Graça sounds tired as she explains: “No, we don’t do that here anymore. But dona Helena can go to Soure, next to the pavilhão Multi-usos. There is a clinic there where you can get that document.
I need a health certificate for the renewal of my driver’s license
Last time – only 2.5 years ago – I went to Graça in the Centro Médico nearby, which helped me tremendously as usual. We’ve known each other ever since the boys had to be vaccinated for the most common childhood illnesses and such misery.
Vaccinations are done differently in the Netherlands than in Portugal, so that cost her a lot of headaches and time. Poor Graça. She has arranged everything behind the scenes. And now she has to stay there in the medical center “of the state” with all the old people who can no longer go to a private clinic.
Anyway, I’m off to Soure. I know the pavilhão Multi-usos, because that’s where I got my Jansen injected. Next to it. Yes of course. There we are.
I can’t just go in. At the outside door I have to put plastic covers over my shoes, and it’s being done for me too. Service! Now you can see from all the gold that glitters that this is a neat institution.
And that’s where the waiting begins
That’s no different than anywhere else, NHS or not. If you get smothered because you have to wait, even if you have an appointment, then never come to live in Portugal! I now get the creeps from people who are too EARLY – that’s much worse than too late…
Another lady is waiting patiently. Patiência. A word that you have to memorize, if you should … etc. see above. And the rest is just as Portuguese. Despite the high degree of “chic” gold – loud, pleasant conversations are held by the waiting lady and a lady who seems to be arranging things on the work floor and the receptionist.
From one of the aisles comes a group, who immediately joins in the conversation
The control lady disappears, but a little later comes back in from a completely different direction. O? Moments later, the exact same thing happens. And then again. There are four aisles in the shape of a compass rose. How is it possible that she keeps disappearing in one corridor, and then reappearing completely illogically from another corridor on the other side of the central hall?
What’s with that lady? What happens behind these scenes?
It looks like a magic box, this private medical clinic
After half an hour, forty-five minutes (yes – see above!) it’s getting clear. There are two control ladies! Aha! They both come to me, and of course I can’t help but ask the stupidest question of all time: “Are you twins?” They will never have heard that…
Their reaction is just as Portuguese: they laugh, and answer spontaneously: “Yes!” and then it’s about that they both grew up in France, and that they did other things for years, but in the end they missed each other so much that they now work together here.
As children, they had a language of their own that no one else understood – French, Portuguese and Twins mixed together
If they’ve heard this question a million times, at least you won’t notice!
You see? This way you will get through the waiting time. Portuguese way, with nice conversations.
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, roomsand a campsite, with games like pingpong, petanque, and a FancyDressingRoom. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.
Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation
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