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.
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.
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?