Saturday, October 13, 2012

Poner las pilas / Put the batteries in [more or less]

It was a very Basque day today. Typical Basque days are a lot like typical Oregon days in terms of weather. It rains. It's cloudy. There are lots of puddles. This is because of the rain.

This does not accurately depict my energy level today.
Though I like the rainy weather, it has taken a little bit of my energy away today.

Friday, 12th of October, 2012
  • Watched half of a pretty well dubbed "Return of the King" (El retorno del rey) on Euskal television.
  • Put on pajama pants.
  • Walked to Doner Kebab. Ordered Doner Kebab. Took said Kebab home. Ate kebab.
  • Looked out the window at all the lovely people.
  • Spoke incorrect, unrolled r Spanish with my roommate.
  • Watched the Daily Show. Laughed.
  • Looked up Paul Thomas Anderson's filmography.
  • Downloaded "Punch Drunk Love". Didn't watch it.

So to complement all of this prodigious achievement, I will now post some pictures I have taken of my new surroundings.

Sopelana, Bizkaia

This, however, I did take today.

Though it looks like a small village, this is actually just a part of Algorta, Getxo. Which is a big city.

I found ducks here, though not the the Chip Kelly variety.

I feel partly cloudy today. I need to come home before 8 AM next time.
Well, I'm sure I will have more solid things to say later today. Or tomorrow.

Agur! (Adiós)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

La siesta perfecta

This is my first entry from the Getxo, on the coast in the Basque Country, my new home in Spain the Northern Part of the Iberian Peninsula.

(It's not Spain).

Instead of boring you with the whole story of Basque Independence and resistance to perceived invasive Spanish nationalism, I'm going to get right to a much more crucial part of daily life here in Sp-

...the Northern Part of the Iberian Peninsula.

That crucial facet is something they call la siesta. You may be familiar with it. We anglophones refer to this curious phenomenon as a "nap".

As I write this entry, I am prostrate in my bed atop new and boldly colored Ikea sheets. As many of you probably know, the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula are very fond of napping. The other day, I heard a Basque friend say:

"They say the ideal siesta is twenty minutes - no more, no less."

This was said with a certain air of authority, a smug aloofness. This comment was beyond margin of doubt.

"Bah," I thought to myself. "Everyone knows that twenty minute naps suck major polla." Who would want to engage in the tease of only lying down for a few minutes? Not even a full half hour.

However, a few days ago, I found myself en casa and I was tired as hell. However, I had some big plans for the evening (wearing a suit and drinking wine in the streets). I knew I had to recharge the batteries somehow.

I remembered the dubious claim my friend had made about the supposed superiority of twenty minute naps. "Hell," me dije a mí mismo (I said to myself), "I must as well test this theory out." I laid down on my previously cited (and still boldly colored) Ikea sheets and set to work. Or did the opposite of setting to work. Trying to do absolutely nothing at all and spur on unconsciousness. Thus is the perplexing paradox of sleep.

Goddamn if them weren't some of the best twenty minutes I ever did spend. Maybe I was influenced by the air of authority that mi amiga vasca utilized in her declaration of the veinte minuto primacy. Maybe this is why the placebo effect is so well documented in science; the power of suggestion is indeed quite powerful.

Twenty minutes might not seem like enough, but I direct your attention to how relaxed my friend Pablo appears in the following photographic evidence:

This is how it's done, fools.

And yes, that's right. That is the Simpsons, dubbed in Spanish. And you're right, Pablo did only sleep for about twenty minutes. And you know what? I didn't ask him specifically, but he seemed pretty goddamned relaxed to me.

To answer your question, yes, our apartment is that colorful. We're big on the fuchsia and lime green combo. It's like a Basque Barney the Dinosaur, although he's more a weathered, sun-bleached lavender than hearty purple.

And yes, the Castilian Spanish Simpsons voices sound a lot like the English ones, especially Homer.

I hope you have learned something from this most solemn and thoughtful post. Since someone is outside bumping Beyoncé from a beat-up Peugeot (I can't actually see it, but we can be fairly certain), it is time for me to tell them to go vete y tomarlo por culo.

I can hear the Google Translate windows opening as we speak.