I could experience how two Portuguese families live both in their everyday life and during the holiday. They are so different, however, have one common thing. They were waiting for me with love, interest, and trust.
My family pattern impacts on my personality, the way of thinking and the first thoughts when I hear the word of ‘family’. When I was a child, I had lived in a safe surrounding, had everything I used to need. Now as a young adult when I visit my family in my hometown I feel the same.
These Portuguese families are like mine that’s why they keep a mirror to me. They are working on the same values. It’s so interesting that the structure of these families is also the same: two girls. The older one is like me who is opened to the world, wants to travel, is interested in the different cultures. The smaller one is like my sister who feels herself better in a familiar surrounding.
3 days in Lisbon:
My first impression is connected to a family who lives in Lisbon. I found Venie in the side of Couchsurfing. At first sight, she doesn’t seem nice to me, but anyway I wanted to try Couchsurfing so I contacted her and we had decided I stayed 3 days in Venie’s family before I went to Porto.
She lives on the outskirts of the city, – as she said – in the middle of the ghetto. She lives with her mother, sister, and grandmother in a flat with two small rooms. They also have two dogs. Before I arrived five puppies had been just born. They usually stayed on the carpet in the bathroom, so taking a shower was not that easy. Leading the dogs out was a longer process than taking a shower.
After I had arrived at their home, I got a big surprise. Suddenly they had turned the light off and started to sing the “Happy Birthday” (because I had my birthday that day). Venie’s mother cooked a muffin and put a small pink candle in the middle of it. It was the first time when I have felt how hospitable and kind the Portuguese people are.
The mother was a cleaning lady. I don’t think the grandmother got so much money as a pension. The girls worked in a hotel. It can be a poor family – I thought that time.
After some days I had just realized how rich are they. Every afternoon when everybody arrived home, went to the living room and were talking about what happened in that day. They totally concentrated to each other and didn’t pay attention to their mobile or TV. However I didn’t understand what they said, I felt they were really hearing themselves. After this, I was wondering how many families concentrate to each other that much and is it possible to the wealthy families as well or you need to be poor financially for that.
(You can find the continue of this story in another article called Portuguese Easter. )