Our first week in Portugal was beautiful. Fantastic food, wine and weather and we did a little reconnaissance of our new neighborhood. Expenses are half or less than what we were used to in the States and going from freezing and snow to 70 degrees is what I’m talking about!
Our realtor had told me that it would take about three or four days to get utilities up and running in our apartment. Electricity was no problem, took two days. Water, however, was another matter. Apparently, our pipes for the water meter were not up to date. I showed the print out that Aguas de Gaia (water department of Vila Nova de Gaia) gave me to Rui (our realtor) and he said that he knew someone who could fix it. Two days (and 80 Euros) later it was fixed. Now back to Aguas de Gaia. They had to send someone out to inspect it. Then we could get a new meter installed. I asked Rui, shouldn’t the landlords be paying for this? And he assured me that it was our responsibility as tenants. Ok then.
Also, the place was filthy. (Didn’t notice that when I looked at it for ten minutes six months earlier.) Got an awesome cleaning lady who also speaks English and it took her an entire day to clean the kitchen, it was so greasy and grimy. Apparently, the former tenants were pigs, and never cleaned! (Ok, sorry, that would be an insult to pigs!) She agreed to finish cleaning after the painter was done. I got a hazmat suit for the bathroom and did it myself. Yeech! By this time, our time was up at the Airbnb where we had been staying so, we had to move. Luckily, I found a place that was only a few blocks away from our new place. Had an awesome view of the ocean too! Again, as luck would have it, the owner of said Airbnb was an electrician and said that if we needed anything, to just let him know. As a matter of fact, we happened to need a painter to rid us of the bad 70s acid flashback wallpaper in the entry and hallway and repaint. Senhor Silva to the rescue! His man Lorindo was amazing! Did the entire place in three and a half days. Ultimately, instead of three or four days it took two weeks before we could move into our apartment but now it was freshly painted, and we could purchase some furniture and appliances. The movers estimate for the arrival of our belongings is April 11. When the few things that we shipped arrive, it will be like Christmas! In the meantime, there is a trip to IKEA in our future.