Most of the stuff was mundane and obvious – from sorting the house, finances, packing etc. But the process certainly focused the mind. Whilst Ed and I consider ourselves relatively organised, it was clear that we’d omitted some pretty key housekeeping from our personal life inventories. We spent several weeks putting things right. Stuff which you don’t really want to think about but should, especially when you’ve got two kids and aren’t married. Ed still didn’t take the hint, so we settled on powers of attorney, updating our insurances and writing wills (if you’ve never looked forward to a funeral Ed’s sounds like it might be fun – especially if you’ve not been to San Sebastian). If all else fails, we may have a business creating a concierge service for other crazy like-minded souls seeking to relocate – Compare The Market meets trailfinders.com.
One would be forgiven for not describing life admin in Cape Verde as cathartic or straightforward. It falls somewhere between bureaucratic and outright confusing. Our first couple of weeks was spent trying to navigate how to make ourselves official. Key to this is the affectionate-sounding “NIF” – Numero de Identificacao Fiscal – National Insurance Number. You can’t do much without one including opening a bank account. Banking in Cape Verde is a relatively straightforward affair with various financial institutions to choose from. The decision typically comes down to which has the shortest queue – as the charges for withdrawing money, maintaining an account and interest rates are broadly similar. We settled on Banco BAI (an Angolan outfit with the newest building, no queues and great air conditioning to boot).