Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I can really feel the repercussions of the recession here.

Doors are usually a good indicator of a culture. This is just my theory, but think about it. A Croatian in Dubrovnik won't line up with a Maltese door in Valletta. Fact.

Doors here in Portugal are usually a deep color. I've seen very nice shades of red, shades of green, even orange on Madeira. The most favorable shade for the Portuguese is an acqua-blue, sometimes with purple or green undertones. You still see that in Porto, but...

Doors are worn in here. They definitely have seen better days. Wood underneath shows through on most of them or they're chipped and color is fading. The lock is loose. Sometimes, the door isn't fully attached to the hinges. Other times, it's not attached to hinges at all.

These types of doors are the biggest problem. Doors not attached to hinges are not easily repaired. Behind these doors is dust. Abandonment. There isn't any other country where I've seen more abandoned buildings, homes, failed businesses. Going to Spain December 2011 took me off guard, but Portugal has been hit harder.

Spain has a plethora of "for sale" and "for rent" signs. You see that in Portugal, but not as much, it seems. I really think people are giving up here. They aren't even trying to sell or rent; they're just leaving. Spain still has hope but Portugal is sinking.

Economists don't look at culture. Who is going to get more Erasmus/foreign exchange students and tourists? Spain.  Who is going to spend more on big parties, alcohol, pigs to roast on a spit with 30 other people? Spain.

Portugal isn't a party culture like Spain. Think: Nochevieja, Feria de Orujo, etc. Party means entrance fee, adult drinks, nice clothes, transportation. This is my theory, please don't mess with it. ;) But going out really isn't cheap, easy, and it is most definitely an unwavering part of Spanish culture. It's probably why there aren't as many abandonded buildings, yet.

Oh, and I've been in Porto since this morning. it was only 13.00 euro for a full-priced ticket on the high speed train. !!!

But I had some older Portuguese lovers following me, whispering at me from a distance...the older men here aren't helping me enjoy my time in Portugal...

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