My first post on the blog was about the things I miss about life in Portugal since moving to Switzerland. Little things I never thought I would miss about my homeland, but that I really do.
But the truth is, after almost three years living in Switzerland, there’s also some things I miss about Heidi’s country when I’m back in Portugal for a visit.
I mean, I love Portugal but I guess that’s just something that happens when you move abroad: you start seeing you own native nation in a whole new way. The good parts and the not so good parts.
You also begin to feel at home in your new country, and even to miss it when you’re away.
So for the sake of honesty, here are five things I miss about living in Switzerland when I’m in Portugal:
This is what strikes me the most every time I travel back to Portugal, more precisely to Lisbon: the trash in the streets, the dirty walls of almost each building, the dog poop on the sidewalks…
It’s almost unbelievable to me how I haven’t seen this before.
Well, now I do. And it’s not pretty.
While the dog poop everywhere is clearly a matter of civility, the garbage all over the city also shows a lack of care by the public services.
Don’t let yourself be misled: Swiss people also throw litter on the street. The big difference here is that the streets are cleaned every day.
#2 Swiss organization
From public transportation to customer service, Portugal could learn a thing or two with Swiss organization and efficiency.
Systematic delays in public transportation without any explanation to users, excruciatingly long lines in stores and supermarkets, lack of efficiency and friendliness in state and private services…
These are only some of the challenges a Portuguese has to face on a daily basis.
As still newly arrived to Switzerland, I remember how surprised I was to realize that many stores leave their products outside unattended during the night or lunch time.
Let’s be honest: this would be impossible in Portugal. I come from a little island and yet I had never seen anything like this.
Although Portugal is surely not the most dangerous country in the World, as a woman I have to say I had never felt so safe walking alone at night or taking public transportation by myself as I feel living in Switzerland.
#4 Central heating
Believe it or not, but winter in Portugal can feel much colder than in Switzerland. Even if the thermometers don’t agree with me.
All due to the central heating system, which is a must in every Swiss building but not so common, and expensive, in Portugal.
The result is having to wear a coat inside or to sleep with 3 blankets at night every time I’m back in Portugal during the winter.
#5 My home
This is of course a very personal thing. But after a while living in Switzerland, I feel more like a visitor than a local whenever I’m back to my own native country.
Because that’s what I am now. My family and some of my friends may still be there. But my home, my belongings and my life are now in a different place.
And a bit of my heart too.
So there you have it: the five things I miss the most about living in Switzerland, when I’m back in Portugal.
Are you an expat living in Switzerland or in any other country? Do you ever feel a visitor in your own native land? Share in the comments section below.
- Moving to Switzerland? Read here
- Looking for new friends in Switzerland? Read here
- Wanna travel Switzerland on a budget? Read here
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