Yesterday was just another day in Portugal when my dear husband Clyde said he was going to run to the pharmacy for a few things. Time passed by and eventually he returned empty handed, looking frazzled and a bit angry. He said he couldn't get out of the gate to our complex because it wouldn't open. Perhaps the key fob was not working? Quickly he found a battery and replaced it, even though he had just replaced it recently. Off he went down the 30 stairs to the underground garage to try again. But still the gate would not open. Next he called our landlady who owns the condo we are renting, but she didn't answer her phone. As the minutes passed he was getting more and more frustrated. Back up the stairs he came to tell me that we would not be going out for the day as we were stuck inside the complex.
But then he decided to go down again since surely there must be a solution, a hidden key or some way out? This time he noticed a Portuguese man in the garage who was having the same problem. The man was renting a condo for vacation and he called the owner of that condo who also didn't answer the phone. They went outside to look at the gate when Clyde noticed a phone number on a sign that featured the name of the management company for the complex. Since the man spoke Portuguese he called and someone did answer. The person on the other end of the phone suggested looking at the sensors closely to see if there was a snail hiding in one. A snail? Yes a snail. Portugal has these tiny snails everywhere and yesterday one just happened to be napping in one of the sensors. Apparently it has happened before! Our landlady called back in the meantime and said that yes, it does happen occasionally. A strange but true story of our life in Portugal.....along the gringo trail.