Gonçalo Trindade: “To be real is to be you with zero strings attached.”

Gonçalo Trindade shares with us his unique, humble and honest perspective of how difficult it is to move alone to another country. Being a fan of music and probably going to more concerts than everyone else in Berlin, made him an expert about the subject, especially with a background in journalism. His enthusiastic feeling, mixed with such an incredible positive way of living delivers some really good answers.

1 – How old were you when you moved to Berlin? What was the main reason to move?

I was 26. I wanted to a) move abroad, hopefully in a place where I didn’t speak the language, and force myself to adapt to that and b) to find a job I liked a lot more, in a different environment. When I was offered a job in this company, I went for it straight away.

2 – What kind of cultural characteristics have you absorbed from Germany?

I’ve become a bit more transparent and direct (and, as such, more blunt), I feel.

3 – Do you think your origins have influenced people around you? 

Not particularly… I feel like my origins gave me a very distinctive personality, one which becomes even more particular here. That hasn’t directly affected the people around me, but it affected the friends I have and how people interact with me.

4 – What are the biggest challenges of living in a foreign country?

If you do it like I did, all by yourself, the biggest challenge is the most obvious one: to make new friends. I had to create a social circle from scratch, and the first couple of months were very lonely. It can be quite intimidating sometimes to put yourself out there again, and just try to make friends with people – particularly in a city like Berlin, where people are so nice yet not quite as open or “warm” as the Portuguese or the Spanish. But in here, when you do make friends, they’re in it for life.

mutual dna interviews recipe

5 – Name the most positive aspects of Berlin.

There’s so, so, so much happening, all the time. The cultural life can be overwhelming, and it totally takes over you if you really start to get deep into it. There’s so much to see, to do, to experiment.

6 – During this time in a foreign country what have you learned about the human being? What sets us apart from each other?

Nothing. We all have our particularities, our different cultures, but, really, in the end we’re not all that different. That’s what I learned.

7 – What is missing in your home country that your current one has and vice versa?

I only have one answer when people ask me this: my family and my friends.

8 – Is there a favourite german dish you prefer?

The Flammkuchen!!

9 – Which stereotype doesn’t make sense about Germany?

People think the Germans are colder, but they’re not, at all. They just don’t like chit chat, and are a lot more transparent than the Portuguese.

10 – What were your biggest fears before you moved? 

Everything. I’d never lived by myself, I knew zero German, I had no-one in Berlin that could help me, I was afraid I wouldn’t like the job or the people… Everything could’ve gone really wrong. But nothing did.

11 – From the legal point of view, was the social framework easy? Do you have any advice for someone moving in?

There is a lot of annoying bureaucracy, and getting set up takes time and patience but, once it’s done. It’s done. My best advice would be to plan in advance, and have a list of everything you’ll need, and where you can get it.

12 – What are the greatest labor differences between Portugal and Germany?

Working here is a much more flexible, creative experience, where people judge you by your work and nothing else. As long as everything’s done and done well, you’re good. In Portugal, I feel like the appearances are worth a lot more (unfortunately).

13 – What is your favourite city spot in Berlin?

I like the Museum Island a lot and just walking around that whole area, and the Paul-Lincke-Ufer area is also really nice and very chill, with the canal and all the bars.

14 – Where do you feel “at home” in Berlin? Is there a specific place?

At my small apartment. It’s mine and mine only, and that feels incredible.

15 – Do you have a favourite restaurant in Berlin?

Pho Berlin!! It’s a Vietnamese place, and it’s really cheap even though it’s A LOOOT of food. The owner is this adorable woman who speaks no English whatsoever, and it’s always a really cute, quirky experience when you go there.

16 – What is it for you to be real? / What defines you as a person?

To be real is to just be yourself. As we grow older, we create more and more barriers, and at some point start to care a bit too much about what others think and how we’re perceived. I had to move to a different country to understand that, really, the only person who I should really care about what they think about me is… well, me. To be real is to be you with zero strings attached. I’m still working on it, but I feel like I’ve become more like myself than ever. And people here just appreciate much more than in Lisbon.


Lisbon, Portugal


Currently Living:

Berlin, Germany


Porco à Alentejana (Portuguese pork and clams) recipe mutual dna


350ml (12 fl oz) dry white wine
1 teaspoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 bay leaf
1kg (2 1/4 lb) pork fillet, cube

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed chillies
24 small clams in shell, scrubbed
handful chopped fresh parsley



In large bowl, combine wine, paprika, salt and pepper; blend well. Add halved garlic cloves, bay leaf and cubed pork, and mix to coat thoroughly. Marinate for at least 6 hours, turning occasionally.Remove pork; reserve marinade. Pat pork completely dry. Discard garlic and bay leaf.

Melt 1 teaspoon of oil in large frying pan. Add pork, stirring frequently so that the meat colours quickly and evenly. Transfer with slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour reserved marinade into frying pan and bring to the boil over high heat, scraping off any brown bits clinging to the inside of pan. Boil uncovered until marinade is reduced by 1/3. Pour over pork and set aside.

In 6 to 8 litre casserole, heat remaining oil; add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onion is soft but not brown. Add minced garlic, tomatoes and crushed chillies. Simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Spread the clams, hinged side down, over the tomato sauce; cover the casserole tightly and cook over medium to high heat for ten minutes or until clams open. Stir in reserved pork and juices. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat thoroughly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Recipe from http://allrecipes.co.uk/

All credits, except the picture in this article to:


Name of the recipe:

Porco à Alentejana (Portuguese pork and clams)


Country of origin:


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