Sunday, September 5, 2010


Apparently it's pretty common for people, right before embarking on a large-scale, semipermanent adventure, to come up against ridiculous and frustrating things at the last minute. I'm not sure anything along those lines has happened to me before, but I'd also never had my luggage lost before this year and then boom, I land in Bilbao this past January sans luggage (it got left in Holland on the return trip too!).

All of this to say I had some suspicious activity on my debit card over the past few days and wound up on the phone with my bank (and my dad- thanks for calming me down Dad!) for the better part of an hour last night. Got the problem solved and now the bad people can't spend my money any more, but wheeeeeew. The fact that I leave the country a week from tomorrow did not make this event any less stressful, let me tell you.

Otherwise, I think I'm fully into that period before departure where everything just flies by in a surreal blur. My emotions keep hurtling me back and forth between terrified and so excited I can't stand it.
I'm reading Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon right now, which is admittedly kind of a poor choice for my being about to move to Basque Country. Maybe it's a forbidden fruit thing, or like an obnoxious "you can't put me in a box, man! I'll read about bullfighting if I want, man!" thing. Aside from that bit of weirdness, my reading has been my Rough Guide to Spain. I can't recommend it enough so far. I feel like it has a really good balance of kind of splurge/grown-up suggestions and frugal/budget options.

Most of my stuff is together now. Visa here; apartment mostly moved out of; last day of work tomorrow. Just need to clean the apartment the rest of the way, pack, turn in tags for my car, straighten up the room at my mom's house so she can have guests here while I'm off talking like an infant in Basque (I can now ask where the bathroom is and what you or y'all want, although I cannot reliably answer the same questions). oh, and figure out where I'm staying in Bilbao...


  1. Yup, I'm in the same place as you. Ready to leave, por favor! Except you're leaving a week before me!

    Have you read The Basque History of the World? A past assistant in Donostia recommended it to me.
    I'll bring it with, let me know if you want to borrow it.

    I also read a bit of Hemingway...The Sun Also Rises. Not so much of a cheery guy, was he?

  2. haha, The Basque History of the World is one of my favorite books!! Love it.

    And yeah, Hemingway was kind of a bummer, although The Sun Also Rises is a lot more festive after For Whom the Bell Tolls. I don't know, I'm going through a pretty heavy Hemingway phase, although he keeps hating on Bilbao in his bullfighting book.