Charming, picturesque, sunny, a hidden jem, fresh fish and friendly would be what most tourists describe Lisbon as.

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As a foreigner local living here for a year and 8 months now, I seem to be constantly reminded, in sort of an uncomfortable way, the impossibly ridiculous, back to ancient times, inexplicable and unnecessary hail storm of bureaucracy and paper works. All I want to do, as a good resident, is to update my address on my temporary residence permit, and to obtain a district resident card from the parish council (junta da freguesia), which is needed to obtain a medical number, which in turn is required for converting my driving license. Since I do not have a rental contract as I am living with my girlfriend in her proper apartment, the parish council requires a signature from a neighbor, with a copy of his/her ID. It is however, today, in Portugal, illegal to ask for a copy of the ID. So, the imminent question is: How am I going to get the copy without committing a crime, technically speaking, if otherwise should I be forced to abduct my neighbor to bring him in person to the Parish council instead, with his original ID in his pocket, in order not to ask for a copy? [What? Is abduction also a crime here?]

Or the question before this question is: How am I to ask the neighbor whom I don't even know, to vouch for a stranger like me, and to not to ask him for a copy of his ID, or to not attempt to abduct him (with his ID) to the Parish council?

Sometimes life is hard, and full of (unnecessary) dilemmas.

Authoryvonne Lim
CategoriesDaily life