What We Could Learn from Portuguese (Part 2)

In the previous article, I already mentioned three things that we, as human-beings, could learn from Portuguese. I know that those things don’t merely belong to Portuguese. Since I’ve been living here for a couple of months, I noticed that the life is going to be easier and happier if everyone could apply them in daily life.

1. Power of Obrigado and Smile

Living in Indonesia whose climate is relatively warm in the entire year, stimulates its people to become warm too and give their best smile to everyone. This thing that I was worry about. I was wondering whether people would welcome and befriend me or not. But apparently, those worry goes wrong.

Whenever and wherever I go, I definitely would hear people say this magic word. Even though I do not look like a local, still they would say it no matter what. “Obrigado” literally means thank you, then followed by “De nada” as the response which means nothing or you are welcome.

I can’t even count how many times I hear this magic word in one day. It may be 10-15 times, depends on how many people whom I interact with. Once I was in a big hurry on my way to faculty due to oversleeping. I was trying to catch a bus passing in front of me, but I couldn’t make it. Thus, I waited for the next bus.

Numerous people were coming to the bus stop which varied in ages, including elderly, who dominated the bus stop on that cloudy morning. Although I knew that I came first, but I immediately stepped back to give a way for them to get in. You know what, they smiled and said “Obrigado” which I didn’t expect. I didn’t mind at all if then I had to be standing along the way to faculty.

2. Be helpful to everyone

During the first week of my arrival, I encountered many obstacles living here. But again, fortunately, Portuguese people were pretty much helpful by then. Most of them could speak English very well. Or in some cases, there were some who couldn’t speak English but they were willing to help at least through their gestures.

I used to get lost of my way here. I really had no idea where to go because my phone was totally off. Without any requests, a lady approached and asked me whether I needed help or not. I couldn’t remember precisely what she said to me (cos it’s in Portuguese). But, I do remember that she managed to show me the right direction to my faculty.

Not only once, it happens many times. I used to ask someone (now a friend :p) where to buy something here in Porto. He immediately stopped doing his business just to show me the location on Google map. Furthermore, he also took me to the store right after the class was dismissed. I was astonished that my life was so blessed with nice people here.

The difference that I figured out here is the habit of the people eating in fast food restaurant. People are kind of responsible for their food waste. They clean up the table after eating and throw the waste to the bin without leaving any single trash on the table. Again, I was amazed at how Portuguese mostly behaved.

In my country, it’s not common to see people cleaning up their own table. Because, I don’t know, it’s been being a mindset that we have already paid to restaurant there so it’s not an obligation to get rid of the trash on the table. There is always a reason to say: “Don’t worry, there will be a cleaning boy who takes care of it.”

3. Never ever littering

I was hanging out with friends, we were grabbing some drinks by then. We talked a lot about everything, till he accidentally dropped a cover of a can drink. Can you guess what will he do? He picked it up directly.

In my mind, there are two assumptions, either that aluminum stuff could hurt pedestrian feet or part of his responsibility for not littering anywhere else. Of course, it’s all about responsibility.

While he had a can drink, I had a glass bottle of apple cider in my hand. When we finished them all, I throw mine to one of four different bins available there just like what my friend did. But he shouted at me for not doing that. Why? Simply because they are two different materials that have their particular bin. Those bins are divided into four i.e for paper, glass, can, and organic stuff. Thus, people could easily recycle the waste. It’s a simple thing but hard to do.

Interested to know Portuguese or even move to Portugal? XD

“Our thoughts shape how we behave.”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom

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