What a Way to Keep Tiles Clean (In Portugal)

There’s a Whole Lot of Tiles Going On

Dear Travel Diary

Dear Travel Diary,

All the floors in the apartment are tiled. Floors without carpets are still something I have yet to get used to. Back when I was a child, growing up in Yorkshire, we had lino (linoleum flooring) in the kitchen and carpets in all the other rooms of the house. I think that was pretty common in those days, but some people had kitchens with floor tiles.There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then and lino has been superseded by vinyl and laminate flooring.

When owned my own home I had a mix of carpeting, vinyl, and laminate. It was a different story in every room. A lot of people I knew also used one or all of these options and the use of laminate was on the rise. Kitchens with tiled floors were also popular, though. When I was working as a security guard on building sites I saw plenty of new houses with kitchens that had tiles on the floor. My social conditioning made me feel tiles were a thing for the kitchen, the bathroom, and maybe the entrance hall.

Image my surprise when I went to live in Valencia for a month and saw tiled floors in every room. Culture shock! Everywhere I lived in Spain had tiled floors and I never saw a single vacuum cleaner. Some homes may have them. I don’t know. But the places I lived at and visited where always tiled and people cleaned the floors with a brush followed by a mop and bucket. It’s the same setup here.

In Portugal, people seem to be tile daft. Many houses even have tiles on the outside walls. There are tiles on the walls of churches and on the walls of the tombs in the graveyards as well.

The tiles in the apartment where I am living are the some of the nicest ones I’ve ever seen. I like them a lot and have just spent a few minutes cleaning the kitchen floor.

The strange mix of hail and rain returned briefly last night and this time the pieces of ice were bigger. Probably about the size of frozen peas. Thank god I was inside writing and not out in the street somewhere. I was at my desk writing till 05:00 and by the time I’d wound down, it was nearly 06:00 before I hit the sack. I didn’t wake up until 12:20, so it’s another late start to the day.

The good news is, the clothes I hand washed yesterday are nearly dry. It took less time than I thought. That was a nice surprise. Oh well, time to start focussing on my work.

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