Tag Archives: Portugal

Verão de São Martinho

Verão de São Martinho is the short period around St. Martin Day (11 November), when the weather gets warmer and sunnier before Autumn definitively comes. I live in a small town by the Portuguese western coast, so I’m obviously taking the opportunity for some sun tanning.dsc_0202

I’ve lived all my life in Portugal, but now I’m preparing myself to leave. The sea and the sun will be among the things I shall miss more, so I’m taking now as much as I can. Much as the sun warms and comforts me, the feeling of loss that I get is stronger. Portugal is currently facing a huge brain drain. Young people are leaving, because the salaries are low and prospects of development grim. Among those who leave, the feeling that this is the country of the lost of opportunities. There is this feeling that the train has departed and there was no place for us, the fact is that in Portugal you can succeed only if you have the right connections, otherwise all doors will be closed, no matter how good you are. It’s probably not too different from other places (well, where I’m going I didn’t need connections, so not everybody is like that), but in a country with the size and economic structure that Portugal, this is dramatic. There is an insidious environment that incites us to quit, where only cynicism seems to pay, while being honest is considered a weakness of character, a lack of ability to survive. It could be worse, of course. It is worse in Serbia, for instance (and there isn’t even the sea as a way of mental escape), but, having friends there, that is no consolation.dsc_0218

(it looks like a desert, and it is a desert, metaphorically speaking, a desert of hope, but the colours are beautiful)

I tend to be fatalist, that’s a culturally induced characteristic that I share with most of my co-nationals…but I don’t like that feeling. So, I celebrate my patriotism by taking as much sun as I can, the beaches are public domain and sun tanning is free. In a few months, I’ll be missing all of this… in fact I’ll be missing it in a few days, after Verão de São Martinho is over. For now, I’ll just enjoy this short break in Autumn, I think I deserve it, and even if I don’t, o sol quando nasce é para todos, e há que aproveitar.dsc_0207

(The beach is not big, but it’s not small either, and it was empty. Yet this nice couple couldn’t find a better place to sit than there in front of me… that is soooo portuguese…)

I’m pessimistic, but if you though this text is depressing, here’s a very crude yet lucid assessment of the current situation, (in portuguese only).

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The Atlantic

dsc_0152I have been a bit lazy latelly and when bloggers are lazy they either post poems or photos, so, here’s a photo, taken by me yesterday around 16h. Anyway, with all this fuzz with the US elections, I didn’t feel much motivated to write, but I hope to be back soon…

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Portugal recognizes the independence of Kosovo

I am happy and proud!

Better late than never, although we can’t say that q recognition 8 mounths after independence was declared is really a late recognition.

Interestingly, the minister of Foreign Affairs declared that it was the changes in the international system following Russia’s recognition of Ossetia and Abkazia that made the government take such decision. Few countries could have a higher interest in the enhancement of euro-atlantic integration, so it is a very good sign to see portugal returning to the political consensus over integration that has been the key to our democratization process since the 1970s.

I am sending a kiss to my dear friends from Pristina whom I will try to visit soon (now that I don’t feel obliged to return the dicount I got in February for belonging to a country that supports Kosova);

(thanks, Sebanau, for the first hand information, I hadn’t yet have the time to read the news)

Update: here are the links: the news; the rection of support of the main opposition party.

I am travelling so I really don’t have time to go into this, and anyway there is not much to say than to rejoice that those who were oposing recognition, namely the portuguese president, no longer think that way. I am particularly happy that Serbia will no longer use the fact that Portugal opted to be careful in this matter to claim that Portugal was supporting Serbia because of principles (even going to the point where serbian polititians claimed that, unlike Spain that has a direct interest in this; Portugal was obstructing the viability of Kosovo for the sqke of generousity towards Serbia).

For the portuguese reading readers, I strongly recomend Max Spencer Dohner’s post where he deconstructs the ridiculous and qnti-democratic arguments of the parties on the far left, Bloco de Esquerda and Partido Comunista Português (both well represented on parliament). Most of the portuguese lqnguqge readers already read Devaneios Desintericos, Max’s blog but still here’s the link.

Update 2: I am not using my computer but I remembered that I had these photos on a USB drive, so I thought it was a good moment to share them. Kosova is the country in Europe with the youngest population. Thqt gives the country q very nice environment, especially in Prishtina. It is q greqt chqllenge to create jobs for all the young people there, and this is a crutial issue for the develpoment of Kosova. These beautiful children and young adults deserve a bright future, so now the biggest challenge is economical develpoment. This also applies to the Kosovo serbs and other minorities. For them to stay jobs and prospects of a better life are needed.

The first two photos were taken during the Independence party this year;

the one with the kids was taken in April 2007.

Both were taken by me;

( I hope to write q decent post latter because this one is a big mess, but one that reflects my eagerness o share this happy moment with my readers and friends… I hope the phtos may compensate the bad quality of the post)

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NORWAY AND PORTUGAL united by codfish!

The King of Noway came to Portugal to sell codfish, the popular newspaper Correio da Manhã tells me, as I read it on my way to Oslo.

This is a spiritual link among both peoples of the greatest importance, and I am glad that the King of Norway wants to keep bacalhau at our tables…

I eat bacalhau almost everyday, so I decided it was about time that I go to Norway and pay my tribute to this generous people who keep selling us codfish.

I am very pleasantly surprised. The stereotype of a country too tidy and clean does not correspond to what I have seen so far. People seem very relaxed, friendly and warm.

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