When I was writing the post about the 5 essentials in Sweden, for the Newbie, I started thinking about other essentials I may have used when I was living in other countries. I gave it some thought and here are my Top 5 essentials in all the countries I have lived. I must confess that I had to push a little extra to get to the ones in Poland. It feels like I lived there a century ago!!
I'm not sure this will be as much fun to read as it was to write but I hope so!
1. Sunblock - The sun surely shines a lot in Portugal, even in the winter.
2. Sunglasses - The sun shines a lot and can affect sensitive eyes, especially to those not used to it.
3. Warm bed lining/pyjamas - Winters in Portugal are mild, but the temperature is often the same outdoors and indoors.
4. Indoor slippers/flip flops - Many houses and flats in Portugal have tiled floors. These are really cold, sometimes even in the summer, so indoor shoes are needed.
5. Strong stomach - if you want to try everything there is to try. Portuguese food is awesome, but it can be on the heavy side and sometimes a bit on the weird side too. It is usually worth it!
Sunrise in Brazil
1. Sunblock - The sun shines even more than in Portugal. Use a stronger SPF.
2. White clothes - They help to keep you cooler. Other lighter colours work.
3. Good skin moisturiser - Your skin will be thankful, after all the extra showers you will need.
4. Deep pockets or pockets with zippers - Or any other kind of protection against pickpocketing.
5. Water - Tap water is not drinkable, so I always carried with me a bottle of filtered water.
6. Patience - Sooner or later one needs to deal with the complex, unbelievably weird and famous Brazilian bureaucracy. Patience is needed. In large amounts!
1. Gloves/hat/scarf - also essentials in other countries, but it was in Poland that I understood how important they are.
2. Dictionary - many people don't (didn't?) speak english and with smartphones still under development it was one of my best friends.
3. Polish crash course - see number 2.
4. Sports equipment - winters are grey and depressing, and the best is remedy is to practise a sport. Poland is full of great gyms, fitness classes, football pitches, indoor swimming pools, salsa clubs, you name it.
5. Deck of cards - to break the ice in a party, to play solitaire when there's no electricity, to take to a picnic by the lake in the summer.
PRAGUE (in CZECH REPUBLIC, but some are exclusive to the capital city)
1. Public transportation card - Cheap, good coverage and very useful.
2. Camera - It's a gorgeous country and great images await to be photographed.
3. Comfortable shoes - because you do want to walk around a lot and not miss anything.
4. Czech crash course - it is always better to know a few words in the language, especially if you want to explore outside of Prague.
5. Time for culture - Art, music (jazz, classical, blues, exotic, ...), theater (dark light, puppets, experimental, ...), etc. There's so much cultural events happening all the time that I was "forced" to leave my assumptions behind and enjoy new things. I never regretted any event I attended, even the most weird and exotic ones. I only regret not having it done more.