Hospitable people and delectable food

I was still in a daze when I arrived in Portugal. It was (and still is) hard to believe that I was in Europe, that I almost forgot the purpose of being sent there! Nah, just kidding. In fact, during those times when I woke up very early due to jet lag, I read through the emails and went through my notes. I had to give a short training to 3-5 people in our office in Lisbon for 5 days.

The training started the day after I arrived in Lisbon. That was Wednesday. I wanted to make a good impression so I planned on wearing contact lenses and wear the suit that I recently purchased. However, I ended up putting on my eyeglasses and wearing what I normally wear during winter in Japan (black pants+turtle-neck top). Being “just me”, and thus being comfortable mattered most.

The training passed by quickly. The lectures planned for 5 days was over in less than 3 hours! The attendees wanted to get their hands dirty and opted for a Q&A approach. Lectures and familiarization first, then create a small project for the remaining days. Yes, I was nervous but the people in the office were really nice. Many of them were fluent in English, which also made it easier for me. I won’t give more details on how the 5 days training went, but it was challenging for me, both in technical and communication aspects. I learned a lot, too!

Quite a lot (including those who were not on the training) joined us for lunch, and the only female attendee was so kind to give me rides to the chosen restaurant. Too bad, timidity got the best of me and was not able to take even a single photo of the good people I met there. Food was delicious and I was surprised that buffets in Lisbon were cheaper than buffets here in Singapore! It cost about 7-9 Euros. There were even dishes that tasted very close to some Filipino dishes: afritada, lechon kawali, and paella.

Here are the things I noticed after spending some time with the Portuguese colleagues:

  • They love to eat. The buffet restaurants that we’ve tried were crowded so we had to leave early and get there first before the others do
  • They have interesting conversations during meals (although they didn’t speak English most of the time)
  • They take a shot of espresso after lunch
  • They hang out for a while after meal, before heading back to the office

Now, why do I have this irrelevant photo in this post? Because I don’t have photos of the restaurants we’ve been to, and because of jet lag, I always had enough time to take advantage of this hair dryer. ;)

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