I wasn't really hungry. My family had colonized half of the outdoor seating area of a beautiful restaurant in Albufeira. I gave the menu a cursory glance over. It was the usual British fare, but most of all, I wasn't ready to eat again just yet.
Instead I set myself a mission. I would wander off alone through the winding alleys and broad avenues of Albufeira. I would find Portugal. After all, how hard could that be? I was in a Portuguese town!
Just in case I did get hungry later, I even jotted down what I wanted to eat: 'comida de vegetaranio à Portuguesa'. I hope that said 'Portuguese vegetarian food'. I never did find any.
In fact, I found little which appeared at all foreign to me. The architecture was the main exception. It was wonderful and so much prettier than you'd find in Britain. No two buildings appeared the same. Designers out-did each other to create truly unique edifices, which were really pleasing to the eye.
But they were all adorned with signs which were sometimes bi-lingual, but often merely English. There was nothing that I looked at which I couldn't read. I even came across a job vacancy notice for a waitress. It was in English first, with a Portuguese translation directly underneath. The final line returned to my language. It said, 'Applicant must speak English.' That pretty much said it all.
Later on, I spoke with the owner of JKs Restaurant and Bar. He was born and bred in London. I asked him where I could find something authentically Portuguese in the Algarve. He told me that the whole region is British now. He appeared quite sorrowful, as he added, "I do wish that there was more of a return to the old Portuguese. It needs it."