In Portugal, after you purchase anything, they ask you for your tax number. They call it the NIF. It is a nine digit number and apparently by using it to buy groceries and things, it will eventually lead to you getting some money back from the government. I don’t really understand it, but that is what I am told.
I memorized this number pretty quickly and I repeat it, when prompted, in Portuguese. On the other hand, my priest struggles endless with saying his number in Portuguese. His has a lot of repeated numbers, so you would think it would be simple. When he opens his mouth, his Portuguese is so brutal that the clerks can’t focus. They look at him blankly. Some chuckle. Some shake their heads. Some make him repeat the number very slowly.
Today was my favorite moment yet, because the clerk was so amused he couldn’t stop full on laughing; like belly laughter. Then he said that my priest shouldn’t attempt the numbers again in Portuguese….English only. I am always so embarrassed when my priest gives his tax number, because he butchers Portuguese, but he insists on practicing. Finally, this clerk confirmed what I have been telling my priest for over a year. Give it up dude! Portuguese is not his jam and although he provides the natives with great comedy, almost everyone speaks English and they do so a hell of a lot better than he speaks Portuguese.
I sincerely hope he got the message. Keep you posted.