This is something I keep looking forward to. Right now there’s lots of stress, lots of waiting, lots of forms to fill out, and lots of expense. It’s all….awful. So the main thing I keep trying to look forward to is: what’s our first low-stress day going to look like? I’m imagining this will be, like, June 2 – we will have already gotten our animals, we will have already done our interview at the SEF for our residency card – so, maybe this is our first ‘normal’ day? If so, what will it look like? Here’s what I imagine.
We’re going to wake up with, I’m sure, our idiot dog (Moxie) in our bed with us, and the other one (Ripley) sleeping close by on the floor. I’ll get up and take them both down the stairs to walk – hopefully the cat (Qwerty) chirps at me on my way out or back in. I’ll walk them past the pizza place – Christ, I pray that Moxie doesn’t bark at any of the patrons there, but she probably will. I’ll walk them past there and let them hit the nice tree nearby. Then head back upstairs.
I’ll chirp at the kitten, and pester my wife to have coffee with me. She will grumble at me, but she will acquiesce. I hate to be the ugly Americans, but we will probably bring our laptops with us. We’re going to go to the “grumpeadora” (who is not really very grumpy at all, she’s quite nice), and have a couple of cafes pingados, and maybe split a sande mixto or maybe a tosta mixta, or maybe one each. Maybe a some pasteis de nata. We will be sitting outside, and taking our time, and vaping (which you can do outside), and enjoying our tiny breakfast – as is the custom there. As we’re finishing up, maybe we’ll grab a few ports. Then we head back to the house, or maybe do a little bit of sightseeing? Depends on how jet-lagged we are and how late our ‘breakfast’ is.
Noon is going to roll around, and that’s where we get our nice giant style long Portuguese lunch. One of our favorite places is Noobai, a little bit of a hike from our spot in Alfama, but worth it – great service, great food, great views. As we finish up there, it’ll be time to start our workday.
We’re going to be trying to start our day at 2pm and work til 10pm, but I imagine sometimes we’ll start earlier, or work later, or take off earlier or start a little later, depending. Let’s try to do a little bit of work-life balance here, Portuguese-style, right?
We’ll be hitting the Helpdesk way before the west coast is up, so we can help out by knocking out a few tickets before they get started. We’ll knock out whatever we need to, then try and get to some dev work, or helping our our team, or maybe chatting on Github or discord. Work work work. As Alison is wont to say, the whole reason we can afford to make this very, very expensive move is because of these jobs that we have. So we’re definitely going to have to do them.
So we’ll have done quite a few meetings relatively early. That’s part of the job. But at some point, we’re going to roll up to around 6pm.
We’ve learned from our last trip over there that we definitely need to take a break, mid work-day. We tried without doing that for nearly our entire last trip over there, but it meant that we were just completely toasted by the time the end of day (10pm) rolled around. It felt ‘hard’. But Alison made the smart realization that that wasn’t working for us; and we needed to take a quick break midway through our workday.
So now we pop over to the really nice close-by bar. Or, maybe if we’re a little hungrier, we pop over to the pizzeria. (Their pizza is good enough to challenge our attempts at staying Keto). If we go to to that bar near-by, we’ll definitely grab the bifana sandwich (I mean, this is a going to be a theme, Keto is going to be hard over there). Maybe snag a vinho verde or two, before we pop back in to work.
Then it’ll be more work work work. We’ll probably have moved most of our meetings to be earlier, as we can certainly get toastier as our day goes on. We’ll start to try and finish up around 10pm local time. Then, I think we’ll pop over to the Ladies – an awesome place where Alison always orders the exact same thing because she loves it so much and does not want to waver. Come to think of it, I do too – I always order the pica-pau which is some lovely chunks of beef with a slightly vinegar-ey sauce and some pickled bits of vegetables – with tons of wonderfully toasted bread to dip into the olive-oil-heavy sauce. Or, maybe we got to the really hipstery wine bar in the other direction? Or, perhaps, on some days, we might work a little late, and maybe have to order in from UberEats or Glovo. We haven’t yet hit up the local kebab shops which seem to be open late, but I suspect that’s going to be one of our late-night go-to’s. We’ll stay out as late as we like, and then get back and hang out with our girls. Maybe watch a movie or two on our US-VPN’ed AppleTV. Then conk out to start our next day.
Thinking about this first low-stress day is the thing that keeps me going. This process has been truly brutal, and very hard. It especially works against a lot of my personal inclinations – I can’t handle lines, waiting, red-tape. All of the things that I’m having to do. But I can’t wait for this day. And I know almost exactly how it’s going to look. And this day is three weeks away! I can’t wait to feel that exhale when we finally do it. It’s almost here.