Azores Trivia – Part I

We decided to go to Azores this year, instead of going to our original destination. Japan isn’t going anywhere, so we can wait until next year, when hopefully everything is more sorted out there. The plus side of our Azores trip, other than it being a place I’ve wanted to go to since I was a kid, is that this way we’ve contributed to our national economy, which isn’t doing very well.

Since I kept a travel journal for the first time, after encouragement by a couple of people, I’m considering making a series of posts about my stay in Azores. But since the text file I’ve started transcripting it to (and not translating it yet) is becoming a Giant Wall of (Unending) Text, I thought I’d start with some random annotations I took during the whole trip. In case I give up on the whole ‘let’s write about what I saw’ series of posts, when I get back to work and am too tired or too lazy to do it, there will be something here about the trip.

Let’s begin.

. The cows in Azores, like almost anything else in the islands, were initially imported. They came from Holland. The black and white cows are the ones that produce most milk, however the cattle owners started getting another cow race, that doesn’t produce as much milk, but their fatness value is higher. Comparing one to the other: the black and white cows’ milk required to make one cheese is 10 litres, while the other cows’ milk requirement is 8 litres. When just selling the milk, they mix both kinds to enrich the nutritional value of the milk, thus increasing its overall quality.

. The local version of chavs, who we call ‘chungas’ (some dodgy guys with horrible fashion sense and even more horrible cars), other than doing the typical aesthetic changes to their vehicles, do something the continental Portugal chungas usually don’t (or maybe I’ve just not noticed that particular behaviour), which is lowering their car seats, sometimes so much that they can barely see over the tablier.

. Speaking of chavs: crosswalks are mere guidelines and are usually ignored. Crossing the street in all islands was like playing Frogger, and the smaller the island, the harder the level.

. The passenger ships between the islands are inactive during the Winter, due to the harsher navigation conditions.

. Two out of the ten portuguese dog breeds are from the Azores: the Cão de Fila de São Miguel (Azores Cattle Dog) and the Barbado da Terceira (Terceira Cattle Dog). The first I mentioned kind of looks like a hyena, and the second is more like a mix between the Portuguese Sheepdog (Cão da Serra de Aires) and the Portuguese Water Dog (Cão de Água Português).

. Drugs there are cheaper (and illegal) than in continental Portugal.*insert joke about the lower VAT here being related to that* Most crimes that send people to jail in Azores are drug related.

. Apparently two national television networks (SIC and TVI) always fail the weather forecasts myserably. The state channel, RTP, gets it right occasionally.

. Although the bird depicted in the Azores flag is an Azor, that species isn’t found in the islands.

All for now. Will post more stuff when I get the chance.

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2 thoughts on “Azores Trivia – Part I

  1. You should come more often to this side of the river: chavs with lowered driving seats abound…
    Açores is one of those places that for years I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to visit soon. but that day is yet to come

  2. Oh, I’ll keep an eye out for those when I go to ‘The Other Side’ (read with ominous voice). :p

    I definitely recommend doing at least one trip there. I hope to go back in a few years and see a few more islands.

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