Sicilian flag
علم المنطقة الصقلية, Miriam Thyes

After watching cable TV reports of the grotesque and pathetically sad goings-on at the limp biscuit CPAC this weekend, my wife and I finally made a decision regarding the burning question of the week in our household:  Sicily or Portugal?

In other words, are we just going on holiday to Sicily in September, or are we instead going on our second reconnaisance trip to Portugal?

And the winner is….

(drum roll)

… the Costa de Prata!

(applause and wild cheering)

There is an off chance you might be asking yourself: why there in particular?  After all, no more golden visa.  The D7 process is a pain in the butt.  You are unlikely to find as nice a house or car as the ones you have in FL now.  You don’t speak Portuguese.  There’s a war in Europe.  The dollar could tank. That dick pottery in Caldas is perverse.  Walking on beaches and staring with empty eyes at an ocean you can’t swim in gets pretty old real fast, and by the way, YOU are old.  R you really up for this?

Points well taken, Sparky.

Here’s the counter.

For one thing, our trip to Tavira in 2018 was quite positive. You can search for the posts in the Archives. We loved Portgual, but the Algarve is simply too hot for us.  The Portuguese seemed like a decent people, and I personally can really relate to Saudade.  I could have done without the birkenstock brigade, though.

Fair enough, you might say, but why leave America permanently?  Why not just visit there and other places then come back?

Well… let’s see.

I would say that entropy is great if you’re still sowing your wild oats.

Chaos is great if you are some kind of revolutionary.

But my wife and I are no longer kids.

We don’t thrive on chaos or disruption.

We are certainly not revolutionaries.

In fact, we are actually retirees, and hate any kind of messiness.

Yet we don’t really fit in South Florida — where all the cookie-cutter, attached houses are all lined up in tight little deathwatch rows — as we most certainly aren’t into “white grievance,” gun porn, tricked out golf carts, obscenely mega sized pickup trucks and monster SUVs, sacrilegiously nationalistic extensions to Christianity, controlling womens bodies, discriminating against the LGBT community, whitewashing the history of slavery and Native American genocide, and the rest of it.

We wouldn’t think of falsely claiming to be part of some sort of despised underclass, all while tacitly enjoying the privileges of being white and moderately well off in America.

But there’s more to it than that.

caldas coast of arms
Coat of arms of Caldas da Rainha

Something different is happening.

Something seems to have gone terribly wrong.

And it feels like worse is yet to come.

At our age, we don’t want to find ourselves suddenly living in a full blow anarchic, extremist, violent tinderbox version of the United States.

Ye gods!

Instead, we want to lead a pleasant, calm, tranquil existence and enjoy life to the fullest while we still can.

We don’t want to waste any of the precious time we have left.

Instead, we want to live a simple epicurean (which is not to be confused with hedonism) lifestyle in a normal country, and not have to worry, say, about some deranged stranger mowing us down with an AR-15 in a public space.

Sicily can wait.

I’m going to book us in late April  or early May to fly to Lisbon in mid September.  But first, we must complete the process of selling our house up in NY — which is already under contract.

Then we need to work on selling our other house in Florida.

I reckon after all that stress we deserve a break.

So why not hang out in six months to Portugal’s Silver Coast for a few weeks, and if we like it, maybe summer rent a villa somewhere?

That might work.

But it sure ain’t cous cous in Sicily, frate.

After all, life ain’t mere existence.



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