Monday, November 26, 2012

In Portugal (part 2)

I could see myself living in Portugal. I said that to my cousin Emanuel and he looked at me confused.  Then I learned your average cat is making anywhere between 1,000-600 Euros a month.  At best you're making 12,000 a year not including taxes. That is 10,000 US dollars a year! And cost of living in Europe is EXPENSIVE! Granted the dollar only has 67 cents on the Euro, so I was feeling the budget constraint. But their PG&E (equivalent) bills are through the roof!

Cidade Biaxa (lower city) at night
I saw a sign at the Airport the said “ Portugal descobriu o mundo. Chegar pra descrubrir Portugal” ( Portugal discovered the world, now come discover Portugal). Sure that's probably an effective marketing slogan, but there is so much between the lines of that first statement.  Seeing little things like that makes me really appreciate the opportunity to go to the land that colonized Guinea-Bissau.   The colonial history and the war for Independence, from my understanding, is still felt in Bissau since it happened with-in the life time of people who are still alive (just 39 years ago)! From what I was told, even to this day a former colony will usually look to its old colonizer for financial and developmental support. But Portugal now is trying to figure itself (both due to the Economic Crisis and its own issues) so it can't offer much support to Guinea in that way.

Street Art in Lisbon
On a different note, on my last night in Lisbon I got a taste of the Portuguese nightlife. Emanuel, a cousin of mine who was visiting from London, took me to a couple spots around town. One was super chill, a chic bar/lounge in an inconspicuous alley way. The other was a club where his gym partner works. It was full of Polish people (his words not mine, because I can't tell the difference) and they played almost strictly American dance music.  This was yet another affirmation that a club in one county is just like a club in the other. Granted there were some differences, but none of them worthy enough to note. I'm just glad to have gotten a taste of it so I can see how similar or different it will be in Bissau!

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