After no less than 5 trips to the "Friends and Foreigners" office (each one no less than 1 hour), I have finally obtained my resident's visa (Dan is still working on his...though he has had the work permit for a few months now). And with one day left until my Vermont driver's license expires I was able to get my temporary Portuguese license. I had been operating on a succession of tourist visas that kept getting renewed when we left the country, and it is nice to finally have a sense of permanency, though it still has to be renewed annually. When I finally had all of my paperwork in order, they told me they realized my current tourist visa didn't expire until April 3rd, and I could only apply if there was less than 30 days on my visa, so on March 5th it was finally approved. I also couldn't apply for the license until I had the resident permit, and I had to get it before my US one expired, on March 11...so a tight time frame, but luckily the HR woman Dan has been working with is great, and managed to help us get it all done.
On a positive note, things do get done here, eventually. Of course not without giving us a bit of stress first. Since I am also a procrastinator, I know there is nothing like the crunch of a deadline to get something finalized, and here it seems that is the philosophy the whole country runs on...I'm not sure whether to love it or hate it as a way to live. Is there a middle ground?