Tag Archives: expats

Portuguese driving license all the way

My driving license and my passport had to be renewed. Strangely, they would expire on the same date: February 27th. The gods certainly have had a good time with that. I’d become wise, and started my bureaucratic journey already in November.

Piece of cake if you have to renew your passport abroad

Just go to the site of the Dutch embassy. There you’ll find everything you need to know. Forms, advice to copy everything, don’t forget your old ID, make an appointment online at the embassy. The address of the right photographer is also there. This man knows exactly how criminal you have to look to be accepted in the ID-system. The only thing you have to do is look up the train, count on your fingers to figure out what the best time is – ready! They even send it to you when it’s ready, for a small additional fee, by registered mail.

How different was that with the driving license!

I first went straight to the Fb page of the NCA – unparalleled – and there I got a flood of good advice. Thank you very much, fellow Dutchmen-in-foreign countries!

My premonition was therefore correct. I’m over 55 so I have to be medically approved. Reaction from my sister: “Yo, that’s crazy! You don’t have to do that here until you’re 75! ”

Oopsie! Seventy-five! Twenty years’ difference!

Well … when in Rome … You have no say in the matter

 

So I made an appointment at the Centro Médico. Graça is a nice woman, we know each other since the vaccinations of the children (no, don’t get me started …) Besides the form to fill in, she gave me the advice to go to the optician in the Intermarché, because it was the fastest and the cheapest.

I glanced here and there at displays, when I was somewhere, and I was startled by the prices. For a very simple model they still want to have a few hundred euros. Typical. That is very different in the Netherlands, isn’t it? Yes, right, only a few messages made that crystal clear.

I would go to the Netherlands in November, so I made an appointment online with the Specsavers, because they happen to be around the corner from my sister’s

We spent a very pleasant morning in their store, the three of us, turned the whole eye wear shop upside down, left the staff with red cheeks of laughter behind and would be sent all glasses within a week. All glasses?

Well, I could put on a pair of sunglasses for a little bit more, and my sister was actually ready for a new one … and a pair of sunglasses’s always handy, and her daughter-in-law was orienting herself …

Mid-December I had two beautiful cases in the mail, and I could go to the friendly senhor to do the obligatory test. Fifteen minutes, done. Even completely free. (Since then I greet the friendly senhor kindly when I enter the Intermarché.)

Following my-driving-license-list, and came to the conclusion that I could take the risk

Of going to Coimbra, I mean, with my entire folder full of documents and copies thereof – in accordance with the advice of the NCA group. After an hour I sat across from a gray lady who reminded me of my former French teacher. Nonono, this was impossible, she couldn’t do anything for me, because I didn’t have a registration in Soure. “How long have you been living here?”, and opened her eyes widely from my answer. “But I was sent from Soure to Vinha da Rainha, because I had to register in the Freguesia”, I explain for the fourth time, “I do not know how this is arranged – when they say in Soure that I have to go to Vinha da Rainha, then I go, you see? ”

Unfortunately! No way without the right numbers. First arrange that registration, and with the whole collection of numbers complete, she could dive into the system

Okay, well … I’d probably dropped dead by surprise if it had just happened at once. In my opinion, officials are paid to avoid doing the things they’re hired to do.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the monumental town hall of Soure, and eventually found a friendly lady behind a small door who knew exactly what it was about. I walked out the door happy with my newly-acquired number.

FOTO L met 

The next day I went back to the IMT. After an hour of waiting, it was my turn. The French teacher recognized me, but this time I had drawn the number of her neighbor. I kindly said good-bye to the raised eyebrows of the French teacher, and started drawing papers from my folder. In addition, I said in a monotonous tone: “Here is my old driving license-and-a-copy, here is my identity-and-a-copy, here is my residence-and-a-copy …” and in doing so, sent down the papers on the table. At the residence-and-a-copy she picked up the paper, and said in exactly the same monotonous tone: “that-one-I-do-not-need …” on which we both had to laugh out loud.

Now there was no problem at all, this couldn’t go wrong anymore- driving license coming up!

Not even when her neighbor, a little bit pissed because of my quick return and my apparent success, bent over to see the entry in Soure: “Incomprehensible that didn’t happen before …” but unfortunately, she couldn’t change anything anymore. We were on the road to success!

My driving license was inevitably to be extended!

And we could laugh about it too. I even could laugh in the picture!

A miracle!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

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Retired in another country

“That was quite something, packing everything” says Marian, taking of her glasses, “I’m still tired from it all. We first have to get some rest.” She rubs her eyes. “We have to make decisions about everything. Do you know how hard that is? I thought it was easy to be retired!”

Yes, I can imagine that it’s not easy. Usually we have so many things. And to many of those we have emotional attachements. “It seems nearly impossible”, I reply, “I don’t even want to think about having to empty the entire village …” We both laugh: “You can’t! Thát is impossible!”

The other side of being retired

You can have nice dreams, good plans, but one day you have to face the consequences. Then you have to empty your house, since you sold it, and you don’t have a new house to put all your stuff.

That means you have to decide whether or not you store that colorful little statue you bought in Italy on your first-shared-holiday or are you have to throw it out. If your mother’s old jewelry is going to be packed. Or if your grandparents bible, on which they swore their wedding vows, is going to auction. Are you going to throw out your favourite shoes? And your ivory letter opener? And that keyboard that still works?

Some people buy a camper

In which you can take your favourite shoes, but taking that colorful statue is madness. This may save you in several decisions, but so not many.

This is the what you have to struggle through before retirement, if you decided to live in another country. But then …. imagine! Being able to do whatever you want … always! Not just a few weeks, no, for the rest of your life. We normal people can only dream of that….

Now you have to be ready for it

When I try to imagine what it would be like, I think I would be bored regularly. It can also be nice to have to do something, and well, the worst is has passed.

The worst was all the running and the flying with small children. Always being in a hurry, always being late because that’s what happens when you have small children. Who don’t comprehend time. They have plenty of of it.

For their parents it’s the exact opposite. They never have time. Moreover, they are usually in the most ambitious phase of their lives, in their thirties. We are hard workers, we go on day in day out.

You get so tired of it

But if you are retired, you can give in. “I’m going to sleep so early,” says Anton, “I’m so tired of driving, and tomorrow we’ll go again. Again a long day.” Anton and Dora came along unexpectedly this afternoon, in their camper. Sold the house, bought a mobile home.

We had a chat and a drink on the terrace. How it’s like to be retired-with-a-camper. “Still, I would like to have a home again,” he says, “but the bureaucracy is definitely serious here?”

Termas-da-Azenha-blog-two-campers

Well, I can not deny that. When you buy a house, you will come across everything and something, and you need to know exactly what it’s all about. And, another consideration: “I’m afraid I can not do much later on, and then I need medical help … I do not speak the language … how would that go?”

Real worries. I’ve seen it more often

People buy a house with their sixty-something, and after a year or ten it’s going wrong. I have been sitting at a hospital more often to explain the physical situation to a Portuguese doctor. And it can really be a drama. I could tell your stories of a woman who sat alone in her home for years because her husband had passed away and she could not leave, because nobody bought the house. It was a beautiful house, but far too expensive. Not something that you sell easily.

“You can rent something here for a few years”,

I suggest enthousiastic, “you’ll always have someone nearby, someone who can translate, someone who can help you with this or that, and you can just leave. If you want to go back home for a visit to your children, family or friends, then someone will take care of your house! And: you don’t have to sell it again!”

“Hey, that’s not such a bad idea …” Anton’s taking that in, “say, live a year or 10 here without worries, and then you’ll be back again without problems. Yes, I’ll sleep on that! Maybe that’s not a bad idea at all! “

We say goodbye. Isn’t it nice, if a girlfriend’s sister sends her sister’s friend-with-new-loved one to you? You never know what will happen next.

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....