Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i think my crappy euskera is going to be improving fast

because apparently besides English it is the only language they use at my school. This is awesome and terrifying.

2 weeks.

if i'm smart, i'll bust the "colloquial basque" book out and study for an hour a day. let's find out over these next two weeks if i'm smart, shall we?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

16 days.

One of my favorite preachers just posted about "napping to the glory of God." I love it.

I'm sending Basque of the day into a leave of absence until I get there and start learning words in real life. This is getting ridiculous with me flipping to the page where it says "Watermelon: angurri" and then telling you all about it.

Instead, here's a picture of my friend Tory about to smoosh the spider sculpture outside the Gugg like a bug:

Friday, August 20, 2010

typical confusions

This isn't really to clarify because I think anyone who is in the position of reading my blog probably understands that Spain and Mexico are different nations; it's more just to talk about something typical that happens to probably everyone moving to Spain. Like everyone else who's doing this program, I have gotten those fantastic comments along the lines of "wow, you're going to Spain? I guess you'll be eating a lot of spicy food! (/burritos/tacos/etc...)" Which honestly I guess I'm OK with, I don't really find it annoying and some people are just not into other cultures.

What does get weird is the double level of explanation that goes into telling someone I'm moving to Basque country. I don't feel great about telling people I'm "moving to Spain" and just leaving it at that because that's not really true. So option 1 is I tell them, it's in Spain, but it's really not Spanish. Or it is, depending on who you ask. They have their own language and culture and are different from "Spanish Spain" because blah blah blah...

But of course I have had to learn that not everyone is as interested in everything Basque as I am and if left to my own devices I will go on like the Basque version of the dad in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (remember? how he has all these lectures on how everything meaningful in the world can be traced back to the Greeks? I do it: i.e., chocolate as candy form? Thank you Basques). So usually I just say I am moving to Bilbao in Spain, which is great and only leaves me feeling a little like I sold out in order to not bore someone. Unless they turn out to be someone who knows what Basque Country is, and then they give me little lectures themselves ("it's not the same as Spain, you know. They have their own language!"). AI AMA.

Anyway, if you understand Spanish, here is a hilarious video on this topic.

And for anyone reading this blog who doesn't know me personally, if my super blondeness didn't give it away already, no, I am not Basque at all. This infatuation came from whoknowswhere. True fact about me: sometimes I forget that I am not Basque and and then I remember and it makes me a little sad.

Euskera of the day:
"Tomate hauek hobeak dira ensaladarako." These tomatoes are better for salad.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

summer by the numbers.

number of visas received from Spanish government today: 1
number of cavities found in my teeth today: 0!!!
number of dentists I have had who are Real Madrid fans (true story): 1
number of euros waiting patiently in my wallet: 20
number of zingers on Madrid I will limit myself to while in the actual city: 10
number of friends awaiting my arrival in madrid: 1-5, depending on who's there when I get in
number of zumos pacificos I will drink during my first week in Spain: 30

number of days left until I leave: 34!!!

number that is "4" in Basque (snuck it in there, didn't I?): lau

Sunday, August 8, 2010

winding down...

just over a month before I leave and the phase I'm in right now is definitely more on the "excited/get me over there already" end of the spectrum. The plan, as far as I have it, is as follows:

September 15th, butt-thirty AM. arrive - possibly not so jetlagged thanks to the Ambien my fantastic doctor gave me for just this sort of occasion - in Madrid. Meet up with Tory at airport, go to her apartment, drop stuff. Possibly take nap of up to two hours. Take it easy, get shown around the city a little by Tory and any of her assortment of madrileño friends. Eat delicious Spanish food. repeat until after dinner. Crash.

September 16th. Meet up with Tory's other friend/guest, Erin. Repeat activities of day before. Do whatever it is you're supposed to do in Madrid. Any suggestions as to what I should do in Madrid BESIDES Buen Retiro and the Reina Sofia (I did these two things on my very short trip there two years ago)?

Sept 17th or 18th. Take bus to Bilbao. Hopefully the fancy bus with plush seats and attendant service!

Sometime between October and December: Visit stepsister in Sevilla.

Some other times: go to France, Croatia: Decide where else I want to go.

So as you can see I don't have a lot nailed down. Where am I living in Bilbao? won't know til I get there and have checked out apartments. Where am I staying in Bilbao until I find a place to live? need to pull that together (best-case scenario involves couch surfing).

other things I need to get together...
*sell my car
*get together teaching materials... i.e. menus, maps and interesting Raleigh stuff. What is "interesting Raleigh stuff"??

Oh, and. AND!! I heard from the guy who was an auxiliar in my school, IES Laudio BHI, last year. What has 400 legs, is between the ages of 12(ish) and 17(ish) and is getting up on trilingual? MY STUDENTS. That's right, I GET MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLERS. TOMA. oh, what's that, you wish YOU got to teach 200 Basque teenagers? So did I. But now I am. oh yes.

Wow, this is getting long. Time to round it out with some questionable thoughts from the "eating out" section of Wikitravel's Basque phrasebook:

Sukaldea ikusi dezaket? "Can I look in the kitchen?" (unless you're a health inspector, I can't see how you're within your rights or sanity for asking this...)