I rented a place in Tavira yesterday through AirBnb.

Now my wife and I have a base from which to explore the Algarve, where we hope to spend <180 days (due to tax reasons) next year, somewhere between April and October — should this trip go well.

I have dual UK/US citizenship; but the process for becoming a full-time resident if you have an EU passport is no charmer, not to mention the Brexit tic toc.

As US citizens, we would have to put up with this crap, if we wanted to move here permanently one day — the wisdom of which we would have to carefully evaluate, considering drawbacks such as…

It takes stacks to fly to the Algarve from the US, particularly Florida.  We will be traveling over 30 hours, stopping off at Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Brits and EU residents have it easy, in that regard, with their dirt cheap charters.

And of course the Algarve is rife with well-heeled foreigners who have snapped up the once cheap villas as an investment opportunity. So we don’t expect to find El Gouna-style deals (under $1,000/mo for a villa with a pool and multiple bedrooms and water views) to be had here any more.

I don’t mind that, so much, though I do feel a Strangelovean contempt at the hundreds of Golden Visas that have been issued to vodka-breath Ruskies– a vulgar and feloniously corrupt people, such as the likes of Evgeny Naumovich Freidman, but not of course Dostoevsky, who have infested my beloved French Riviera, and continue to pollute the US’s once-pristine electoral waters — ha! — with latter-day commie shenanigans.

The question we have is whether the Algarve shall prove to be a welcome alternative to the deeply eschatological culture of Red State America, which has long been snaffled by iconodulism.

We hope to make casual friends in the Algarve, possibly with some of the less clannish Brits, but probably more with various cheese-and-sardine munching European and American transplants that we might encounter.

My wife and I are ingoing individuals, however; and while it would be nice to make friends in the Algarve on this trip, such an outcome would not, strictly speaking, be wholly necessary, if expat locals turn out to have passive-aggressive noses stuck up in the air for whatever unendurable reason, such as our not being particularly enamored with a steady diet of lager and crisps.

I am truly fascinated by the Moorish history of Portugal.  Of course I plan on bringing with me José Saramago‘s The History of the Siege of Lisbon.  

The long and colorful story of Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsula should prove instructive. Are human beings in the end nothing more that tribes with private Gods and little else in common?

shadows of the pomegranate tree
As unreadable today as it was 25 years ago, when I bought this copy, and Ali still had black hair. Speaking of which, what’s up with all the Moorish red beards? The Cairo typo in the Glossary does not help.

There are many crumbling Moorish ruins in the region; I plan to visit as many as possible — while picking up strands of local legends, such as the Faro one about the woman with the golden comb.

Portugese books should provide a good autumnal read, while sitting on the balcony you see in the pic gallery above — skeeters permitting — and gazing, periodically, with an air of studied OTI* thoughtfulness upon the bridges of the Gilão river.

I also plan to bring a copy of Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet with me, and of course Antonio Tabucchi’s Periera Maintains.

We hope to be able to rent bicycles while there, or borrow them from neighbors, and I am going to look into renting a car — although I do not drive a stick, which I consider a royal pain.

I only have 3 weeks ahead of me to take manual transmission driving lessons here, or should I at this point refer to it as Manuel transmission, so I better starting moving on that right quick.

che bag

With the latest mass shootings occurring in Jacksonville this weekend, getting out of this mentally ill, barbaric state with my cliché-Guevara US army bag slung over my shoulder cannot come soon enough…

… which brings me, finally, to the urgent question of the hour:  does Zeca da Bica serve arroz de marisco?

*OTI:  the Order of True Internationals, a spectacularly obscure organization that I founded in 1971 while a foreign exchange student in Nice.

leaving america

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