In Portugal, like in many southern European countries, the attitude towards communication can be very different to the Anglo-Saxon attitude. Imagine you speak to someone one day and you expect for them to email the next. When the next full day is gone and there is nothing you tend to think they've had a busy day. "Surely they'll write something tomorrow" is your thought.
Imagine then that 3 or even 4 days go by and still nothing. Now you know something isn't right! You might, if you're a compassionate soul, imagine - or worry! - that something terrible has happened or that they must have been so busy that it was just not possible to get back to you.
When you do finally reestablish communication you are totally staggered to find that they had every opportunity to contact you but just didn't.
Now you can feel a little - or a lot - foolish. Your plan to drop everything and go over now seems ultra silly. They have no interest after all!
So what do you do? Well firstly, remember it probably is cultural. They do things differently, after all. Well, it might be because you are persona non grata and they just couldn't be bothered to write to you, or it might be because there's just too much else on and your inconveniencing them.
This invariably fails. They are different to us. The whole thing is different: different mindset, different attitude and different culture. They might appear the same but they can be radically different!
So are we doomed? Of course not. Is it easy? It can be.
The best advice, when going abroad, be it on holiday or to live, is to adapt adapt adapt. Observe their culture and customs and try to at least understand them. You don't have to practice their customs, but at least you can better understand why they sometimes do what they do. They will seem different once viewed in this light.
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" as someone once said.
Now we are not advocating an Elizabeth Gilbert like pilgrimage in foreign climes, just a more healthy approach to dealing with the natives. Be patient, try and understand that your reason for moving was to avoid the hectic pace of life in the UK. Our reply, with the greatest of respects, "What did you expect?". It is a stress free life on the Islands because NO ONE is in a hurry. Isn't this why you want to go there? Embrace it for what it is and you will enjoy it even more.
So if communication lets you down, don't fret. Because they won't.
In the meantime, during the period of transition to carefree person who couldn't care less about communicating, allow us at Snagging Overseas to bridge the gap. We can provide patience to deal with the different companies so you don't have to.