"Loja do Cidadão" (literally "Citizen's Shop") seems to be a concept foreign people are usually not familiar with, so I'll start by explaining it, and then I'll go on with my little adventure (or at least part of it).
During your usual month, you probably have to pay gas, water, electricity... perhaps cable tv...
You might even have to take care of some paper work for your car, go to the bank, send a letter, get a passport, pay your taxes...
Imagine a building where you can find all the entities you have to deal with for these things (and more).
Exactly, that's the kind of shop this is, and, mind you, it was a great idea!
Imagine you just moved. You'll have to go to a bunch of these places to get some of the basic necessities for your new life (and some other not so basic, OK).
Having everything in the same place saves you a *lot* of time.
Anyway, my little adventure:
One person coming to Braga needs me to get him a paper certified (or something like that, details are irrelevant for my point).
First I went to the "Governo Civil", which is the entity that issues passports and, out of the two possible ones for what I needed, the one with the smallest line.
There were two counters.
You always have to take a ticket with a number, and then you wait for your number to be called.
The informations counter had about 20 people in front of me. The other one had over 100!! I'm glad I only had to go to the informations one. They told me I was at the wrong place.
So I went to the other place, "SEF - Serviços de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras" (Foreigners and Frontiers Services).
Unfortunately, I couldn't even take a number. There was a sign there stating something like "Due to the great affluence to our service we had to stop issuing tickets. We apologize for the inconvenience."
My point here is this: Even though these "Shops" really are a great idea, some services have more demand than others. Sure, they already get bigger spaces and more people.
That's not enough!
Make them bigger!
Get more people!
Also, I'm not sure that only two of these things for a city like Lisbon are enough.
So, anyway, it's a good idea, and it should be improved.
So now I'm trying to call them and Alberto will probably go to the Shop in Braga tomorrow.