I like going back to Bilbao and seeing how some things never change. These ones are everywhere, so typical of the Basque Country. I’m talking about the tendederos (clothes line), forever present on buildings’ façades and balconies, whether it’s 3º or 30º Celsius outside. You never see them in Boise, as only a small percentage of the population lives in apartments, and even then, we all use dryers.
I get off the plane and onto my friend’s car. The first time back in two years and I keep looking out of the window, making sure everything is still pretty much how I left it last time. Yep. The tendederos are still there, clothes and sheets and towels of every color hanging and being swayed by the wind, some of them even arranged by size, type, and color. I am not kidding! I even got a brief lesson on the process, courtesy of my friend Unai, who became quite rattled when I attemped to help him: “Henar! Clothes have to be hanged in order. Long clothing items on the outside, and short ones on the inside, and the shirts with the shirts.” Ummm… Ok. Thank you, friki friend.
A pang of nostalgia shakes me and I feel homesick, even though I’m Bilbao already.
Then I think to myself, seriously, Henar. Snap out of it! I mean… I’ve hardly hanged anything but maybe a t-shirt, my bathing suit and the towel after a trip to the swimming pool, much less I’m going to do it in order. I lived with my parents until I got married, so my mom always took care of the laundry. And when I moved out I ended up in Boise where – as I mentioned before – we use the dryer. Besides, hanging clothes not only can be dangerous (what if you live on the 10th floor? Who wants to lean so much out of the window just to do it?), but it also means you have to iron the items after they dry. It’s just too much work!
At least this is what I think about when I start missing life in Bilbao. That, and how my hair would always be curly and my face full of zits because of the humidity, and I might even start smoking again. Not to mention having the stores closed on Sundays, probably drive a 5-speed, 3-door Seat (if I’m lucky), and no Wal-Mart.
Ummm… Living in the US sounds just fine!
- … but some things do.