With us there is only "male and female", or rather masculine and feminine in language and when I explain to someone in Portugal that in German – "the window" is neuter, but the plural "the windows" is feminine again and try to explain that, the Portuguese tells me: You are stupid, how can something be neutral and then feminine again, that makes no sense. What I want to describe is actually simple: The Portuguese language is a Latin language and if you had French at school or Italian, for example, it is easier to learn the language. Or you can acquire a certain vocabulary with which you can make ends meet. Of course, this is also possible and I can help if you want a beer, then it is called "Cerveja" and a glass of white wine for the lady at the table a "Vinho Branco". Or you can just do it and take your phone with you with the Google Translation app and talk to it what you want. But then, unfortunately, it comes too often in Brazilian Portuguese, which in turn does not please everyone. But there is still the "index finger method", with which you can get through well. In general, everything is easier, slower, slower, but also more relaxed in Portugal than anywhere else in Europe. That's actually the reason why so many like to visit us and stay here, because most people know stress and pressure from home and that's why they're not here. And the understanding of this and the patience to live with it cannot be one-sided. It is simply part of the lifestyle of the Portuguese and those who want to live here. So if you are again at the Aldi in Lisbon or in the Algarve, do not forget, that deceleration applies everywhere here and that's why people come to Portugal.

Another reason why people from all over the world visit us is our melancholic soul "Alma" and this includes a German saying that I have heard many times in life and which could not be more appropriate. I'm talking about "half-full glass" or "the glass is half-empty". That's actually the case every day for us. Many Portuguese see an even worse one behind every event. My grandfather always said when someone broke his leg: "Joaquim was lucky in his accident because he could have broken both legs or even died". What I mean to say is that if we tackle something in Portugal, the problems are there before they even appear. Unfortunately, that's the case, but that's what sets us apart. We are more cautious, less aggressive than others and, as a result, the country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. We were the "third safest country in the world" in 2020 according to the Global Piece Index.

But we are also changing and a new generation of Portuguese is growing up and facing life. This generation is a very well-educated generation with a desire for new things, also in terms of life views and the courage to change. Many have already gained professional experience abroad and are now coming as movers and shakers of the new startup scene in Lisbon and Porto. Or in the field of gastronomy with new concepts for old Portuguese recipes, which they then prepare and serve in the new in-kitchens all over Portugal in their restaurants. The music of Fado is also changing and becoming fresher and more youthful. All this is a sign that we will break new ground in Portugal and that our young people want it too. Unfortunately, politics often thwarts our plans if it is not possible to promote a competitive housing market with sufficient housing for young families and young people, who with a basic salary of 1,000 euros can of course not afford an apartment with 2 rooms in Lisbon for 1,500 euros. But the phenomenon is not exclusively Portuguese, because Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and many other major German cities also have the problem. So, we are again in the same boat.


Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.

Paulo Lopes