I love technology. It makes my life better. It has enabled our transition to life in Portugal beyond comprehension. I can stay in touch with friends and family by text, audio or video. I have unlimited sources of entertainment in the forms of shows, movies, music, books and newspapers. I can file my income taxes and research how to renew my residency permit. Recently, I even attended a class on how to design and prepare files for 3D printing – and then did it! Every day, technology expands my world further and connects me to more people and information.
Of course, it can be so frustrating you just want to curl up in a corner, whimpering like a wounded puppy…will this page ever load? I’ve been shut out again? There is no button for that, dammit! Nonetheless, in the great Excel spreadsheet of life, the pluses far outnumber the minuses, which leads me to this post.
In the year before our leap, both Wayne and I did a hefty amount of online research about visas, climates, what to pack, etc. I discovered a FaceBook Page called Americans in Portugal. It’s comprised of expats currently living in Portugal (some for ten years or more) and wannabes (as I was). It is a healthy exchange of sincere questions and knowledgeable, practical answers. The information I found there was instrumental in helping us navigate an assortment of bureaucratic hurdles. Now that we are living in Portugal, I try to contribute answers whenever I can.
We lived in Denver for 4 ½ years in an area called Washington Park. Wayne and I often walked to a nearby area called Bonnie Brae for the great handmade ice cream. It was about a mile away.
Before we left the US, Wayne had ordered some meds through his mail subscription service. They didn’t arrive before we left and the plan was simply that his sister would mail them to us once they arrived. Well, hold on there, girl scout! That thar ain’t gonna happen no way no how. You cannot ship prescription drugs out of the country via any carrier – USPS, FedEx, DHL – no, no.
Looking for a Plan B, I turned to the AmP page, inquiring as to how else we might get these drugs. I got a response from a woman who was living in – of all places – Bonnie Brae, and would be arriving in Lisbon within 2 weeks! No prob – she will pack them in her suitcase for us and bring them over. She retrieved the meds from Wayne’s sister and did just that.
We met Rita and her dog, Jules, in Lisbon about a week after her arrival. We walked around, had a great lunch (TG she likes red wine, too) and visited her apartment. We made a new friend here in Portugal who just happened to have been our neighbor for 4 ½ years in Denver.
Rita has since come to visit us in Setúbal so that we could introduce her to our town by the river. We enjoyed a tasty grilled fish lunch at our favorite restaurant (Baluarte da Avenida) and toured some points of interest. A torrential downpour let loose as we were heading home and soaked us to the skin! In a few weeks, she will be settling in Cascais, but we still plan on visiting the Arrábida together. We are of the same generation, have similar interests and similar motives for being here. The AmP page didn’t just facilitate a drug exchange, it brought people (and dog) together.
Technology is good.