Less than a month ago I stood on a stage in Las Vegas and extolled the virtues of living in Portugal. More than 500 people were attending an International Living Retire Overseas Bootcamp Conference, and not a few of them came by my table in the ballroom afterwards to ask if it was all as rosy as I said.

In truth, I had presented some drawbacks in my presentation. I thought I would share with you, just in case you’re curious.

The Canine Situation. (*Pun intended.) The Portuguese like their dogs, and they like them outdoors, and they like them large. Big pups have big lungs. If you’re in an apartment or a housing development, you might think you’re living next to a kennel–particularly at night. Also, many locals think nothing of letting their dog–who has not yet mastered the art of the pick-up (you know which kind I mean)–out for an unsupervised stroll.

The Unreliability Factor.Β We’ve been fortunate to have some excellent assistance in terms of painters, plumbers, and the like. But getting someone to show up regularly for a lengthy project can be a challenge. “I’ll see you tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.” can mean anything from just what it is, to “I’ll see you next week” to “I’ll see you in a few months” to “It’s been nice knowing you.” It’s usually not because they are goofing off, though. These folks frequently overextend themselves with other jobs and interweave their projects. When you’re at the top of the heap, celebrate. When you’re not, you’ll just have to bide your time or hunt down someone else (good luck with that).

Bureaucracy. The Portuguese are rule followers, and that extends from the guy on the street to the gal at a government desk. You remember Meet the Parents, right?Β  I think this was one of the best scenes in a movie of many great ones, and it says a lot about life here.

So there you go. Full disclosure. Your thoughts?