Going Native: Rejecting the “Expat” Label

Strictly speaking, yes I am an expatriate, but I cringe when I am referred to as an “expat” — the colloquial shortened form of the word.  I am not quite sure why this is.  It could be that I do not like to be associated with some of the negative connotations that have come to be associated with several “ex-pat” communities; or if I know consider myself to be a proper European who can live anywhere in Europe — or something else entirely.

Yes, I was born in the UK, raised in the UK, and still have a UK passport.  My coloring and skin type is most definitely English, as is my language.  However, now I have moved here and have little or no intentions of returning to the UK to live I think I am evolving into something else — something more than an expat!

Continue reading → Going Native: Rejecting the “Expat” Label

My Portuguese: Neighbourhood Watch

As I am new to Portugal, and as I do not speak the language apart from a few basics, I had expected that there would be times when I would feel lost or be at a loss as to how to approach certain things.

I had also anticipated a fair amount of anonymity and had certain expectations — false ones it turns out — about how I would be able to live my life in and around my house and how I would be able to carry out my everyday business and chores such as shopping, banking and other vital necessities.

Continue reading → My Portuguese: Neighbourhood Watch