Rodrigo is the director of the Desassossego bookshop. Originally from Chile, he worked as an editor in different magazines, on TV and radio. In 2000 he realised that the office work was not for him, sold everything he had and left Chile, travelling the world working on the board of a cruise ship. Here he found a way to make money and travel at the same time in search of “his place”, where he would have all he liked: beach, great history, culture and peace. Once Rodrigo decided to move from Chile to Portugal.
“Before that I had visited Portugal 3 times: the first time I visited Portugal I was spending my time just partying and having fun; the second time – I discovered the culture, the food and made new friends; on my third trip I also visited Porto and realised that Portugal had a lot of good things.
It also has some bad things and “so-so” things. But it’s secure, and for me the security is the most important thing. Most of the countries I visited lack it, including Barcelona, where my parents are from.
I chose Portugal, because here you are surrounded with culture, which was the first thing I liked. Then, people here are nice, friendly and pleasant.
I chose Portugal, risked everything and came here. I tried to start my own business, but there is a big confusion with the bureaucracy. As I already had experience of working in restaurants as a supervisor and loved everything about cooking, I started working as a manager in a restaurant in Casino Estoril.
Here I faced a big battle for the language. I believe that it’s very important to speak the language of the land where you live. But there is also one perk in it: when you speak, as a foreigner, with a specific accent, people like it, and it creates a special relationship between people and you: the don’t say “let’s visit Rodrigo”. Instead they say: “let visit the Chilean”.
I was known in Cascais as the Chilean, and when I decided to leave Casino Estoril, one of my clients, who was the owner of Chiado Editora, invited me to work in his bookstore.
One of the five main reasons why I moved to Portugal is the Portuguese women. They are very difficult ones, but in a different way than, for example, the Polish or the Russians. A Portuguese woman is a very special thing. It’s a part of the Portuguese history and culture. They don’t believe in what they are. They always need to be reflected in another person.
Portuguese people risked themselves a lot when they conquered the world. But afterwards they remained here waiting for the world to recognise them, but it doesn’t work in life.
What Portugal gives me is the tranquility to live without worrying if I’m a millionaire, need to gain more money or to show off. Here I’ve found the liberty of not being known by anybody, where I could be discovered and valued for what I am.
What was the first thing that surprised me in Portugal? You won’t believe me but the coastline from Lisbon to the Guincho beach is exactly the same as the one from Valparaíso to Concón in Chile. Lisbon (as well as Valparaíso) is a port, a center of art, culture, music, graffiti, then Estoril Casino (Casino Viña del Mar in Chile), Cascais (Reñaca), and in the end of the route – the Guincho beach with its hill (exactly the same as Concón).
I felt at home, but with a different language, different people and a better quality of life”.