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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Do you like our weather?

Since living in Portugal I've been asked this question at least two hundred and one times, so you might be suprised to hear that I still pause to answer the question each time it's asked.

The reason is that when someone asks me: "Do you like our weather?" I still consider the following:

Does he (or she) mean: "Do you like this weather that you and I share in Setúbal?"

Or does he (or she) mean: "The weather that you are experiencing now belongs to the Portuguese - do you, as a non-Portuguese national, like it?"

My pause, as I both consider these two possibilities and to wonder if my reply comes from Beverly who lived some years in England and now lives in Portugal or from Beverly who comes from Mombasa where we wore a t-shirt if it got cold, is usually long enough to make the other person either translate the question into English. Or to go on to say: "In your terra it rains all the time."

I sigh at myself every time. Why do I always manage to make things more complex than they need to be? Why don't I just say to such well-meaning people: "Yes, your weather is lovely"?


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