18th of September 2021
There is always the first time for everything and yesterday was the first time for me
I went to the Camera Municipal here in Penela, where I have gone every month this last year and during my almost 11 years in Portugal, I have been there many times every year.
Always I have been treated with respect and everyone has been willing to help in any way needed.
Yesterday was a different day.
The day before I went to registry office and spoke to a very nice woman, who helped as much as she could be she wanted me to coma again and talk to the head of the department which I did yesterday.
The head person was really hostile in the beginning when I asked her if I could speak English. The matter I was going to ask about was legal and there is no way that I know the words in Portuguese!
She told me that I was in Portugal and I should speak Portuguese! Which is of course true and I do when I have normal conversation with my neighbours for example.
I felt like when I went to the health centre here the first time and they shouted at me because I had not learned the language after 3 months or something like that. The doctor and the nurse treated me like their enemy.
So, my errand to the Camera yesterday was to get all the information I needed to be able apply for getting married to a man that was and is not Portuguese. I know the system here and I know there is a lot of documents needed for everything and I completely accept that, but yesterday I was treated like shit.
It crossed my mind that I could be getting married to the idiot that lives in the apartment downstairs, he is Portuguese and he beats his women and abuses them in all way. Getting married to him would not be a problem for me in the eyes of the authorities here because he is Portuguese!
How mad is this?
The authorities want me to prove to them that I am getting married to a foreigner out of love and not just as a marriage of convenience.
How am I going to prove to Portuguese men and women in the court that I am in love and my future husband is in love and we love each other dearly?
This is the situation I am in now and I totally freaked out yesterday and went to my lawyer and told her I needed her help NOW!
She is calm and told me to relax. She gave me info about what we needed to do and she is going to help. I know I can trust her; she is my friend and has helped me with everything I have asked for during these almost 11 years.
My future husband told me everything would be ok. I am lucky to have him by my side in the future, but for now he is in another continent taking care of his paperwork so he can send it to Portugal.
All the papers have to be on paper, EVERYTHING, and everything has to be verified with apostille stamp. This is Portugal you know.
All this process yesterday reminded me of how wonderful the authorities I contacted in Iceland for my documentation, were. There I got all the information I needed and they are making all the documents in English. Everything has to be translated into Portuguese when the documents arrive and everything needs to be on paper.
Something does not quite add up because when I asked for my tax proof for the Icelandic authorities, they asked for it on paper and the tax here told me they don´t make them on paper, only electronic! So somewhere the system is like this and in other cases it is like that!
Anyway, I am not freaked out now, but I am disappointed. I am used to be treated with dignity and respect at the camera here in Penela but yesterday I was not.
I wonder what has changed? Is it because I am getting married to a man that is not Portuguese or is it just the attitude of the person I was communicating with?
She told me that people all over the world came to Portugal to get married! Are they treated differently than a person who has lived here for almost 11 years and paid taxes all those years to the society?
I just wonder!
Eventually I will of course get all the papers and proof for the court that I am not getting married just for convenience, but simply because I and my future husband deeply love each other!
The attitude at the Camera yesterday made me really think seriously about when I build my wood house if I should not just leave Penela and build somewhere else! It is my dream to live in a wood house, warm during the winter, and beautiful with no mad neighbours but I have been thinking that the municipal where I know everything would be the right choice.
After yesterday I am not so sure, and at least I will look for a beautiful spot elsewhere in the near future.
Sometimes life is just full of surprises and change is sometimes really wonderful.