I was asked to do a technical session with new partners in Portugal.
Sunny weather, good food, friendly people – no brainer. I jumped at the offer.
The flight from London to Lisbon takes 2½ hours.
In the taxi from the airport I asked the driver, a young Chinese guy, how do you say “Thank You” in Portuguese.
“Obligado” was his reply.
“Obligado” I repeated. Yes, that’s an easy word to remember “Obligado”…
For the next couple of days I said “Obligado” quite a lot.
Everyone smiled back at me. Girls giggled…
Friendly bunch these Portuguese I said to myself.
That was before I learnt that the chinese can’t pronounce the letter “R” and use the letter “L” instead…
I’m such a chump….
Taxi rides in Lisbon are a great experience.
They say here that the shortest distance between A and B is a line. The longest distance is a taxi.
After 10 minutes ride I asked the driver if we are nearly there. “Yes, Yes” he replied.
5 minutes later he rolled down the window and asked someone for the way. “We are on the right road” he told me.
10 minutes later he stopped at the local police station to ask for directions…
Not that I was worried. It gave me a chance to see a bit of Lisbon.
I’m such a chump….
For some strange reason Portugal is currently experiencing a boom in BPM implementations.
I hear that Microsoft Portugal are pushing it hard into the public sector.
The Portuguese have a good work ethic and work till the late hours of the evening.
The technical teams I met were very skilled, professional and motivated. A nice bunch of people to work with.
The food in Portugal is fantastic. I won’t go on about it because you will hate me.
On the way back to the airport I decided to stop for a coffee.
The Portuguese take their coffee ever so seriously.
“Could I have a coffee please” I asked the shopkeeper. “But a real Portuguese coffee please, not the Starbucks stuff that I’m used to”.
He smiled and returned with the smallest cup I’ve ever seen, and even then the cup had only a mouthful of coffee in it.
Should of asked for a bigger cup I said to myself. The shopkeeper seemed amused.
“Could I have another one?” I asked.
“Are you sure?” he said with a big grin.
This was now a matter of national pride…
After three Portuguese coffees I took a taxi back to the airport.
The coffees kicked in after an hour. I managed to fall asleep at 5am the next day.
Yes, I know… I’m such a chump…