The Age of Disquiet

Nice place, this

After only three months back in the US, I’m getting itchy feet again. Living in the US under the Trump Presidency continues to be a grotesque, unacceptable experience — as it was over a year ago, when I first decided to leave America as a semi expat, which I did for 7 months.

While I do have a “free” (ie, the return portion of a round trip ticket) ticket to Gouna on the Red Sea (which is bursting at the seams with vacationing Germans and dodgy poms), as well as the option to stay at a nice villa rental (where I spent a few months earlier this year), the plain fact is that Egypt remains a military dictatorship, 66 years after the so-called Free Officers revolution.

Fernando the mad genius at work

Over that span of time, Egypt has turned into a nasty, dangerous, semi-literate, filthy, Third Worldish, quasi-theocratic, overcrowded hell hole, where journalists, activists, intellectuals and writers rot in jails without due process if they dare criticize the current regime, whose main functions are to enrich itself while protecting a corrupt, self-serving arrogant second-rate elite, who just love to carry on like pretend Americans.  What a sad joke the country where I grew up has become.

Moreover, Sisi’s various foreign policy decisions have consisted mainly of a series of stomach-turning betrayals of the Palestinian cause (not to mention making an ongoing mockery of Egyptian blood spilled in the Sinai and elsewhere to fight against the Zionist colonial project), as well as a haughty disregard for the integrity of Egyptian soil in his island giveaway program.

Perhaps I will go back to Egypt, one day, but only when it is not longer a fascist state and the corrupt oligarchy (many of whom have luxury boats and sumptuous villas in Gouna, by the way) that holds sway is no more — in other words, never.

In the meantime, I have decided to spend a month or so, or perhaps much more, beginning in September, in a country (or rather, a part thereof) that meets the following requirements.

Wish List
(in random order)

Local car rental agency to rent stick shift

Affordable — ability to live there from under US $2000/month

Off main tourist track / No 18-hole golf courses

No cruise ships

Few tuk tuks

English/French spoken in shops and restaurants

In Europe/within easy drive distance to another EU country

Leftist government/democratic/Freedom of Speech

Not disneyfied

No major refugee issues

Pleasant weather

Mountainous backdrop

River(s) nearby / good water sources

Sleepy “fishing village” atmosphere

Gorgeous scenery / beautiful beaches

No loud clubs – not a party town

Reasonably close to a major airport / Close to Mediterranean cities by plane

WIFI / Internet

Moorish architectural influence

Not part of any coalition forces in any 21st C. war against an Arab state

I think I may have found such a place.

Can you guess where it is?

leaving america

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