A Basque in Boise

A Basque (almost) back in Boise

Headed to the US for the 16th time. Well, maybe it’s the 13th or 14th, I can’t remember anymore how many times I’ve been back since I moved to Boise, but this is for sure my sixteenth year abroad. As much as I hate sounding cliché, time does fly. If it weren’t for the iPhone’s amazing ability to show my each and every wrinkle on those close-ups taken with friends and family I’d probably forget how fast I am approaching 40. Not that I care, mind you. I’ve learned one or two things since I left.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago how I saw Euskadi, has it changed in my opinion? Maybe a bit, with immigration being the highest I’ve ever seen – kind of like the unemployment rate – and building walls deprived of political messages for the most part. And the blankets on transatlantic planes keep getting thinner and thinner. I’m starting to feel like the Emperor that needed new clothes. But that’s not really a Basque thing, cost-cutting is a global affair. On the other hand, we Basques are as dirty as we’ve always been, judging by the thousands of plastic glasses, trash, and bodily fluids left on the floor in Santurtzi after a whole night of partying. I have no doubt outsiders find it disgusting (because it is), but I only see good times when I look back at the crap through the window of the first morning bus to Ortuella.

Ortuella. A small mining town bordering Santander or Burgos – depending on whom you talk to – but which is, I swear, still inside the Basque Country. It might not be the prettiest or the most fun, but it’s mine and looking at it through the eyes of my kids this summer has made me appreciate it even more. The concept of a play date is lost here. Why schedule one when everybody knows to gather at the park from 5 to 8, rain or shine? Impromptu soccer games everyday, everywhere, anytime. My son’s version of paradise. Parents having a late night drink on a patio while the kids play on the alleyway nearby. Young girls don’t need to wear the top part of the bikini at the beach. Neither do the older ones, for that matter. Nobody gets a ticket and nobody cares but my kids, who grew up in the United States. Finding comfort in being naked it’s something I haven’t yet been able to teach them.

These twenty days have been non-stop, visiting with family and partying with friends. I come back to Boise with great memories, fun stories, and mixed feelings overload. It’ll take a few days to untangle them all.

Thanks for passing by: ↓

Mariluz Grandal Bernadette Jabier Ysabel Bilbao Lontzo Sainz

7 thoughts on “A Basque (almost) back in Boise

  1. Mariluz Grandal

    Te entiendo muchisimo cuando dices eso de…..”everybody knows to gather at the park from 5 to 8, rain or shine?” y “My son’s version of paradise”. O lo de “Parents having a late night drink on a patio while the kids play on the alleyway nearby”. Qué diferentes son los países en los que vivimos ahora ehhhh? Yo te juro que echo muchiiiiiisimo de menos esta cultura, esta forma de vida, esta forma de ver las cosas. Este pais es unico y especial, como aquí no se vive ni se disfruta en ninguna parte. Aunque suene también a cliché.
    Un besazo y mucho ánimo, compañera!

  2. Mariluz Grandal

    Te entiendo muchisimo cuando dices eso de…..”everybody knows to gather at the park from 5 to 8, rain or shine?” y “My son’s version of paradise”. O lo de “Parents having a late night drink on a patio while the kids play on the alleyway nearby”. Qué diferentes son los países en los que vivimos ahora ehhhh? Yo te juro que echo muchiiiiiisimo de menos esta cultura, esta forma de vida, esta forma de ver las cosas. Este pais es unico y especial, como aquí no se vive ni se disfruta en ninguna parte. Aunque suene también a cliché.
    Un besazo y mucho ánimo, compañera!

  3. Bernadette

    You know, whether you run around town topless or not, I think everyone in Boise will be happy to have you back 🙂 I bet you have mixed feelings! It’s hard having two homes AND approaching 40! I’d be less concerned about the wrinkles though…

  4. Bernadette

    You know, whether you run around town topless or not, I think everyone in Boise will be happy to have you back 🙂 I bet you have mixed feelings! It’s hard having two homes AND approaching 40! I’d be less concerned about the wrinkles though…

  5. Jabier

    Egun on!

    Ederra artikulua Henar. Eskertzen dira halako gauzak irakurtzea, ‘kanpotik’ (baina ez kanpoko pertsona ;-D) nola ikusten gaituzte.

    Oraingoan ezin izan dugu kafe hori hartu. Hurrengo batean izan beharko da… bi urte barru? Badakizu, niri ez didate uzten EEBB sartzen eta zure buelta arte itxaron beharko dut jejejej

    Ondo ibili, hobeto bizi!

    Jabier

  6. Jabier

    Egun on!

    Ederra artikulua Henar. Eskertzen dira halako gauzak irakurtzea, ‘kanpotik’ (baina ez kanpoko pertsona ;-D) nola ikusten gaituzte.

    Oraingoan ezin izan dugu kafe hori hartu. Hurrengo batean izan beharko da… bi urte barru? Badakizu, niri ez didate uzten EEBB sartzen eta zure buelta arte itxaron beharko dut jejejej

    Ondo ibili, hobeto bizi!

    Jabier

  7. Ysabel Bilbao

    Those mixed feelings and emotions are the worst. They come and go…and hurt. I feel that way when I am there about here!

  8. Ysabel Bilbao

    Those mixed feelings and emotions are the worst. They come and go…and hurt. I feel that way when I am there about here!

  9. Henar Chico

    Hehe… I’m just concerned about them when I see them on the iPhone, so I’ve decided not only take pics of other people. I hope I’ll see you soon!@Bernadette

  10. Henar Chico

    Hehe… I’m just concerned about them when I see them on the iPhone, so I’ve decided not only take pics of other people. I hope I’ll see you soon!@Bernadette

  11. Henar Chico

    Kaixo Jabier, jo, ze pena eman zidan azkenean elkar ez ikusteak, baina hogei egun benetan ez dira nahikoak. Uste dut datorren urtea berriro joango nazela, ea egia den. Noski, abistatuko zaitut.

    Artikulu luzeago bat idatziko dut gai horretaz egun batean, nola dirudienez “Basqueness” mailak daudela eta zu eta biok “clase B” barruan gaudela.

    Musu handi bat!@Jabier

  12. Henar Chico

    Kaixo Jabier, jo, ze pena eman zidan azkenean elkar ez ikusteak, baina hogei egun benetan ez dira nahikoak. Uste dut datorren urtea berriro joango nazela, ea egia den. Noski, abistatuko zaitut.

    Artikulu luzeago bat idatziko dut gai horretaz egun batean, nola dirudienez “Basqueness” mailak daudela eta zu eta biok “clase B” barruan gaudela.

    Musu handi bat!@Jabier

  13. Henar Chico

    On the other hand, when you have people thinking about you, people who remember to invite you to seat with them at the San Inazio picnic on Sunday, it makes it pretty hard to feel sad about coming back to Boise. Thank you!@Ysabel Bilbao

  14. Henar Chico

    On the other hand, when you have people thinking about you, people who remember to invite you to seat with them at the San Inazio picnic on Sunday, it makes it pretty hard to feel sad about coming back to Boise. Thank you!@Ysabel Bilbao

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