Yes, it has been a month since I’ve moved to Lisbon! And “so far, so good!” is how I would describe my experience thus far Contrary to my initial expectation, I’d not experienced periods of boredom. In fact, there were moments when I wished that I had more time!
I am now in the midst of an intensive Portuguese course (Level A1) at the University of Lisbon. Intensive is an understatement – the original 2.5-month long course has basically been compressed into 4 weeks! To add on, I’m not exactly the most linguistically-talented person around. I feel so much more at ease with numbers! My innate abilities also attributed to the fact that back in secondary school, I dropped Japanese elective after 3 lessons and opted for O-level Computing elective instead!
Anyway, this is the entrance of my faculty To spur myself on, I’ve researched the benefits of mastering Portuguese. According to the CIA World Factbook, the top “first languages” in the world are Mandarin Chinese (12.4%), Spanish/Portuguese (7.5%) and English (4.8%). If I learn Portuguese well, I’ll effectively be able to communicate with 25% of the world. If I include people who know Mandarin/Spanish/Portuguese/English as non-first languages, I’ll probably be able to connect with half the world!
According to my professor, around 20 universities in China are now offering Portuguese as a foreign language course. In addition, about 70% of students in my University (who are studying Portuguese) are from China and most are sponsored. There are also students of other nationalities who are sent by their respective governments. Such investments suggest the high growth potential of Portuguese-speaking nations. Apart from Portugal, Portuguese is widely-spoken in South America (notably Brazil) and parts of Africa (such as Angola and Mozambique). These are countries with untapped possibilities, and very likely the “dark house winners” of tomorrow! In addition, I’ll possibly be one of the very few Singaporeans who understands Portuguese. Haha. Ok, I’m motivated
Also discovered a new coffee place to chill. Actually, Brown’s Coffee Shop is the cafe of a downtown serviced apartment. Compared to Starbucks, drinks are cheaper (yeah!), furnishings are nicer (yeah yeah!) and it’s not as crowded (yeah yeah yeah!)
By the way, 20 July also marks the 2-month anniversary of queridabonita.com. Originally, I thought that this would just be a 1-post blog to fulfill Querido’s birthday wish. Now, queridabonita.com is connecting me with my friends worldwide in a more personal way. I’m surprised that it has even registered 5,000 hits over a short span of 2 months, especially since my blog is only known to some. Thanks to those of you who have reached out separately to me (via facebook, email, whatsapp or sms) after reading some of my posts. Your greetings and, more often than not, words of encouragement have really made my day!!! Joie de Vivre!!!