Ever since it was announced that Iceland, the UK frozen food chain, would be opening a store in the Algarve I have followed, on the many forums aimed at expats, the frequently heated debate about the desirability of such a commercial endeavour. While I will not be a frequent shopper I will be an occasional one, in the same manner that I occasionally shop at a number of different Algarve establishments. OK, that's my position. But now about the furore.
There is a small but extremely vocal group of people who would like to restrict my choice, your choice, our choice of where we shop because they can not understand why people who have relocated their homes, their families, their lives to the Algarve would want to maintain ties to the UK and it's produce. These proponents in the 'Buy Portuguese' camp seem to have cut their dietary ties with Blighty, and while I have a degree of empathy with their argument to buy locally, the hypocrisy latent in their arguments leaves me cold.
If integration into the local community is paramount to this band of naysayers, why are they posting, in English, on expat forums aimed at non-Portuguese? Have all of these pro-Portugal opponents of free choice taken up official residency and converted their driving licences? And forgive me if I'm wrong, but are they, by any chance, watching UK television via Sky, Freesat and the internet?
If the philosophy of Iceland's detractors is that of 'When In Rome, do as the Romans do', surely their credibility would be enhanced if they said so in Italian.