The Algarve is a really small place.
The entire region has a population of around 450,000 (around the same as Edinburgh) and of this it is guesstimated that there are around 50,000 Brits living here – that is the same number of people who live in Clacton-on-Sea.
I am not sure about you but I have never considered Clacton-on-Sea to be a bustling metropolis and I am sure that if you are from the area you would say that you know a lot of the people there – which is the same in the Algarve, lots of the Brits here really do know each other.
Now scale down the area to a small town and you will realise that EVERYBODY knows EVERYBODY, which is great if you are looking for someone and don’t have their phone number but not so great when you have your very own School Gate Nemesis that you would rather not see.
The relationship between me and the School Gate Nemesis goes back a long way, way back, and while I am usually a reasonable and forgiving sort there are just some people who push you too far and the School Gate Nemesis did just that.
After our final bust up I was left feeling very sad and a little bit pathetic so would spend my days dodging her around our tiny town and hoping not to bump into her – this turned out to be far more difficult than you would imagine. But then everything changed and I managed to get my revenge in a way so funny and spectacular I would love to share it with you but for legal reasons it is probably best not (it didn’t involve any sort of crazy axe attack or anything so don’t worry!).
Once my revenge was complete the tables truly turned leading to my School Gate Nemesis trying to hide from me – this was mainly due to her horrifying realisation that people found out the truth about her sneaky ways.
It is amazing how you can loose something like the pin number to a bike chain written on a scrap of paper in your house, or your car in a multi storey car park when you have been shopping. On the whole not being able to find things is usually the biggest problem for people. But as the law of sod goes, if you are trying to hide you will always be found, especially if your lives cross paths at regular intervals and you live in a tiny community in a tiny town in a tiny part of Southern Europe.
Neither myself or my School Gate Nemesis have ever admitted to the revenge or acknowledged that it even happened so being as we live in a small community I have decided that life is short and I will be the bigger person and wave it off with smiles, “good mornings” and slowing down to allow her to cross the road (I am always tempted to hit the gas at this point but have managed to hold back so far).
The response of my School Gate Nemesis is to scuttle off, turn her back and even duck behind parked vehicles when she sees my car coming. I have seen her walk into a cafe only to walk straight back out if she sees me sat in there already and she has been known to turn down many an invitation by unknowing members of the community who are not aware of her devious ways, just in case I am there. Her loss, I am not shedding a tear.
Now there is a reason I am sharing this with you, there is a moral to this story of the School Gate Nemesis –
Do not move to a small British expat community such as this in the Algarve if you answer yes to any of the following:
- Have you been evil to me to the point of me needing to exact my revenge?
- Do you find it difficult to quickly find hiding places when you only have bus stops, parked cars and trees for inspiration?
- Do you revel in the anonymity of a large community?
- Have you recently committed a crime and are on the run from the law?
Ok, so the last one was just me trying to pretend that all the people here are lovely people (we won’t mention the ear chopping off gangster kidnapping case) but the others are a warning. This crazy British expat community of ours may be crazy but when you go to far there is no place to hide – unless you are willing to say sorry…