Why arriving in a new country brings about so much confusion – part 2

2. The monthly ticket

Try buying a monthly ticket for the public transport (no student discount, just a normal one): GO!

Not so fast! You need to fill out this form (which is only provided in Portuguese), bring a photo, your ID/passport and stand in line just like all the other exchange students who desperately need one as well. If you want your ticket to be printed out urgently (=the next day), you will need to pay a 12€ fee, otherwise you have to wait up to 15 days. Oh, and by the way: There is a daily limited number of tickets, so you better hurry up!

To be honest, I was very lucky, because I “accidently” got to the ticket office at 1:00pm, which is 45 minutes before it opens, so there were only about 15 people waiting in line. So when it finally opened, we waited another 30 minutes (because apparently that’s how long it takes for 15 people to hand over the paper and pay). Everything went well, at least for us, because the other 50 people behind us, who spent their whole afternoon there, were not so lucky. 😀

This could have been a disaster, but since I showed up early at the ticket office, it wasn’t too bad after all.


3. Finding food, shopping, etc…

Being patient is essential in order to survive here. NEVER schedule anything without a gap in between in order to compensate long waiting times. I have already learned this in my “intercultural competences” class back at my home university, but I never expected it to be like this. Don’t get me wrong, on the one hand it is annoying, because I am totally not used to this, but on the other hand it is quite “relaxing” to wait in line much longer than I do in my home country. This might sound a bit awkward to you, but just standing there and doing nothing gives you the opportunity to calm down for a moment and appreciate just being here. Of course, if you are in a hurry, because you are meeting someone or you have an important appointment, you might not find it relaxing at all, but all I can say here is: Silly you, that’s all your fault. Try to remember that next time. 😀 For those of you, who are wondering what might take so long: Honestly, I don’t know. It sometimes seems like the cashiers are not able to multitask. They either chat with the colleagues or they do their job and if they chat a lot (which they do), they don’t spend that much time doing their job. haha 😀

So, like I said in part 1 of this post, do not take everything too seriously. I don’t want to be mean or offend anyone. It is just so interesting and funny to observe these cultural differences, which is why I want to share it with my readers. Again, for now I fully enjoy waiting, due to that surprising calmness it brings along.



p.s. The picture shows the queue for the language course enrollment.


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