Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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Ten Life Lessons

Posted on June 08, 2010 by Ben Algarve

It has been a hectic couple of weeks with yet another trip back to the UK due to another wedding. We are now settling back in to life in the Algarve, and it is now, thankfully, two whole months before I have to go anywhere again.

Our residency nightmare is on-going, and I’m not going to detail the complete and sometimes humorous debacle at this point, as I am going to save it all for a detailed post as and when the process is complete. Regular readers will, however, probably be able to fill in a few gaps from some of the points in my list below.

SO: here are ten “life lessons” I have learned since my last post:

1. However long you wait and however hard you try to get hold of a Portuguese residencia certificate, once you finally get your hands on it, it is unrealistic to expect it to be valid for the correct amount of time or feature your correct residential address. Sad but true.

2. It is best to avoid leaving your wallet in a seat-back pocket on a plane, and unrealistic to expect anyone to hand it in.

London Stansted - Unpleasant

London Stansted - Unpleasant

3. Even if you use a “wine bottle irrigation system*” several of your plants WILL DIE if you leave them on your terrace for five days away in 30 degree heat.

4. Do not fly out of London Stansted – it is FAR too small for the number of people who use it.

5. Do not expect the young ladies at WH Smith in Stansted to pause their inane conversation about who they kissed on their night out, no matter how many miles long the queue is.

6. Never expect the boarding process on an Easyjet aircraft to be anything other than a hideous experience that highlights the ugliest parts of human-nature.

7. Expats should never convince themselves that it is possible to do ANY trip back to the UK without spending a small fortune.

8. The ability of Ebay buyers to collect items they have purchased at the agreed time has not improved in the last six months.

9. Café Nero sells half-decent espresso, Premier Inn does not.

10. When it comes to the World Cup, I will always be an England fan, however long I live in Portugal.

*A wine bottle irrigation system involves filling an empty wine bottle with water and upending it in the soil in a plant container. The plant takes the water it needs gradually and some kind of vacuum effect keeps the rest in the bottle. It is very effective, but unfortunately in this climate the plants need litres per day. Perhaps I need to start buying wine in five litre bottles ?!

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5 to “Ten Life Lessons”

  1. saz1 says:

    Hiya

    I am sorry to hear you have had such a bad time with Easyjet and Stansted. We are big fans of theirs and use them on a monthly basis. However this may be because we have speedy boarding, which really does make a difference. Especially if you have hand luggage only and the new electronic passports. We have been off the plane at Faro and in our hire car within fifteen minutes on many occasions.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy your next couple of uninterrupted months in the sun. we are over next week for ten days, which is nice.

    Saz

  2. admin says:

    Hi Saz,

    I love easyjet really (and we also always use speedy boarding and have electronic passports!) It is more the behaviour of the people in the queue that makes it such a (sometime amusing) ordeal!

    Stansted on the other hand: I remember it being such a nice airport to travel from but now it just seems far too small and hectic with queues for everything and nowhere to sit. We only flew out of there on this occasion as it was nearer to the wedding we went to, so from our next trip we will be happily back using Gatwick!

    Best wishes, Ben

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. CcoR says:

    Hi There,
    welcome back!!!

    I am waiting your post regarding the red tape.

    Did you have time to experience Vila Lisa?

    regards

  4. CcoR says:

    Just read what Fatima told you regarding your residency card.

    Please don’t give up on your dream of living in Portugal !!!

    If necessary, I offer myself to go there and help you on geting that card sorted out.

  5. Elaine says:

    I know how you feel about trying to get paper work in order, we were sent from one office to another. We down loaded forms from the internet which said we needed photo’s and we would need our fingerprint taken. Until a friend of ours who was local and in the local council told us what we should do, and what we were doing wrong. After that the whole process was easy.

    1) Went to the local council office in Canico we were registered as local occupancy info required was passports, the names of our mother and father, proof of ownership of our property total amount for this certificate about 3 euros, with our form we had printed off the computer filled that in that was free.

    2) Evidence of income, (as we are not retired) passports fiscal cards,driving licence documents all relating to our property and ownership along with the forms we printed off the computer again.

    3) Went to Santa Cruz all documents were verified and the next day had a call to pick up our residency papers, that we were now legal residents and signed by the mayor amount to be paid 3 euros and 30 cents each.

    Had we not met our local friend we would still be going from office to office, it is difficult once you say you are not retired but have an income and that is from the UK it all gets a bit confusing, had the same trouble with our health card which is now done.

    Enjoyed reading this site well done



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