Today was another basically homebody day, though I did go out to Tavira twice, mainly to buy stuff and sit at a café and people watch.
The main goal today was to buy the ingredients make a shrimp meal at home; this is known as bold ambition.
I changed money for the first time at a Money Changer that has somewhat limited hours — and got 81 Euro cents on my dollar. The ATM places are a complete ripoff. The best you can do is 76 euros to a C-note, plus a 3 and change euro commission. That completely sucks. The cambio place had no commission. They did ask to see my ID, though, which I thought was odd. In Cairo and Nice last year, I did not have to flash ID to change money. That is the whole idea of money changers. You change money; it’s an anonymous transaction; period.
I bought a kilo of shrimp, country bread, and some vegetables, and a few other items,
Initially I was going to make shrimp scampi with spaghetti. At the last minute, I decided to invent something that I’m calling Shrimp Delgado.
It took forever to devein the shrimp and get rid or their little heads with the staring eyes and antennae and tails and little feet. Then I boiled them in buttered water with Tavira salt for 10 minutes. It was surprising to see how small a kilo of shelled shrimp gets after going through all that.
Then I chopped and mixed in a bowl the fresh veggies (including fresh bell peppers and mushrooms), onions, and garlic, added some Algarve olive oil, local cured black olives, and squeezed on some lemon juice over it all. The lemons here, by the way, are green, yet are not lime. I also picked up two ripe Algarve mangoes for desert.
Et voilà: a bowl of Shrimp Delgado, which I covered and put in the fridge to cool.
Then I suddenly felt quite tired. So I took a three-hour nap,
My aging body is still recovering from the trip from hell over here on KLM/Delta, but also with all the walking and climbing up a mega hill 2 to 4 times a day…. well I can feel myself getter fitter, but my body needs a long rest during the heat of the day to reconstitute.
In other news, my English cousin just arrived at her place — which is nearby. She’s already gone swimming, but I have yet to find the inner motivation or some compelling reason to endure a long wait in the sun for the ferry to the barrier island where the beaches are located — considering the persistent flies I would have to endure as company. Karen, my cousin, tells me the water is quite warm . I really should go to the beach.
In the meantime, I am closing in on a plan in terms of how to move to the Algarve, but I am still missing a major piece, namely, where would I stay? I would have to deal with living alone in the winter during a horrible part of the year here, but maybe that is the small price to pay to get away from the soul-sucking insanity of living in America and being subjected to its scheming racism, conniving dog-and-eat-dog form of capitalism, cultural vulgarity and overall nasty ridiculousness.
But it’s not just that.
Sometimes what holds you back from reinventing yourself is the expectation by others who have known you for a long time that you continue being some version of yourself whose expiration date came and went a long time ago.
I am so tired of it all… and cannot think of much that is positive to associate with living in Florida, compared to being here, perhaps permanently, perhaps only for a short time, if Brexit falls by the wayside, and I don’t have to finesse the hassle of establishing residency in Portugal.
If Brexit fails, which looks increasingly likely, I simply live here or in any other lower-cost area of a Schengen country and stay as long as I please, no worries, so long as it’s affordable.
I would choose here, though, for the budget needed to live in Portugal is quite manageable — providing you luck out on living arrangements — and I would be able to smell the roses more deeply than elsewhere and admire the migratory flamingos to boot, which apparently are not pink here the way many are in fla.
Yet I cannot quite see myself trapped in some condo complex filled with short-term renters and absentees landlords. If the cost of an apartment in Lisbon had not skyrocketed, I would probably have preferred to live in a medium-sized city, particularly one as picturesque as Lisbon, and despite the constant negotiating of its hilly terrain, which turns out to be super beneficial.
What I want is to find digs in a quiet part of a small city — a writer’s garret, but not someplace that is so isolated that I would go bonkers when I am not writing.
You have to be able to meet people who are not transients, in some sort of neutral environment where neither of you have to play host.
If I had enough money for it, I would probably buy several apartments on the top floor in an attractively decrepit low building on a winding street in the old arraial area, and then knock down some walls and join them together and convert the whole thing to one big open air studio, so long as it has a nice a balcony where I can look out to sea as I do my writing.
I am quite into my Moorish project, at this point, and look forward to working with Ines, who is someone who read my blog, liked it, and suggested without any prompting on my part that she could help me gather source material, much of which is in Portuguese. That she speaks both Portuguese and English fluently is an incredible stroke of luck, and I look forward to seeing some of the material in translation that she is going to be sending me, her day job permitting. What a stroke of luck, if in fact it works out that way!
So much for Day 8 in Tavira, which ended with me reading late and going out to my L-shaped balcony to watch the warning flashes of light ftom the heavy clouds drifting in behind Tavira over the nearby purple hills under a moonlit sky which here is a mesmerising navy blue. The hills and low mountains are dark at night, as there little by way of street lighting in the back country. But I was quite taken in by the sudden vistas of white and yellow moutain scenery that appeared when the bursts of light illuminated the parched and empty hinterland as if to foretell the desolation of winter looming.
Enjoy today’s pics.