I was getting ready to call it a day, after finishing with today’s article on Mountain Home’s Euskal Lagunak Basque club, when I realized I had only 30 minutes until the first Running of the Bulls started. So I waited and watched it live. And as I was waiting, it dawned on me that this July 7 marks the 15th year anniversary of my life in the US.
It’s a cliche, but time does fly. I remember being in the changing room at the downtown YMCA, only three months after landing in Boise, telling this woman, in my even thicker Spanish accent, about my recent move to city.
- I came in a plane with a smoking section. That’s how long ago I moved here. And thank god, because I couldn’t imagine spending nine hours without having a cigarette.
- I had never been inside a gym, other than the one at school.
- I hadn’t spoken Basque since I graduated from high school. Even then, I just did it during Basque class. And only if I managed to stay awake.
- I didn’t have kids. Weird.
- My kids are Basque-American.
- I had time.
- Skype? What the hell is that?
- I didn’t have white hairs or age spots on my nose.
- I didn’t have boobs.
- I was a bit more shy. (Yes, I was).
- I was married.
- I would have never discovered the Basque Country if I hadn’t left.
- I have friends from places I never expected.
- I still have my Ikastola friends. 35 years and counting.
- I have learned to live with the size of my butt. Sigh.
- I have learned to live without cigarettes. Double sigh.
- I can video Skype now – Boise to Basque Country- right from my iPhone
- I will never get used to eating at noon.
- I love 24/7 grocery stores.
- I am getting a handle on this changing business. I don’t care anymore about who moves my cheese. I’ll eventually find it and if I don’t, I’ll buy a new piece. Or I’ll use the soy kind. Whatever.
There is one thing that remains constant, though. After all these years, after all the times I’ve done it, saying bye to my friends and family is as hard now as when I first left.
These last 15 years have for sure been a trip – literally and figuratively. I am looking forward to what comes next. Bring it on!