Hyvää päivää. So, my move to Lisbon was successful. My flat’s nice, has a great view of the sea, and is about a half-hour walk from LIP. My stuff from England eventually arrived, some items in slightly more pieces than is optimal, c’est la vie, luckily my guitars were all ok.

I started work last Wednesday, and am so far getting to grips with the software I’ll be using throughout my research. As both an exercise to understand the software and a baseline for my work, I’m aiming to repeat the analysis performed in arXiv:1407.6643v3, a tt-measurement using di-lepton (with one hadronicly decaying tau) and bb final states; my analysis of di-Higgs production aims to use the same final states, though the event kinematics will be different.

I’ve been living in Lisbon for two weeks now and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and experiences so far:

Good

Language – So far I’ve not had a problem getting by; it seems that the younger generations speak English very well, as do people whose job requires interacting with tourists, though for politeness’ sake at least, I do intent to learn Portuguese.

People – On the whole, the people in Lisbon are friendly and helpful.

Local produce – There’s a great range of fruit and vegetables on offer in the local shops, and they’re some of the best I’ve tasted! So much flavour to them, and prices are very good too.

Cheap prices – In fact, prices in general are very good compared to the UK. Possibly thanks to the product-dependant VAT; only 6% for most basic items, and some things at 13%. Standard rate is 23% though, compared to the UK’s 20%.

Street musicians – It’s always nice to hear buskers playing in a city; Durham had a one-man-band, who could invariably be found playing on Framwellgate bridge, Glasgow had the occasional jazz trio/quartet and solo guitarists. On my first expedition into Lisbon town-centre I came across a saxophonist playing blues.

Bad

Bureaucracy – There were four things I needed to sort quickly on arriving in Lisbon: a residency card, my LIP contract, a tax code, and a bank account. After a short bit of research on expat sites, I worked out that: the contract required the tax code, the residency card required the contract, the bank account required the residency card and the contract, and the tax code required… nothing, seemed like the place to start. Surely they wouldn’t put up to much resistance to me trying to pay taxes.

Off I went, and after one and a half hours waiting, eventually got to speak to someone and was immediately asked for my residency card. After a bit of convincing, they accepted my old address in England, which was printed on my driving license. I was then charged 10 €, having to pay to pay – interesting.

Got my contract sorted with LIP and then went to sort my residency card only to find that they needed to see the tenancy agreement for my flat, but that a photocopy would suffice. Next day however, a photocopy was no longer good enough, they needed to see the original contract, which is with my landlord, in Germany. The saga continues.

Litter and graffiti – A bit of a shame really, but one of the first things I noticed about Lisbon was the amount of litter and graffiti there was. Shop owners seem to tend to the area outside their shops, but only up to where their shop meets their neighbours’.

Different

The ticket system – Took me a while to notice, but in a lot of places one takes a numbered ticket and waits to be called. Great whilst sorting the aforementioned bureaucracy, but seems a bit impersonal in a restaurant or café, and to my in-built English love of queuing seems like heresy.

Armed police – Not sure if it’s due to the heightened terror alert here, or if it’s normal, but there’s an awful lot of police around and all of them are armed.

Overall, I’m enjoying life in Lisbon and am gradually getting to know my way around.