Unto the breach

nytimes comment

First thing I did this morning was respond to a NYT editorial, and they published my comment. You can read it here.


Only three days left before I move my stuff out of here. I shall miss this place, despite its many faults, which I have documented in many, many prior posts.

gouna cat

I shall miss Sandy, who today decided she wanted to spend time with her Daddy in the house or on the back porch all day. It’s as if she knows something’s up, and when I go catch the bus at the front gate nowadays, she awaits anxiously, and is always there by the gate when I return, having waited hours for me to come back.

And this is a cat I shall abandon in 4 days.

gouna cat

Should I take her with me to the new place?  No. This is where she belongs, and I would only leave her again in a month’s time, when I return to America.

I’ll give the pool guy some money, and a bag of cat food, and tell him to fill Sandy’s bowl while I am gone, until one of this villa’s owner arrives on the 17th.

I look forward to moving to the new place.  There is more wind there (thus less bugs, presumably), and easier proximity to Abu Tig Marina and downtown, without having to rely on Gouna’s creaky old shuttle buses, with their over-talkative drivers. Maybe, also, there won’t be any Italians coming every weekend next door, or overly intrusive maintenance people, who love to linger on the street by this house, living their days in an unfree state of incessant sai’di conversations.

They say you are not a true expat unless you leave your country for a long period of time. I have been in Egypt for 6 months. Does that qualify?

Of course not.

Then again, how can I be an expat if I have merely returned to the country where I grew up?

I have kept this blog going to document what it’s actually like to leave the United States of America as a direct result of the November 2016 election.

It was a form of protest, yes, but also, more pointedly: a derisive refusal to continue to live in FLA amidst the unspeakably vile.

When I was in High School, I wrote a crappy short story called Kindred Asunder that I submitted in my Creative Writing class.

That was a very long time ago.

It looks like not much has changed; I was already on to this shit at 17, but had no answer to the implicit question: what do you do when there is no reconciliation possible; when it’s not that a divorce is needed; but there was never any true union in the first place?

It is obvious something is going to have to give. Something major, perhaps even catastrophic.

What is the thinking man or woman to do?

Well, instead of being consumed by impotent rage, and making the mistake of saying stupid inflammatory things, or worse, going postal, the true expat will retire to a walled garden, enjoy his mahshi, and keep an eye on the vulgarians from a safe distance.

Is that a cop out?


The key to be a successful expat is not to stay in one place too long; never trust anyone; be honest without oversharing; have a valid Western passport; never get involved in local political discussions; and always have enough in the bank to keep the gig going.

If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that there are people who are prepared to go as radical as necessary to control the outcome of things.

If you are thinking about becoming an expat, is that your fight?

Or do you cede ground to the rabid con artists and true believers and move on?

Well, that is the Gouna way, from what I have observed after living here for six months.

The only thing is, what happens if and when you’re cornered? When you run out of countries, or money, or room to breathe, and the so-called “populist”/fascisto walls close in on you everywhere you go? What happens when the orange grenade is about to blow your precious, little feathered world to smithereens?

What do you do then?

What do you do when the visigoths finally breach your lovely Epicurean walled garden?

Who is going to save your ass?


leaving america


Breezy night

abu tig marina

Breeze on karaoke night

Finally the day has come for me to meet the real estate agent and sign the contract for the new villa, which I will be renting — insha’Allah! — from Dec 16 thru March 15th 2018.

If all goes through as expected, I shall be free in 12 days from having to endure the weekend nightmares of Abu Tig marina.

I’m looking forward to my wife booking a flight from the States and joining me quite soon.

Last night was not too bad: just the usual karaoke nonsense from Breeze.

They do this every Sunday night, with some loud-mouthed DJ trying to entice patrons to sing awful songs from the 70s.  It s really quite horrible to listen to,  but Breeze is on the other side of the marina from where I’m currently staying, and though water carries sound like there’s no tomorrow, the volume was not too bad, and the bar must have been empty, as the singing stopped early.

Watching the gut-wrenching news from the States, it is again doubly obvious that I was correct to expat out of the US.  I do not know if Trump will be impeached, but I do think Muller will get him de minimus on obstruction of justice charges, and serve this on a platter to Congress.

If the 2018 off-year elections result in the Repubs losing their majority in both houses, then Trump may be gone by the end of 2018, but will most likely not be imprisoned, in a deal that Congress will cut to keep the nation from civil war.

If on the other hand he fires Muller, watch out.

However, should nothing of consequence vis-a-vis the Groper in Chief happen as a result of this investigation, then you can expect the current tax bill, if it passes both houses and is signed into law, to provide a windfall for large corporations and the wealthy and quickly lead to massive deficits.

This would then lead Republican to achieve their true aim, which is to claim that in order to balance the budget they have to gut Medicaid and privatize Social Security as well as Medicare.

That is another scenario that could lead to the rupture of the United States, which at this point will have become a true kleptocracy that protects itself from overthrow or foreign attack with a massive standing army at its back.

Whichever way you look at it, living in the United States will become an untenable proposition for many Arab Americans, just to mention one demographic, who will be increasingly vilified and scapegoated as a group by this administration in order to divert attention from its catastrophic policies.

So my immediate goal is to secure for my wife and I a quiet, safe, nice place to live, in an affordable part of the world.

Here nutjobs who may be out to harm me simply on the basis of my name will be unable to Google me, find out my address, and drive up to the house and shoot me in the face in my driveway.

I am not joking or being an alarmist; I have lived in Florida for 16 years, and know exactly what I am talking about through past, deeply-disturbing personal experiences.

Things are fast going to go badly — as if they have not already– in the US in the coming year, and Trump and his minions will continuously try to stir up the pot by doing things like declaring Jerusalem the capital of Occupied Palestine, or attempting unwanted state visits to the UK, and other circus acts that do nothing but roil the world, instead of providing calm, steady global leadership.

One day, things may fundamentally change in American politics, such that a Trump-like presidency can never happen again,

But until that day, I’m staying as far away as possible.


leaving america