top of page
  • robertfarago1

The Wandering Jew – Without a Net!

Sell. Just one word, texted to my homie Heuss. Green-lighting the sale of my 33rd floor Austin aerie. Chris found a buyer willing to pay more-or-less pay what I paid for my condo, back when the Pandemic was introducing workaholics to their children. Hurray?

Well, that was the plan. And then a series of non-plussed non-buyers sashayed through my digs, to no avail. As D-Day approached, I got used to the idea of not selling. Other than the sky-high HOA fee and not inconsiderable mortgage payment, why not have an "I can always come back here if I get sick or tired or sick and tired" bolthole?


The cash saved by not paying for an empty condo will help sustain the Ridiculously Random Motorcycle Tour (RRMT). Pleasing both my long-suffering often incredulous accountant and a few upmarket cigar manufacturers.

More than that, a true Wandering Jew is, by definition, a homeless Jew. Unless it's a Tradescantia zebrina, the hardy striped plant commonly called The Wandering Jew. A name that gives some in the garden industry the PC heebie-jeebies.

We assumed the name referred to the Israelites, sentenced to 'wander' through the desert in search of the promised land until the last member of the original generation (Moses) dies. 
But further research revealed ‘Wandering Jew’ to be connected to an apocryphal myth, one that has been used to justify anti-Semitism since at least the 13th century. 
The story goes that one of the men who taunted Jesus on his way to be crucified was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. In the context of the observable Jewish diaspora; the displacement of Jewish peoples from the Southern Levant in ancient times, and subsequent statelessness from anti-Semitic regimes, we are profoundly uncomfortable with using this moniker. -

I'm not sure how that sympathetic sentiment jibes with the recent unpleasantness surrounding Israel's liberation of Palestine, but my name is Robert Farago and I approve of the suggested replacement: Wandering Dude.

Not for myself, obviously. I in no way live up to the standard set by Jeffrey Lebowski.

That said, I hope to emulate The Dude's weed-influenced sang froid and bon mots during my travels, which will include visits to bowling alleys), and the Wandering Jew plant is something of an inspiration.

According to., Trad Zebs "flourish in bright but indirect sunlight. If it is not getting enough light, the vibrant foliage will fade. However, if placed in direct light, the leaves will burn. The ideal location is an east or west facing window."

Like all Ashkenazi Jews, my ancestry traces back to the light-skinned community that took root in the Rhineland.

Shame about the ethnic designation's last syllable – and the fact that sunburn and I are so well acquainted. My ideal location? The shade, with my back to the wall, both literally (paranoid gun guy) and figuratively (own worst enemy-wise).

There's another reason I'm OK with my upcoming exfiltration: I'm done with Austin, Texas. As I might have mentioned in more than one previous post, the RRMT jibes with the decision to close the Austin chapter of my peripatetic peregrinations.


Not to put too fine a point on it (so to speak), this town is too big for the one of me. As Austin's grown like Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), it's lost its small town friendliness.

I'm not just talking about the legions of Lycra-clad nines reminding me of my advanced years, both silently and out loud. I'm talking wait staff, sales people, other non-gender specific service personnel and thousands of tech-savvy California expats.

Yes, I will miss my friends and regular acquaintances, even more than my California King Tempurpedic mattress and Nespresso coffee machine, and that's saying something. But, I've spent my entire life reconciled to Bob Marley's reminder: good friends we've had, good friends we've lost, along the way.

In this great future, you can't forget your past, apparently. An admonition that flies in the face of my increasingly unreliable memory. But there are plenty of people I won't forget. Excluding the ones I can't remember now. Anyway, more motivation/justification/self-delusion...

Last summer, I discovered I could only indulge in my rediscovered love of motorcycling from 6am to 8am, lest I die from dehydration and sunstroke. The last part of that word being a concern, family history-wise.

I want to find a place where the temp stays below 100, the skies are somewhat cloudy all day and random people smile at you because they're glad both they and you are alive. I'm thinking the North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee. Virginia area, or California. The latter not pleasing my tax-averse accountant no end. But really, who knows?


One thing I know for sure: I won't be around to stash my stuff. I'm still leaving June 1.

Mr. Heuss will oversee the storage of my rugs, watches, pinball machine, etc. It'll be a truly bizarre transition. On the first of the month, I'll walk out my condo with everything in place. When I close the door on "my" condo, POOF! Gone.

As if I never lived there? Not really. Austin left its mark on me, my ex and last born (both ensconced in Victoria, Canada). When I was running The Truth About Guns, Austin was the right place to be. Now, not so much.

With just 13 days before takeoff, I've got to re-embrace the idea of being 100 percent Duckweed (i.e. rootless). A homeless 64-year-old writer on a BMW motorcycle looking for a place, some place to hang his hat. A true Wandering Jew.

Click here to follow TTAE on X

18 views0 comments


bottom of page