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Preparing for the anual car inspection

When I enter the store, a well groomed young man with a neatly trimmed beard is standing behind the computer/cash register doing his thing, singing softly along with the song coming out through the door of the workshop.

I have to go to the car inspection, and some things need to be done

A pair of 5th door supports, for example. Exactly a few days before the inspection they gave up. It falls down if you’re not careful. You don’t realize how often you use that 5th door! And how heavy that thing is if you have to open it all by yourself, and how clumsy it is if it doesn’t just stay open.

With a broomstick without a broom it works, but it continues to be a worry.

The good-humoured young man asks if he can help me – I certainly hope so! – and what the license plate is. I don’t know that off the top of my head, but the car is right outside the door. I never recognize my car by the number plate, but always by the missing ^ on the front.

The car inspection doesn’t find this ^ important, I know that much

Yep. We drive Citroën, one of the best-selling brands in Portugal. That’s an Important Point, I learned the hard way, because then you can easily buy parts everywhere. For example, if you drive a Subaru – with which we entered the country – then you have a much harder time.

The wall behind the singing young man is completely empty except for the price list and a long, narrow package hanging from a lone screw. “Amazing” he says in perfect english, and grabs the package “amazing!”, and continues in portuguese: “Tem sorte – you’re lucky.”

I totally agree with him. You can use amazing luck from time to time, can’t you?

There’s more of that: “Shall I put them in for you?” he asks, and now I’m beginning to suspect that he must have just started a very happy relationship with a person he’s had a crush on for a while. There is no other way – although the Portuguese are generally very cooperative and helpful, this is exceptionally (customer) friendly.

Be that as it may, I naturally gladly accept his kind offer. Mira the dog thinks it’s a nice break from the waiting-for-the-mistress. With the usual: “She’s not doing anything, is she?” do they greet each other; Mira is as innocent as a newborn lamb.

“If you hold the lid open for a moment, I’ll take the first one out,” he says. A job that is done in seconds. If only you know how. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think: “Damn, Fábio charged 50 bucks or so for that a year ago, I could have easily done it myself! And it was Chinese rubbish too, broken within a year.”

During the car inspection, they don’t even look at that 5th door

Never mind, our life is a lot easier than with that broomstick. It can be used for other things – sweeping, and flying at full moon and all that.

And the car can last another year.


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, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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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  1. Pingback: If the train doesn't get a flat tire… - Termas-da-Azenha

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