making Friends Is Hard

In Portugal, the Portuguese and non-Portuguese often run in different circles. Even people who have lived in Portugal for years will usually be able to count the number of close Portuguese friends they have on one hand.

It takes two to tango, though. While the Portuguese can be quite closed, even to people from other parts of Portugal, very few expats bother to learn Portuguese which really is essential for integrating into Portugal. Its quite likely that a lot of Portuguese assume that these expats dont want to integrate, and so it all becomes a bit of a vicious cycle.

But, even ignoring the language aspect, many people whove lived in other countries prior to Portugal would say that integrating can be difficult.

This isnt unique to Portugal. People whove moved to other Southern European countries like Spain and Italy, to Scandinavia, or to Eastern Europe often report the same experiences.

The Slow Pace Of Life

The slow pace of life is one of the main reasons that people move to Portugal, but that slow pace of life can also be a downside. When you have something that needs doing, suddenly you find yourself wishing that slow pace of life wasnt a thing in Portugal.

Even in simple tasks like going to the supermarket, youll find yourself queuing for a lot longer than you would in countries that dont have a slow pace of life. It all depends which you value more: the slow pace of life or constant efficiency.

This isnt unique to Portugal, but common across most Southern European or Mediterranean countries.

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But Baby Its Cold Inside

Portuguese houses can be extremely cold in the winter. Most properties dont have central heating, or sometimes heating of any kind, and so you may find yourself wearing a jacket and gloves inside to keep warm. Thats not an exaggeration.

You can find warm properties. Some are lucky that they catch the winter sun and stay warm. Others have a fire of maybe even have a heating system of some kind. But many are just cold.

This is because Portuguese houses are designed with summer in mind: theyre designed to stay cool rather than warm up. Many properties are also build quite cheaply, particularly apartments.

And just because youve bought a cold house, that doesnt mean youre going to be cold forever. You can improve the insulation or install something like gas central heating or an effective pellet heater. All of that costs money, obviously, but its almost definitely be worth it.

This isnt unique to Portugal, and its quite common across Southern Europe. Houses here are more designed for summer rather than winter. Thankfully, there are one or two things you can do to stay warm inside.

Cold Grey Damp Winters

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Although most people associate Portugal with beaches and sunshine, a lot of Northern Portugal can be very damp and wet in the winter. Some even say that the North of Portugal has worse weather than Ireland in the winter, and thats saying a lot!

Portugal is a long country and regions like the Algarve and Alentejo have different climates. Even Lisbon can be quite mild in the winter, and its not unusual for the South of Portugal to get temperatures in the high teens and occasionally even hit above the low twenties.

Thats outside, of course! In the house is another matter entirely.

This isnt unique to Portugal. Most of Europe is cold in the winter much, much colder than Portugal.

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Some Things Are Expensive

A lot of people think that just because food and wine are cheap in Portugal, everything else is. Unfortunately, thats not true.

Electricity and petrol are two good examples of things that are really expensive in Portugal. Per kilowatt, Portugal is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Its also one of the most expensive countries for fuel, which leads to a lot of people who living near the Spanish border driving across to fill up.

Other things that are expensive include anything second hand, cars, furniture, electronic appliances, books, banking, branded international foods and household products , and cosmetics and toiletries.

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