Sunday, December 23, 2007

2007: Final Count Down

Following the worldwide success of this blog’s polls, we have decided to have the customary election of the figures and facts of the year that now closes.

Rather than trust in some stranger’s doubtful judgment, I will elect the personalities and events that for their relevancy in 2007 deserve a honourable mention in Bloguistan.

So without further ado, here are the nominees/awardees:

Music: For his anti-star, no-frills-no-bullshit attitude, rejecting any sort of claim to fame other than his band’s music, the award goes to Bruce Springsteen. He is the living proof that one does not need to give interviews or wear a tie to be someone, especially someone cool.

Movies: The film of the year has to be Walt Disney’s Ratatouille. To take a rat and make him a gourmand it’s just brilliant. There may be some hope for English cooking after all.

TV: I find this one the really hard one. There were really great series this year, Dexter being probably the best of the newcomers, in my opinion; however, it’s mandatory that the award goes to The Soprano’s final season. They have been faithful to themselves all the way, have not sold out and have kept us guessing what would happen next to the very end. A master-piece. It is also reassuring to see that Silvio did make it after all, and is touring with Springsteen and Max Weinberg.

Sport: This one is a no-brainer: the moment of the year has to be England loosing to Croatia at home, and missing out on EURO2008. This is the shit dreams are made of, dude! Ha, ha, ha!

Man of the Year: José Mourinho. Jobless, he has finally proved he is indeed the Special One. Only the greatest of the unemployed managers could snub the salary that comes with the England job.

Woman of the Year: Please enter your number here. If you’re hot I’ll call you back.

The boring stuff: condensing politics and science, the award goes to Al Gore for his continued public voicing of the environmental questions that so urgently deserve world attention. Many things can be said of him and of his alleged self-promotion, but at the end of the day he has done more for the world than if he had been in the Oval office, has he should.

Have yourself a merry Xmas and a happy new year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The lads in checkered shirts showed England who's their daddy! Sorry, couldn't let this golden opportunity to scorn go by... :D
No teams from across the channel to yodel next summer in the Alps of European football... and as England supporters leave the stadium, the hills are alive with the sound of Mourinho's name... but the Portugueezer will not play to that tune, am afraid.
Bye, bye Mourinho? Bye, bye England. You won't be missed.

EURO2004 the "vilain" was Ricardo

WC2006 Ronaldo was Public Enemy Nr.1

EURO2008 Qualifier disgrace and shame escape-goat is Steve McClaren - just face it, you lot just ran out of excuses.

On the brightside, the usual binge drinking and bottle throwing will stay where it belongs, inside the pubs, and the Euro cup showing live, on the telly…

BTW, Portugal sucked as well, but they are in the finals. Shame about Scotland, though.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wonder #7 Up for Grabs

There's so many competition for the last available wonder that more than 7 wonders would be necessary to honor all of them. Alas, it's not possible. I make the rules here and I say they are just 7 wonders, so that's what it is. Not because we can't trivialize these things, but because I feel like it. Read Mour's lips.

So, last but not least, the 7th and final wonder will be submitted to voting among the 2 or 3 lonesome visitors that crowd this insignificant blog.
If anyone is reading this, you can find the poll to the right of it. Take your pick - remember, you could influence or even decide which shall be the 7th wonder of Bloguistan!
Do your civic duty. The nominees are (you may add your own in the commentary box):

1. Portuguese Wine
2. Portuguese tradicional Cusine (from bread to desserts)
3. Portuguese Guitar
4. Portuguese History
5. Portuguese do it better

BTW, if you are not Portuguese, what do you associate the country with? (first thing that comes to your mind?)
I tried to find something from Portugal
recognizable in the all wide world, but in my quick survey I came to the conclusion that it all comes down to the 2 F's: football and food. I'd say the most famous Portuguese personality in the world is either Mourinho (not surprisingly, the face behind a Portuguese cork campaign) or Ronaldo, followed at some distance by Vasco da Gama.
Very little, for a country with such a decisive roll in the world history... I blame the dismal Republic for that.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wonder #6 - Olive Oil

According to Dr. Luciano da Silva, MD, and also the innumerable medals won by Portuguese Olive oil at different international competitions (1st medal going back to the 1889 Paris Wolrd Exhibit), the Portuguese golden grease is the best in the world.

The explanation is simple – olives in the trees are exposed to more sunlight in Portugal than in most other places in the olive-growing world. Same with the wine and other products, although here soils and other factors may also have a say in their quality.

I confess I didn’t like olive oil when I first tried it. The acidity or eventual heartburn usually puts people off. As with many people, this is a taste you acquire, just like with beer or whisky. Only Olive oil is much healthier, being quite beneficial in unclogging your "pipes", as this is one of the few "fats" that is actually good for you.

Now I can’t live without it. In fact, I like my food swimming in it.

Hard to believe that something that grows on such a raquitic looking tree, can be so good and can also use it to cook, deep fry, as an unguent, a snack, an aphrodisiac, or as fuel for a torch, if you run out of electricity… amazing fruit!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Recently, someone from The Netherlands asked me for a suggestion, as where she could go to spend a week in Portugal, alone, and not necessarily near the beach, as she's taking her holiday in March.
She also wanted to know what is the best time for Sardinhas, the famous mouthwhatering Portuguese grilled Sardines. A wonder in its own, in the line of Portugal's 7 Wonders.

Well, it is possible that many other people - unfortunate to have never snifed a sardine and who are eager to pay the exhorbitant prices charged in some restaurants - may share the same query and appetite; so, in that case, keep reading.

That time of the year, Sintra is a sure bet. Not far from Lisbon, it has many interesting natural and cultural places to visit, since that time of the year the weather may not be good enough for the beach. Then there is always the local food... don't forget to take some treats of the local pastry with you, to make the Sintra experience last!

As for Sardines, the best time of the year is from May to July, according to experts, but you may enjoy them
till August just as well. "Any month without "r", as we say here. :D

There is much much more than just the Algarve. Here are other sugestions:;p_sub=1

I am sure you will find Portuguese people to be quite friendly and welcoming (not insolent, like in Bloguistan).
Enjoy your stay!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mourinho For President

After putting up with Abramovich's interference way too long, Mour is free and up for grabs.

I bet right now many top managers are feeling less comfortable in their shoes, thinking that if they slip up a bit, the Club's owner is going to be dialing Mour's number... and they're all hitching to...

Let's see how many trophies Ab. will win, now that he can have it is way.
One thing is certain, the Russian has been quite ungrateful to the man who has won for Chelsea one of every trophy there was to win in England, in 4 years; the man who has made Chelsea a winning machine for nearly three years in a row, something that Chelsea, and many others teams, can't find in their past pedigree... and it's unlikely they will repeat that in the future...

The players, the fans and even the press will miss him. Only the adversaries will be glad to see him go.
I for one, and I think I speak for at least 50% of the Portuguese population, we wish him all the best, and best for us would be to see him managing the Portugal national team.
If only Ab. had asked to swap Mour for Scolari...

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I never though I would have to defend and praise the "pigs" (not that I'm a con, just don't like to get tickets or driving related fines)... but recently I have had to come to the rescue of a much vilified police force, that has nothing to do with parking tickets or clamping cars.

The PJ really are the good guys in the story. They are the ones we turn to, when no one else can help.

They are fallible, they are less than perfect, they have fewer resources to work than other police forces in Europe, and they probably have some bad seeds in the core. "Toss the proverbial stone".

Having said that, Portugal is one of Western Europe's safest countries and the Portuguese police has a good reputation among their European counterparts. All this can be checked. Please do.

We are used to do a lot with very few, as our former global empire attests.

Eventually, all came to nothing; we have but memories of the times of yore - however! one thing all Portuguese did not loose is their PRIDE, and no way you can't take that away from us. Ask C Ronaldo. He may be booed and jeered, but you can't break him and in the end he comes on top.

All the unfair accusations against the PJ are coming from people leaning towards the "suspects", dishonestly ignoring the joint investigation with the Scotland Yard, the tests done in the Birmingham labs, the dogs and whatnot.

These critics are the same people who excommunicate others for jumping ahead to conclusions and who scream out loud "the parents are presumed innocent". Well, the same goes for the Police. And the Portuguese law system, that is indeed, quite foreign to you.

Get this once and for all - if the PJ has or not concrete evidence, they would never come out and say it before the investigation is through! I have my theories as why this case is "leaking" more than usual, but I will not speculate about it.

I know it's hard, many people are sharpening their knives already, but wait for the end of the investigation to see which you can lynch: the Police or the culprits (if any).

One thing, is certain though - don't think that you, no matter who you are, don't think you have the exclusive of feeling for Madeleine, because we all do, including the men and women, parents or not, that are part of the Anglo-Portuguese Police. And anyone who truly wants to find the truth about Madeleine, has to side with the investigation and support it to the end. We are all suspects; no one is above suspicion, in the eays of the law.

The amount of pressure, criticism, speculation and media hype would probably be almost unbearable for one of us. Imagine having a constant shrill over your head all the time, people knocking your work constantly without having even the faintest idea of who you are or what you are doing… and still, you are there to help...

So, to cut short what could be a longer post, stand in equity and support the official investigation, because those professionals, always under fire, have shown to have huge,

massive B A L L S, taking the investigation where the evidence was leading them, no matter what the pressure and backlash might have been.

I hope they will be given some leeway, for the sake of the investigation.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ludicrous McCann Media

Here we go again. Infamous accusations, smear, slurs and even insults, all served in a big bowl of speculation a la SKY NEWS...
This people have no code of conduct to go by at all? What has happened to impartiality, unbiased and rigorous information, etc?

Blind faith is quite medieval, so is the British media approach to this case. Why people choose sides when what is in question is evidence submitted to a Brit Lab, which seems to point to Madeleine being dead?
It is perhaps the harsh reality. Denial is understandable from the family, but the biased, deliberate smear campaign of the Brit media against the PJ, is what is Ludicrous. If the PJ are to be proven right, I'm sure then kudos and the glory of solving the case will go to the British cops present in the Algarve, that only take the scene when something positive occurs.

The public opinion is being manipulated. There is a lot of misinformation.
One clear example is the supposed "deal" offered by the PJ to Kate. Forget what you saw in the movies or TV - under Portuguese law, the police has no power to offer any deals, so it's highly unlikely that they would even go there. One word of advice: try to get as much independent information from reliable foreign press agencies, because you can't get that from the likes of Skate&Gerry News, the public family TV.
As someone watching from abroad, it seems like I am hearing about two different cases, so different is the coverage from Sky News, compared to Spanish or Portuguese TV...

Of course, the usual resistance to learn other languages may be a hindrance to understand what really is going on. There seems to be only one side of the story being released in the UK media, and that is the emotional quasi-hysterical nationalist one.
The PJ is not answering the provocations from the relatives and the media, but if this keeps up like until now, I hope they sue.

Yes, the word is "Ludicrous" indeed. Furthermore, it's absolutely sickening to see how people in the UK, including the media, find it easier to come to terms with "a cover up or planted evidence" by the naughty Portuguese Police, than to understand that speculation aside, the couple is being questioned, as they should, after the forensic evidence has been return from the UK LABS... immagine what it would be like, if the results had come back from Portuguese labs... it isn't that we do not have capable forensic labs in the country as suggested; it was actually a very wise move, to publicly further the involvment of British elements in the investigations. Now mine the credibility of that...

Will the same Brits that question every little move by the Police, with the same mistrust they would only have against foreigners, be that strange looking food, or driving on the right side of the road, will the same people question the results out of the British Labs? If the results say it's Madeleine’s blood and that she is dead, then is it ludicrous to suspect of anyone that has been around the misfortunate little girl, at the time?

Ludicrous is the way some people and the British media has been questioning everything as this SOBERAN COUNTRY is nothing more than a colony... Talk about slurs and campaigns... the British tabloids have the mint of all that rubbish, bordering defamation on a number of occasions and I hope they will soon be prosecuted.

You may not like how the results of the investigation, but the McCann have created a Media monster, and it's not fair to press for the "results" you'd like, if they may point in a different direction. Sooner or later, people may have to face the harsh reality that the little girl is dead... and we all feel for her.

Finally, there seems to be some people more eager to believe in conspiracy theories such as "PJ cover up and planted evidence to frame the McCann", than in what seems to be the body of evidence collected by the Brit and Portuguese agents investigating the case together.
For those who seem to be fond of conspiracy theories, get a load of this one:
Gerry McCann's brother and Gordon Brown, good old Scottish lads, seem to have been buddies in school...
Imagine what being friends with the prime minister could do for your family...
Anyone believes what they want... or in other words, people believe more easily that which meets their inclination and expectations.

UPDATE Saturday 8, 14.15h

I salute the change of tone in some Sky News reporters, that just now admited they should pay more attention to what they'd been calling a "smear campaign" by the Portuguese press, was in fact "a reflection of the Police investigations" - funny enough, that's almost the exact words I used a few weeks ago, here (under nnrico) - here's the quote:

" The Portuguese press merely reflected the change of course in the investigations, puting aside the victimization of the parents, whom, like it or not, are partly responsible for what happened." End quote.

Monday, September 03, 2007

#4 "Wolves"

The wolf is a wonderful animal, a survivor, and one of the few species that mate for life; but this is not about the endangered kind, but about another frail group of mammals - the Portuguese Rugby team.

For the first time, a Portuguese national side will be present in a rugby World Cup event, in the finals, as one of the contenders - although they have NO chance at all... simply because they are the ONLY semi-professional rugby team to make it to the competition, ever!

Yes, that's right, they are not professional rugby players, their lives are not just about rugby - yet, they qualified and they are going to go versus the likes of Scotland, Italy or, get this, New Zealand's All Blacks...
Of course, they have no hopes of winning a match. It would be like Luxembourg or San Marino, with due respect, after qualifying to the FIFA World Cup, to beat Italy or Brazil.

These "wolves" as their fondly known in Portugal, due to their relentless spirit and courage, will attempt to score as many points as possible against the "giants" of the sport, while trying not to loose for more than a two-digit score...
However, they are ambitious enough to try a victory against the more accessible team of Romania, although even this will be unlikely... but small numbers of Portuguese men have already proven to be able to surpass bigger odds - after all, a fistful of Portuguese soldiers and sailors established one of the more extensive and durable empires of the world.

Whatever happens next to the "wolves", they will not be crying but howling of joy at the moon in France's Rugby World Cup 2007...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Hysteria Lane" is nothing compared to this...

Wait and see what happens, just like people normally do, in other cases.

I guess that's pretty much the view of people around the world; only in the UK people seem to be taking it so personally, and the media are definately responsible for the hysteria, no doubt about that.

According to English tabloids, the Portuguese press "smears" and print "unfounded claims"; while the brilliant UK media is the paladin of truth and wholesome journalism, as we can see by their own dodgy style... pitiful and biased. The Portuguese press claim they have an inside "source" - they may have or not, butat least they try to do their own investigation, and no one is pressuring them nor throwing money at them, to side with one side of the story...

Discounted the obvious bias and the intentional MCs campaign to discredit the police work and the investigation, what is more revolting is that the UK media has been acting as the main vehicle for all the slurs, the pressure and the persecution, which borders xenophobia...It's unheard of, I think the word is acctually "LUDICROUS"!

All the fuss surrounding this case is indeed adding insult to injury in respect to parents of other missing children...

On the upside, though, all the fuss and hatred about the PJ work in Praia da Luz is not hurting the Tourism as it's claimed by the PJ detractors, but is in fact helping -Let me put it this way: "There's no such thing as bad publicity"...

Praia da Luz is now world famous, and even after the McCann left, many people still flock there in a sort of "macabre" peregrination to see the church, the resort, etc where everything took place...

The news teams alone sold out every room available in and about the area...

Besides, Portugal is much more than just Algarve, and thanks to all the publicity, even Americans now know that Portugal is not a Hispanic country in South America...

Also, many people have pledge to come next year to Portugal, on account of the beautiful scenery divulged on Tv and as a reaction to the vicious attacks the country unfairly received from the UK media and MCs supporters. After all, to believe in the parents own version, it could have happened anywhere in the world, since they stated the 3 very small children were left alone, to chance, and the door opened...

Anyway, the more the spin, the more people cry "wolf", the worst it looks for the MCs; it's quite sad when people resort to insults instead of arguments. Innocent or not, they are fast becoming the least favorite couple of the year. And how they are helping...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Media that Bit the McCann

It is sadly interesting to see how too much speculation has led people to such misinformation...
To suggest that the McCanns have suffered any type of "aggression" by the Portuguese media or the general public, is a clear evidence that the tabloids have done their job "right"; and to find people that actually believe such bull, it's not only pitiful, but revolting....

The McCanns have been having nothing but public displays of sympathy from the Portuguese people since their ordeal started. The Portuguese press does NOT have a campaign against the couple, unlike the british media - bordering defamation - against the Police, and previously against C.Ronaldo, in what seems to be the "silly season's Portuguese bashing open season"...

The Portuguese press merely reflected the change of course in the investigations, puting aside the victimization of the parents, whom, like it or not, are partly responsible for what happened. For the UK tabloids, it's just more easy to find escaping-goats that are foreign - provided they’re not Iranian, as we had the chance to see recently, and you don't want to aggravate this people...

Claims that the UK Police would have opened and closed the case in a snap, are just hilarious and refuted by blunders like Jean C. de Menezes and many, many other cases that fortunately Portugal does not have to deal with.
By the way, the British Police is involved in the McCann investigations as well... but once again, it's more easy to blame foreigners...
Who has ever heard of a "public investigation"? I don't se how all the fuss can help the little girl...

Lastly, if this had happened in the UK to Portuguese "McCannos", you can bet your cuppa of tea they would not have any special attention from the police, the media or anyone else, nor the chance to be ungrateful and say people were turning on them - because the media would not focus on some foreign-speaking couple staying in a country were crimes like this happen quite frequently.
Some Brtis are even of the opinion that people in Britan would instead start screaming about how much the investigation is costing the state, how neglectful this couple was and how arrogant they were, bla, bla, bla...
Let's leave it alone, leave it with the police, and wait for the outcome of the investigation, before we start assigning blame or shame.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

#3 "M" for Mourinho

I can't stress enough the importance of the role Portugal played in History and its influence in the world. Despite all of this, Portugal is still pretty much the remote relative that we all heard about, but never met. Part of the explanation for such, is that we hardly publicize or gloat about our own good stuff, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" The remaining part of the explanation, evidently, is that other countries take credit for stuff we did (eg. “Port Wine” made in Spain, discovery of Australia, etc.). We have a clear marketing issue to sort out.

So when you think of Portugal, what do you immediately think of? Wine, sunny beaches, the mean, lean, winning machine, called José Mourinho?

Although C. Ronaldo is tenderly nicknamed by the Portuguese "soccer" fans as "boy-wonder", the Portuguese manager once again takes a title - the 3rd wonder of Portugal is in fact, the 1st wonder out of Portuguese football. Not so much because of his undeniable trainer skills, but because he is probably the only Portuguese man who publicly defends his own and gloats to the verge of madness about his conquests and those of his group.

Granted, he often lacks sportsmanship and blabbers too much; but it's exactly that which makes him so different from his countrymen, therefore, such a damn good model for his nation - a marketing genius! Not a bad leader of man, and a damn excellent coach too...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

#2 Wonder @@ That

The 7 Wonders of Portugal according to Bloguistan are served to you in no particular order; however, wonder number two always comes first on my Wonder scale...
Meet Marisa Cruz - the best thing that happened to lucky Footballer João Pinto, himself a serious candidate to be one of the "wonders of Portugal" for infamously punching a referee in Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup. Now, at age 36, he's playing for FC Braga and to everybody's wonder, is in fact, Mr. Marisa Cruz.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

#1 First Portuguese Sports Car

As promised, here is Wonder number one:

Vinci Gt, the first ever sports car completely made in Portugal, except for the motor.
The people who crafted the car, probably felt it would sell better worldwide if it had a familiar, international name - like "Vinci".

I have only the utmost respect and admiration for the Renaissance genius, probably the greatest genius ever, but just perhaps, "Gama" would be a good name too - not only is known internationally as well, it also has "Da" before the name...

No wonder then, that the world thinks our navigators are Spanish, Italian, etc.
Fears that consumers abroad would frown at a Portuguese made car, are justified. The car failed to start during its official presentation... making Da Vinci look bad.
But when it runs, that puppy can really go: 300 km/ph of pure

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Even 7

‘Tis the day of druids and dwarves – the mythical 07.07.07 is upon us.

Quite appropriately, a symbolic election of the NEW 7 WONDERS is tacking place in Lisbon on this day, month and year. Just before the official ceremony begins, the election of the 7 “wonders of Portugal” is the consolation prize Portugal awards itself for missing out on the real big nominations…

Questionably, none of our many “wonders” qualified to be in the posh final list, so Bloguistan will soon post its very own list...

Now, seriously, what can compare to the ancient pyramids of Egypt, anyway? I'm a bit of a traditionalist, so only the original 7 wonders will do for me...

I feel that the only wonder to come out of this election, where anyone could vote online as many times as wished, the only big surprise is if Bush doesn’t claim this election too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

U S o B - United States of Bloguistan

Europeans are yet far from ready to live as one in a U.S. of Europe, and I doubt if ever will...

There are just too many differences, local and regional interests, petty quarrels, abundance of languages, and centuries of resentments separating the diverse peoples of the "old continent"...
It can work at some levels, eg. currency, economics, etc. - due to common markets and the globalization the Portuguese started (read on); but beyond these common points of international intersection, it will be difficult to implement union. The largest conflicts the world has seen have arised from several attempts at the unification of Europe. Even if this time a more tactful approach will be used, will not be easy and resistance will ensue.

Arguably the most important factor for European unification, has to be an "European Identity". Europeans need to feel Europeans, first and foremost, and be proud of it. Like, I guess, most Americans feel American through and through, and only then New Yorkers, or Hawaiians, etc. - with possibly the exception of Texans...
How many Europeans love Europe, as a cultural, geo-political diverse "entity"? Its old cities, lakes, mountains, brands of beer, gastronomy, sporting events, art, mix of sex prudery and promiscuity, etc.- from the warm shores of Portugal to the cold forests of Russia...

One of the most European countries of them all, I dare say, is one of the oldest as well: Portugal - and I will readily explain why, after a little introduction.
Portugal is not as homogeneous in population as you might believe. Its territory has been a "melting pot" since the last glaciation, and many different people have chipped in, through the ages, at some point.

In the age of Discoveries (from 15th century on), the Portuguese, already has an individual nation, have followed the example of Alexander, being the first country to eagerly mingle with people of all continents and considering them "Europeans", creating a mixed nobility in India and incorporating the "native" or mixed Africans, Asians and Amero-brazilians in religious orders, the military, etc., as citizens of own right, of which there are many examples in history.

However, Portugal has proved to be the most genuinely loyal and unselfish European country, by adhering, at all times, to the most eminently European cultural and religious pillars – the Greco-roman culture and the Juish-christian traditions.

While medieval super-powers like Venice were selling out to the Otoman Empire which controlled the spice commerce and used its exorbitant revenue to fund their conquest of Eastern Europe, the Portuguese are owed kudos for having open a new route to the spices and fighting off the Muslim hold of commerce between Asia and Europe – thus much contributing to halt the expansion of the Otomans to the west and initiating the current western “supremacy”. And what could be more European than "crusades"?

Unlike most European States that jumped in the world navigation wagon, lead by the Portuguese, we were driven not merely by economical profit, but also to spread the faith and civilization - which we made the point of sharing with non-europeans, sometimes against their liking … but many accepted the gift of Europesation gladly. And we were also happy to meet them, and their women, being the Portuguese the first Europeans in Japan, Australia and Southwest Asia (and in America, not counting the Vikings, that probably never had much inclination to know the squaws, in the biblical way)...

Thus, Portugal has been at all times a good “son” of Europe, although not such a good “father” to other nations that has founded or helped found…

So, at the end of the day, you gotta love Europe, as much as we do, to make it work…. and speaking of good "son", we should have our allowance raised...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Ultimate Insult

Conan O’Brien, you tall, ginger, repressed, TV-comedy-chat show host!

I can’t believe you haven’t viciously insulted my country in front of a live audience and the all world, in “Conan O’Brien Hates My Homeland”!

Unless you intentionally spared mighty PISS of Bloguistan, you have affronted this noble and unique nation, by not utterly trashing it, as you have done to other noteworthy countries like the Marshall Islands or Togo.

I frankly do not know what is worst. To be forgotten and left out, it is a grave insult, because you are implying that this country is so unknown and meaningless, it is not worth offending… then again, your writers might just be so Geopolitically challenged that they have never heard of tiny but influential Bloguistan… we discovered you, maybe it’s about time you discover us… Conan's still welcome, anyway, anytime.

Ps - For further reading, see bellow post "Dude that's our country"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It's been a while since I last pointed out a less favorable trait of the my people. Not to loose practice, I will resume badmouthing the Poortuguese today, right after I finish with the English.

No really, I do have to hand it to the English – in spite of everything, they do have many qualities. One that I most admire, is how close they stick together and support each other – especially when they’re in a foreign land… wasted, passed out in their own puke, at the verge of an alcoholic induced coma, their just about sober mates will not give up on them, although they barely keep their own shorts above the crack of their arses…

It’s indeed remarkable, how they stand up for each other, in the good times and in the bad times. They are a gregarious lot. Pubs, societies, resorts, hooligans… the English relish the chance to go out in packs.

Italians are known to support their own, as well. The Poortuguese, however, show very poor unity with their fellow countrymen, at home or abroad. That is something quite peculiar, in a people that are basically just one people, sharing one language and one culture…

Alas, it’s mostly “every man for him self”. True friendships are rare, despite all the warm handshakes and pats on the back. People are seen for they value, as in “what can you do for me?” or “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” etc. Often, this quickly turns to back stabbing, rug pulling and other nasty treachery moves.

I reckon this is still pretty much a tribal country. People more quickly hold allegiance to self or local interests than to the commonwealth…

It’s really a shame, for the only time in history that we were as one, that’s when we went and influenced the world and mankind...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"The Special One"

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL? Vanished May 3rd 2007, while on holiday.

I have some reservations about using my usual sarcasm in this post. We all feel for Madeleine and her family; and with all our hearts we wish that the little girl is returned safe and sound to her parents - she is indeed the special one here.

However, I have to set the record straight in what regards the over-the-top criticism the British Media has been spewing out, over the way the investigation is being conducted, so far...

Let me start by reversing the game: a Portuguese child vanishes in the UK - would anyone dare to say that child would get the same attention, the same media frenzy, the same scramble by the British authorities? Honestly? Not even near.
And what if the Portuguese Police or Portuguese media wanted to tell your people how to run the investigations?

Just like when England lost to Portugal in the World Cup Germany'07, the British tabloids rushed to find an escape-goat, they are out again looking for someone to blame...
From their "British superiority" they look down, yet again, to the tanned southerners who are lucky to live in a "warm" climate, otherwise they'd surely die, if food didn't grow in the trees... This "superiority" complex, this arrogance... where have we heard this before? Oh right, "The Special One", Jose Mourinho, the tabloids favorite target... "We know best, we do it better"... look who's the "special one" now...

We are all frustrated by the lack of immediate results from the investigation, and although there is always something that could have been done differently, it is insulting the way critics have been pouring down like Portugal is Britain's colony!!!
Things work differently around here, and that doesn't necessarily mean "worst"! Just accept that people and an investigation are more important than selling newspapers! Portugal is only the unfortunate background to this Bristish crime and drama; furthermore, Scotland Yard has many things not to be proud of (who's forgotten about the Brazilian lad shot last year, in Oval tube?)...

Many people in Portugal believe that the "secrecy of justice" rule (which prevents too much information from being revealed to the public before the end of the investigation) is archaic and should be used sparingly; I agree, but the tantrums British media have displayed, are unacceptable.

Many people in Portugal also believe that, to leave very young children on their own, when they could have free babysitting, it is a crime, and actually so does the law – many people even called that, 3rd world behavior...

Yes, Portuguese Police may be less “experienced” in some sort of crimes that are rare here (thank God), but to even suggest that they are less capable, it is the same as to suggest that British parents are less able parents…

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dude, That's Our Country

Ok now, all of you foreigners with two living brain-cells who keep getting mighty Portugal confused with shanty Spain, read the following and find out the difference between the two countries - an account made by a foreigner who visited an old Portuguese town, Olivença, occupied by Spain with the help of Napoleon's army, since the early 19th century; a situation akin to Gibraltar...

"Wandering around the old part of the town, what strikes me is how much cleaner and tidier Olivenza is compared with most Spanish towns. Then there is the noise - or lack of it. Walk through any town in Spain any time out of siesta hour and the decibel level can leave you wincing. In Olivenza people speak quietly - like the Portuguese, in fact. The past has left other positive traces. I have never seen a Spanish bakery with such a wide variety of pastries and marzipans as the one just off the Plaza de España. And the restaurants serving Olivenza's 11,000 population have plenty of Portuguese dishes on offer - notably cod, which is as close as food comes to being a religious offering in western Iberia". by Anthony Jefferies

THE TELEGRAPH, 19-Aug-2006

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Land of Confusion

Democracy and Freedom. It’s like broccoli and spinach. They’re good for you, but not everybody wants them. On the other hand, tobacco - it’s harmful, but many people don’t care. That's the beauty of Freedom and Democracy.

Many Americans have questioned themselves as why some people (namely in Iraq and Afghanistan) don’t seem to greet democracy and liberty with open arms, but rather with bullets and explosive belts.
Even if this western gift would not be wrapped in violence and coming from the hands of the “infidels”, many people in the Islamic countries would still not accept the offer of democracy and freedom lightly. Many aspects of their tradition and religion are at odds with democracy and liberty, and people could not be expected to change so considerably, from night to day. After all, in Christian Europe, this change took some 500 years to mature! That’s what good-intentioned Americans didn’t understand. Maybe if they’d pay more attention to other cultures and other countries, they could learn that democracy and liberty are not among the highest priorities everywhere in the world. It’s probably shocking to find it out like that, but when people don’t have security, food, money or a home, most likely they don’t have education either; so that’s probably why they don’t think democracy and freedom can help them to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Then again, some people may have very little or just enough to get by, and still live happily in a state shy of democracy (and vice versa). Because whatever you selling, they ain't buying. Also, the way you come literally knocking down their doors, along with their houses, without being invited and merely supported on poor excuses, that may also inhibit the locals to adopt your democratic ways...

Friday, April 27, 2007

World @ Feet

Recent studies in the European Union have brought to light that the Portuguese are the Europeans with less self-esteem (among other lesses). That may only come as a surprise to anyone not living in Portugal. In fact, the only surprise is how come a small country which has managed to exist for nearly 900 years within the same borders, language and culture, and has exported that same culture and language around the globe, how come these people feel like they're the most wretched?

I tend to believe that there is more than one answer to that. Many scholars have dedicated their time to this bewildering conundrum, and I have made my choice of the best possible explanations; my favorite is Geography. The same Geography that was immensely responsible for our greatness in the past, the launch pad for our Discoveries, is also an obstacle to the winds of different thinking, open-mindness and progressive ideas. The isolation on the western-most coast of Europe made it easy for sinister politicians and some clergy to hold the country back by blocking or chasing away the brightest and most gifted people.
Our greatest enemies are ourselves. Modern technology is helping to change that. Finally we will be able to stand out in the crowd again; and like our neighbors the Spanish, or the French or the English, we may start to be cocky and feel superior, because we had an empire too, we had servants and exploited foreign resources for centuries as well - only and again, considerably less than others...
Therefore, it always makes me laugh when people, especially in Britain, call Mourinho "arrogant"- when, they of all the people, coined the term "snob", sing "Britannia rules the world" and have Simon Cowell.
For a Portuguese fellow, he does have a huge ego, yes; but compared to a central European, he is quite mild.
After all, when someone promises to win and then delivers, he can't be smug - he is doing he's job. Millions or no millions, he his good and has proved it in smaller, poorer teams and even this season, with a mangled team. Love him or hate him, he's also the luckiest man I know, so make way indeed to the Special One...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Portuguese Ball Kickers

The only novelty and most noteworthy fact about the previous entry to this blog, is the candid remark of Peter Trickett about "soccer", hinting that Australians would suck less at football if the Portuguese had setup Australia. Well, Brasil seems to confirm the historian's theory, although I personally believe that the Aussies put on a rather good display at the 2006 World Cup.

Anyway, my goal here is a different kind of ball. Long before world cups and football, when the sport-king of the day was Jousting, someone had to first encompass the globe (world), for one day the world to take up globe (ball) kicking. Before C. Ronaldo, Figo and Mourinho, there has been many other Portuguese to leave their mark in the world. The line-up includes most of the early Navigators, and other nameless people who have helped Portugal to be the smallest nation to ever have had a global (world) empire.

I remember reading somewhere that Buzz Aldrin, one of the first astronauts and one of the few men to have contemplated the earth sphere from outer space, has compared the Portuguese navigations to the space exploration... venturing into the unknown, going boldly where no one had ever gone before, using the embryonary science and technology available at the time, while Europe and most of the world was busy fighting meaningless "tribal" battles.

Despite all the contribution to world history, modern Portuguese still need to open the way, the hard way. We are taken for granted, underestimated and many Europeans (namely the French and the English) usually have a hard time accepting that Portuguezzers can be more successful then them... when we are good, we're not good enough; and when we're just like everyone else, we're rubbish and the most wicked of the wiked. Hence, the likes of Ronaldo and Mourinho have to be sometimes a bit over the top, because coming from Portugal, means other people will often have low expectations towards the tanned dudes that are starting to steal their thunder. Ain't that a kick in the balls?

Friday, April 06, 2007


"This may come as a shock for Anglophiles" - begins Australian historian Peter Trickett speaking about his new book "Beyond Capricorn" - "but the map evidence leaves absolutely no doubt that Portuguese sailed into Botany Bay and charted it 250 years before Cook arrived there in the Endeavour". And the same goes for the Dutch, the French or any other Europeans claiming to have discovered Australia and New Zealand.
Long has the possibility (that the Portuguese were the first to reach "land autralis") been around. But the evidence available was considered scant by the nordicphile chauvinist scholars, up till now.
The documental prove has always been around; what is amiss, is often the will or interest to come to terms with the fact that such a small, poor country, with little wheigt in the International scene nowadays, can take such a relevant and prestigious position under the spotlight. This is easily verifiable just by watching the History Channel and see how many "anglophile" (especially Americans) documentaries about the "Discoveries" marginalize the role that Portugal played in parting with the Middle Ages and shaping the modern world has we know it today, since step 1.
On the other hand, the secrecy which the Portuguese navigators used to keep their findings under, along with the lost of the Maritime archives in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake also contributed to the lack of official documentation that could, once and for all, help shrug off foreign resistance to our achievements.
A few months before "Beyond Capricorn" came into public light, another book was being ready for publishing with evidence that Cristopher Colón (Colombus is wrong) was not the person everybody assumed he was (not Genovese, not Italian, not ignorant about where he "thought" he was, etc.)... but, funny enough, the authors did not find one sole Anglophone publisher willing to print and sell the book - out in Portuguese, with soon to follow Spanish and French editions...
We may have not known what to do with the large chunks of the world that we were the first Europeans to trail, but at least do not try to remove the credit from us. The Americans would be confused to have a founder coming from a country they assume is somewhere in Latin America, and the Italians would be ever so embarassed on Columbus' Day; but as Prof. Trickett put it, speaking about the Aussies: "we'd be a lot better at soccer."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

And Now For Something Different

There are certainly better causes to dedicate a day to, than April's Fools day. Mark Twain said something like "It's a day to remind us of what we are the rest of the year". I kindda understand days like Mother's Day, Christmas or even Valentine's, because, let's be honest, we are really not that nice during the rest of the year, so we take a day off to be "good" and kind for at least a day... but why make a special occasion of something most people really are, not only in April but on a daily basis?

Well, after half a minute of consideration, I came to the conclusion that I was indeed a fool to waste my time with that, so I went back to watching TV. As usual, the magical box had the answer - this is actually the Day of Hoaxes (in Portuguese, it's called officially the "Day of Lies" or bullshxt), so upon watching the news, I understood that this day is really dedicated to Politicians, some lawyers, ebay/Paypal and all scamsters, in general.
I get it now.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Local Carnaval (Mardi-Gras)

This profane tradition has no real use nowadays, being mostly an excuse for men to dress as women, or in Brazil, for women to dress nothing at all.
In the past it may have been important, as there was less chance for people to misbehave (and cross-dress, except for tights), so a special truce with the law was important; since in the recent years partying, boozing and horsing-around is the rule, I believe a revaluation of this semi-holiday is in order.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Welcome to FOODTUGAL!

If you love food, you will love Portugal.
We may not come in your country's "trendy" international cook-books, but some of us do cook and serve, in the kitchens of the best Restaurants in the world... alright, some of us do mop the kitchens and toilets of the world... but nevertheless, we DO have one of the best cuisines in the world - if not the best - I shit you not!
This bold statement may seem hard to digest and leave you farting and constipated at the same time, but that is just something you ate at breakfast. Of course the best way to prove it to you, is for you to “prove” (as in to taste) our food yourself; alas, it will be a while before BLOGUISTAN can serve its famous delicacies online (we're being fumigated at the moment); so although we may only offer you these sour pages for now, I will try to spice them up with a colorful description of our food habits.

The Portuguese live to eat. Just as other people love their booze, we love our food - and this is no overstatement. We even name places after it! For instance, one my ask if that direction-sign in the photo is also the local Menu, for above and under the Portuguese word for “butter(s)”, someone witty wrote “cheese” and “ham” – 19 Euros, instead of kilometers.

It would be fastidious to describe in detail all the excellent fresh fish dishes we have (being on the Atlantic coast line) or the succulent meat (from the mountains in the north to the plains in the south), or the different bread, wine, cheese, olive oil, deli, deserts, etc, etc, etc...
Suffice to say that we are known to have a different recipe to cook fish or chicken, for each day of the year - and they are all scrumptious.

Many French may like to point out, with their long baguettes in hand and smelly, moldy cheese in their breath, "French cuisine is the most refined in the world"; and so it may well be, we don't care for pretentious food or titles and ludicrous tiny servings - that's why our food is a secret well kept - we cherish it so much that we are unwilling to share it with the world.
Furthermore, even when we cook foreign food, we do it better than the original - to attest this, just check the story of the Portuguese baker and official maker of all the baguettes and croissants of “Messieur Le President” Chirac or the award winning Portuguese chefs that cook for France...

The problem with food is once we start, we can't get enough! I have not yet said everything about Portuguese food - but I will have to leave it marinating, for now...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Found Gold

Has anyone noticed that if you invert (mirror-like) the word "blog" you get "gold"?
Yeah, no big deal and you just wasted your time. Fool's gold.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Guide to Poortugal II

Welcome to Poortugal once again.
You will know you have crossed the border, as your ride will get a little bumpy.
We take great pride in leaving no doubt that we are an independent State, having little in common with our larger neighbour next door.

Upon arriving in Poortugal, motorists may be faced with the sudden slimming of roads, immediately after crossing the border; if your Mini Morris is jamming all the sheep and goat traffic, not to worry - you may actually ride on one of the few "Triple-deckers", in the World...
Enjoy your trip.