We’re back in Florida, where, within 24 hours, my systolic BP number shot up to 170+, soon upon arrival.
Here are some final thoughts about this month-long trip to Tavira, Portugal, where we stayed in this apartment building.
The trip back to Faro airport was a bit hairy, as the car service did not show up — or so it seemed — but Portugal has a funky way of listing house numbers; and the driver got it confused with the floor we were on.
We got to Faro with time to spare, so no worries as the airport transfer business worked out just fine in the end.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport (which out be renamed shithole airport, due to its confusing layout and onerous passport control point and unusually large masses of travellers) is far too spread out for our taste, and it took ages walking around lugging our heavy carry-ons, with few autowalks to help us traverse the huge distances between the far-flung wings of this hub airport.
At the Schengen customs control, as a half-dozen Chinese travelers deftly slipped the line in front of us, as if they own the universe, which I guess they almost do now, as American prestige continues to collapse under the moral impunity of the current regime.
Then the 8 hour flight back, with a lot of Americans on board; I sat next to one who had just retired from a 20 year career in the navy. This did not go well.
We were arrived
home in Florida at midnight, and went right to sleep, exhausted from the 24 hour journey, which wiped us out even more than when we first started climbing up the 130 steps from hell (over 100 ft. up) that we had to take every day (sometimes several times a day, often under a cloudless sky, carrying water and groceries in 90+ degree heat) to return back to our apartment.
This morning, after having just spent a month of mornings waking up to an inspiring view of the Atlantic ocean from our rental flat in the Algarve, I awoke to the pleasure of seeing the 85 year racist who lives across the street and dresses like a homeless bum do his garbage pickup day thing with his yappy runt dog in tow and off a leash as usual.
That evening, I watched Rachel Maddow for the first time in over a month; it appears now that the United States is essentially gone full bore as a criminal enterprise, with this bald-faced gang of thieves in the White House becoming increasingly emboldened about stealing hundreds of millions from the US taxpayer, so long as they are protected by a compliant Congress that is supplying them with legal cover, and a Supreme Court that will protect their sorry asses no matter what charges may eventually be brought against Donald Trump and his partners in crime.
Not even 12 hours had gone by since arriving in the States, and I’m already planning on leaving again. I absolutely refuse to reside for any length of time in a country that has, sadly, become repugnant (to me, I am only speaking for myself here) at every possible level, now that a claque of criminals and charlatans have taken absolute control of all the meaningful levers of power in government and big business, with enough red state voters either too stupid too realize what has actually happened here or too cynical to even care, so long as White Power is preserved as long as possible, before it all slips away.
But what to do?
I could. for example fly off to Tabarka, in Tunis — a picturesque and highly affordable seaside town off the beaten track and with an interesting historical Sardinian side story that offers the sort of things I look for — an Arab/Moorish vibe, a liberal or at least tolerant environment, which Tunis is known for, something that attracts creative types (in this case, a music festival), stunning ocean views, a lack of Birkenstock hordes, few egregious visa hassles, and the opportunity to live rather well on very little money, something that is completely impossible in say, the Dordogne, where I would love to have a modest summer place like this in the country, but which will never happen in this lifetime unless I write a bestseller one day.
Which leaves the option of living in Tunis — near the Algerian border, where I’ve heard that everyone there just loves Americans — more attractive even than a pastel de natta tart topped with a generous scoop of raspberry gelato.
In Tabarka, I could once again moodily languish by my beloved Mediterranean, even though its has now become a refugee graveyard, and live dirt cheap in a pleasant villa by the sea, as I did in El Gouna earlier this year, sort of — but there is that boat people problem to consider, and various security issues, such as random tourist kidnappings and throat slitting propaganda snuff vids, which make Tunis somewhat of a no-go zone from my wife’s point of view.
We are much more likely, instead, to spend time next year in Olhão, Portugal.
The nice young woman who rented us the Tavira place has another flat she just fixed up there with her partner. It’s apparently near the port area, yet in a relatively quiet spot. She is going to send us pics. I’ll add them to this post once I get them.
Despite the fact that I am probably the most
uninteresting man who ever walked the face of this earth, I am a bit — how to phrase this? — rather light in the wallet department, especially when compared to those rich burghers who invest with such debonair panache in quarter and half million euro properties in the Algarve.
Yet we might be able swing another test renting in Portugal next Spring, but ideally for a longer time than just the one month in Tavira — as there is little question that we would far happier leading the carefree Iberian lifestyle, despite the blinding sun and the dry as Tanqueray hot days and the biting flies, since what matters most here is Fado, that is to say, a long and endlessly sad song about the dolorously tragic nature of existence, as sung by some beautiful young Portuguese woman, usually to the accompaniment of thrumming nylon string guitars, all of which is best heard in the dead of winter at an abandoned sardine factory, preferably way past midnight, by an inlet leading to a wild, dark ocean.
That said, I must reiterate that I am really interested in Tabarka. Nary a Birkenstock, no Americans, dirt cheap, on the Med, beautiful coastline, French spoken everywhere (which I am fluent in), dripping with history, and the sun rises on the East as you face the White Sea, which is how it was when I summered as a boy in Alexandria, Egypt, and remains what I consider to be the correct position of the sun at dawn when on the Mediterranean. This post (it’s in French, but the pics and vid are marvelous just the same) will give you some idea as to why I am seriously considering a long term visit. I might really feel at home in this remote part of North Africa.
In closing, I would be delighted to correspond via email or the comments section, should your interests and mine coincide with respect to the history of the Moors in the Algarve, which I remain keen in knowing more about.
Just drop me a comment; serious Moorish aficionados only, please. I won’t be holding my breath, though: as this blog, surprisingly, has failed to go viral, despite — if I may be retiringly modest here — the heretofore unseen and unequaled magnificence of its polished prose, ground-breaking boldness of its editorial vision, and Many Ray quality of its copious photographs.
Happily, though, Leavingamerika.com does appeal to a few people, here and there, and now and then, who do not usually read blogs, but when they do, prefer snarkily erudite aperçues, with pics, to the often insufferably sunny click bait drek that’s put usually put out there by the terminally dull who are either kids (by which I mean anyone under 30) wet behind the ears and seeing the world for the first time or expats now put out to pasture whose days of serious adventuring are long behind them. Food porn just does not do it for me, par exemple, or bucket list shots of all the usual places where people tend to swarm, without having any real idea why they are there, and not, say, someplace else. What I am looking for is something truly different; and I hope to find it before it’s too late to even try.
With that, I’ll bid you tchau, and thank you all for reading my blog this past year or so.
Till we meet again!