Expat voices: Joel Goldstein on life in the hills near Tavira
“Don’t expect anything to happen quickly or efficiently here,” warns Joel Goldstein, who loves the summer weather, wildlife, and local people.
Name: Joel Goldstein
Country of residence: Portugal
Lived in Portual: 10 months
City/town of residence: Tavira
Date of birth: 1955-1-27
Civil status: Non resident
Reason for moving to Portugal:
When my wife died she left the villa to me in her will. My own business went bust so I'm letting out the London flat and living here.
What was your first impression of your new country of residence?
Warmer, friendly, relaxing.
What do you think of the food?
Unadventurous, boring: either fish or mixed grills, always with chips or rice and salad.
What do you think of the shopping?
It's better than before when I first came here for holidays with my wife. Before, there was only one small supermarket with not much choice and only Portuguese products. Now there are three or four to choose from with much more products, but it's still difficult to get certain things that I like. Meat is not prepared the way I like it here. The fat on steak is always trimmed off and pork chops are too thin. Can't get nice sausages. No spring onions and Portuguese cucumbers are not very nice.
What do you appreciate about living in your new country of residence?
The summer weather when not too hot, the wildlife, local people.
What do you find most frustrating about living in your new country of residence?
Officials and services being incompetent, slow and officious. Everything slow to get done here, amanha culture. Popular culture is rather poor here, like the music and television. Portuguese drivers are appalling and dangerous. The satellite and internet signal is very bad where I'm located.
What puzzles you the most and what do you miss the most since you've moved here?
What puzzles me the most is even though the Portuguese have all the technology, very often it doesn't work or they don't know how to use it properly and insist on being painstakingly slow and over-detailed with everything.
I miss my wife, family and friends in England. I also miss the music scene back home, dona kebabs, and decent fish and chips.
How does the quality of life here compare to the quality of life in other countries that you've lived in?
Not as good. I live in the hills 10 km away from town with only a very few expat neighbours and making new friends and dating is proving to be difficult.
If you could change anything about your new country of residence, what would it be?
The way everything is run here, officialdom. Driving standards, the food. Mosquitos.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Don't live in the hills if you get easily bored or lonely. Don't expect ANYTHING to happen quickly or efficiently. Don't forget to wear your insect repellent.
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