Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Neither here nor there

......I wonder where is the place for me in the world......

One year I am in Portugal and I still don't get the way of doing things in this country. Procrastinating is a world that must not exist here, as it is such a common attitude that here it would lose its meaning....yeah, yeah, I know, I generalize too much.......The thing is. I am sure that there are exceptions to the general trend, but my experience living in this country for a year already shows me that I can't expect anything to happen in a reasonable time.

Three things I noticed in a year and that people who visited me got (all of them) noticed in a matter of just a couple of days.

- Service here generally sucks. Portuguese people are nice, no doubts about that. However, it seems that selling you something, serving you or whatever other interactions especially including food service could not happen in what I consider a normal service....no, instead either the person serving you does not even pay any attention to you for a randomly but generally quite long time span or if he/she does, you can bet that it will be a rather unfriendly exchange, like if they are doing a favor in serving you....no matter if I am actually paying for the service.
So, up to now this is an example of things that happened to me (and this is not a complete and extensive list, but just a few examples):

- At a restaurant, the waiter left me waiting until a soccer game action was over to get my order
- At a restaurant, my friend and me were left unattended because the waitress owner left and none else was in the restaurant except us and another customer.
- At a restaurant, the waiter shoveled the plate with the food to a friend of mine, so that most of the olives that were in the plate ended up on his pants, on the floor, or on the table.
- At a restaurant, the waiter kept smiling at us for long time before actually come to get out order, when it was clear that we were ready and she was not really busy.
- At a restaurant, the owner/waitress would not bring us the bill because she was too busy eating (and this not at the end of the service, but in the middle of opening hours).
- At a restaurant, the chef, waiters, and waitresses would sit at the table to eat when we were still there and would have liked to leave....but since everyone was eating at a table next to us, they couldn't stop to bring us the bill.
- At a cafe', we had to wait 15 minutes even if the cafe' was almost empty before someone would come to ask us what we wanted....and this after we got told 15 minutes before to sit that someone would have come (of course....they didn't specify when they would have come).
- In my apartment, I still have water on my kitchen floor every time it rains.....today I had to stay at home another day and work from home to wait someone who was supposed to come to look at the problem....only, as always none showed up and my landlord not only didn't call to tell me something, but he also didn't reply to my calls. I have no idea how many days of work I have already lost staying at home waiting for someone to show up.
- At work, my student has the philosophy that either something can be done quickly, no matter how badly it is done, otherwise we could do it together so that she could do something better with her time.

I feel that in this country, respect of other people time must be a very fuzzy concept.....
Now, considering my very organized mind and way of doing things and my kinda-of-German mentality, I can't stop struggling and being frustrated all the time.

And it seems that it doesn't matter what I can do....nothing change, nor if I try to solve things nicely, nor if I get angry. Nothing.

Too bad it is a lovely country and I love the place where I live, because otherwise I would have already had a break down.

On the other hand, I am applying for plenty of jobs in the USA, where my boyfriend is and where there are more job opportunities. Unfortunately, the fact of not being American and not having presently a working VISA in the USA, makes any of my application becoming a nightmare, as I have to keep sending email to ask if I can actually apply to the position and my application will be considered or as I am currently an "alien" I cannot even dream of getting a job in the USA.........

The older I get, the more I get the impression that I should just stop caring about things and try to abuse of any system I am in and not even bother trying to do things in a proper and efficient way, because most of the times the only one getting completely frustrated is just me.............................

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