AudioCommuniqué#21: How I moved to Europa

In the spirit of changing things up, this is a special show about a vry personal journey; how and why I moved from New Jersey, to Portugal, and the to the Netherlands. Not my usual style, lots of talking. Music to accompany different stages of my journey, and flickr photo highlights for you to follow, of course.

AudioCommuniqué #21(mp3)

22min+, 64kbps, 10Mb+


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Saturday is for Remembering

I’ve got new creative things coming this week for the blog. But as for today —
Rumor has it, and statistics will show, that on Saturdays less people read blogs and surf the net in general! Where did I get that? I dunno… I’ve been around. However– for me, Saturdays involve talking to the family, and lots of leisure time of course, and that’s when memories like this one come back to me:

It must have been 1995… not really sure. I’ve seen the family videos and it’s obvious from my squeaky voice and short stature, that puberty hadn’t hit. Whereas normally it was understood that summers were for being in Portugal and spending time with g’ma, g’pa and the many beloved cousins. In that particular summer, Mom and Dad decided we needed to do something more; they bought round-trip tickets on an overnight train to Madrid, and then tickets to Paris via train, as well. I had never stepped outside Portugal as far as Europe was concerned — so it was a very welcome idea!

And so this family of four set off by land to see the continent. It was a first for my family, but they were prepared for the adventure. I remember careful analysis of maps, meticulously packed bags, and the confirmation and re-confirmation of hotels, for those welcome nights not spent on the train.

But oh that train ride, especially in the night. I remember not being able to, or wanting to sleep. No… I wanted to stare out into the darkness of Extremadura, the vast emptiness that Spain seems to have so much of. Occasionally I would spot a streetlight, or a car, and I would follow it on the horizon for as long it was in sight. I also remember getting nervous when the train would make stops in the middle of the night. Convinced that the whole train was sleeping, except for me, and I was the only witness of the made-for-tv style robbery that was about to take place. Oh sure, they were supposed to be border guards, but I knew the score, I was ready to defend the family train cabin! Hmm… I think I fell alseep after that.

I wonder if it wasn’t around then when this bug bit me. Wanting to learn french, and any language you put in front of me basically. My parents had brought me to the heart of Europe, and I liked it, perhaps knowing that I would return eventually, taller, wiser, and with a receding hairline.

Oh and I’m still A-Peeling for tips to help fund the mac purchase, much thanks to I.V. in Jacksonville, and my buddy Sunlight Disinfectant.

Today’s Sounds: Maynard Ferguson – Caravan

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Not Death But Taxes

Since this here blog began, and especially since it has blossomed (to quote the prolific Verbal Chameleon), I have gotten lots of emails from strangers. One turned out to be a long-lost cousin in Calipornia, sometime they are from fellow Luso’s. (Luso means linked to Portugal or Portuguese Culture)some just wanted to say they read and enjoy, but still others ask advice; something like: “I want to go live outside the US BM! Can you give me some advice?” And since I too received lots of advice along the way, I reply with long and very thought out responses. A bit of rah-rah go live wherever your heart takes you. But never forgetting a bit of, as my friend crazy dr. m reminded me this evening, you cannot link all your happiness to a place. Place matters, I do believe that. But I also believe and have experienced that whatever is troubling you, the problems that haunt you will follow you wherever you move to. Turning your potential paradise in pamplona into just another miserable year for the running of the bulls.

But lately I’m haunted by one of those dirty details that will bite you in the arse no matter where you move to. Tackses! Spelling it different might throw the IRS off, and when I say IRS, I mean those mean-ass tacks collectors who crunch my numbers in the US, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Yeah.. you heard right. This triple personality disorder can result in a bit of a mess. I can speak THE dutch, but read a tacks form in dutch? I can barely do that in the queen’s english. gulp. Anybody a Dutch accountant by any chance?

This is not to discourage you. No No. As I’ve often written, immigrating from one’s country of birth is an honorable and timeless tradition. I hate how sometimes the US is seen as immune from this tradition. They talk and talk about immigrants moving to the states, I want to talk about emmigrants, who left the country and made lives for themselves around the world! What do you think the percentage is anyway? statistics.. I’ll work on that.

Sniff sniff… my whiting with potatoes in a veggie sauce must be ready! midnight is a good time to have my dinner.

Oh.. and tonight we’re remembering the anniversary – March 11th… and the Madrid bombings. Much respect and love to all those affected.

Today’s Sounds: Decemberists – Her Majesty

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No offence to anyone who visited me in the netherlands over the past 3 or so years, but the past 6 months have been some of my most favorite houseguest adventures ever. Whether it was NoCoins and Tawdryjones coming over from Philly, my dear cousin N coming over from Portugal, or my latest houseguest characochan, who flew away this morning; I have really enjoyed their presence. Different reasons for each, but overall, to be in the city I am so in love with, and to be able to show the people I love my life here.

I think we all go through this, right? Maybe it’s called validation or something. The idea that something is important to you, and you want important people in your life to see it first hand and if possible – share in it.

And as if the year couldn’t get any better, one of my newest and most favorite friends and blogscientist is making the journey from northern sweden, in only a few weeks. Excited isn’t word enough to describe. And it doesn’t stop there, formerly of fame, and now a gal, Bronwyn is coming to town and by that time we will have a powerbook duel. (consider it the dueling banjos of the 2000’s)

Speaking of Apple… a few more tips today: Brian and BadHareDay, thanks to everyone who’s been able to toss in a few bucks in the jar… I’m well on my way to hitting my target (money for half of it), so really – thanks to all of you.

Hey go check me out gueststarring on a blog about coffee! Maté represent!

Today’s Sounds: Bill Frisell – Transcontinentals

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