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