This is Simple
I’m loving it here and I really do consider it as home. In some ways, I feel totally relaxed as never before but there is a small degree of tension due to Brexit. What the hell, the UK has nothing to offer me and I feel that even with possible future problems, I’ll be better off in my Portugal.
Last Friday I visited the CTT in Miranda do Corvo. That’s the post office to sort out using the motorways. It was my intention to get a prepaid card. Needless to say, Portugal being Portugal, things were not a simple as hoped. No matter as I was told that they did not have any and that they would have to order it from a larger CTT and that I could collect it on Monday gone. I know I’m in Portugal so allowed an extra day and arrived back at the CTT today to collect my Via Verde card. What do you think. No card had arrived and I was told that if I returned tomorrow or Thursday, it would perhaps be there and ready for me. What the hell I thought, I might as well opt for the little gismo that sits in the windscreen and registers automatically as and when you pass through the automatic system.
Try this Route
Fine, decision made, no problems, no problems, no problems. Portugal being Portugal they were unable to find my make and model of BMW 320D on their system to register me and my carro. Never mind, I’m in Portugal and I’ve heard of these sorts of problems so I’m prepared for the minor Hiccup. Anyway, the very nice Señorita telephoned the Via Verde head office and we, or rather she, managed to sort that little problem.
Next, I have the post office (CTT) desk covered in papers especially so, as Portugal loves documents. There is my passport, NIF, banking docs, vehicle logbook and even the vehicle manuals in the hope of discovering what my particular bog standard BMW 320D might be called in Portugal. As said, the nice lady managed to sort that following her call to Via Verde. Now, we’re set to go. Me and my crappy Portuguese, very nice post office lady with her broken English and a dictionary between us.
After much tado, all is set and now all I have to do is pay the 27 Euro for the gismo you put in the windscreen. No problem. I hand over my English, debit card – It’s declined, I hand over my English credit card, it’s declined. Shit, what’s going on. I’ve got near on 20K credit with the card and there are sufficient funds in the bank. Is there a problem due to Brexit? Are transactions with credit and debit cards on hold? Shit, do I have a problem here as I only have a few hundred Euros left in cash and I gota pay some rent soon. I’m worried here. Nice lady says that perhaps the problema is due to them not having an agreement to take those cards in PT. Hell, that can’t be it as it’s HSBC and Barclay’s I tried with, not a card from WongoDongo Bent Bank Land. Still, I have to pay the Euros and in cash, I do so. Finished, done and dusted. Next, I’m informed that I have to go to the ATM and activate it with my PT bank card. Can’t do that as the Santander Totta have not yet sent the bank cards.
Following these worries of not being able to pay by a card of any sort I next visit the bank to see if I can draw out cash. Great, I’ve found the bank but can’t get access to the ATM as it’s inside and the bank it closed for business. Okay, perhaps I have a problem with £ to Euro transactions suspended. Eventually I find a bank in Miranda Do Corvo with a hole in the wall and thankfully, I can get cash. Wow, wee, that was fun. With a sigh of relief, I toddle off and celebrate with the purchase of large cafe at 85 cents. Yep, me big spender.