A Basque in Boise

When Basque friends visit

FriendsI love it when my friends come over to visit from the Basque Country. Not only do I get to enjoy them in my turf -which is awesome in itself- but I also get to experience Boise through the eyes of a newcomer again, in the same manner I did when I first got here 17 years ago: houses with big yards, turning right on a red light, or handing out your card to the bartender to open a tab seem as normal to me now as buying a loaf of bread every morning used to be when I lived in Bilbao.

I found out a few weeks ago how unforgiving time is on the outside, but it is during those visits that I realize how much I’ve also changed in the inside. I used to think I would move back to the Basque Country some day, and I still do when things over here get tough or I have a bad day. However, the longer I live in Boise the smaller the likelihood of me going back becomes. Four years from now, I will have spent half of my life in Euskadi, and the other half in Boise. I might have grown up in Bilbao, but I became who I am here, in the United States.

I went to the shooting range once, held a gun in my hands and it was actually fun (except for the company, which could have definitely been better). I sometimes go to the gas station in pajama bottoms. My mom would have a heart attack if I went out like that to the little market below our apartment. I buy carrots and different dips to snack at work. I’m not sure I could handle having to hang up the clothes in a rod outside my window and then spend two hours ironing the stuff.

Yeah… I miss my family, and I miss my friends, and I miss my town, but I’ve come to the realization that I am here for the long run. I might even naturalize. Wow. I need a drink.

Thanks for passing by: ↓

Michael A1/4BasqueInSpokane Aitzol Azurtza

6 thoughts on “When Basque friends visit

  1. Flixnerd

    Home is wherever your heart is full. Knowing what it’s like to be a “nomad” traveler, I’ve lived in the Bay Area of California, Denver, Los Angeles, and now Boise.
    Boise is the nicest city I’ve lived in. Great people, clean and open, and plenty of ways to stay active and engaged in the communities.
    Like you, I grew older somewhere else, but grew up in Boise.

  2. Henar Chico Post author

    Yes, I have just had a hard time realizing that I might not fully belong in the Basque Country anymore.

  3. Aitzol Azurtza

    Kaixo Henar,

    There is nothing wrong in becoming a Boisean. I always remember from my High School years this funny expression my history professor “Txonpio” used say: The donkey does not belong to the prairie where it was born, but to the grassland where it feeds. It seems that Boise and Boiseans have been good to you — cherish that goodness!

    Ongi izan,

    Aitzol Azurtza

  4. Henar Chico Post author

    I cherish it, it’s just weird that I finally feel like I might naturalize. I love it here.

  5. Aitzol Azurtza

    Kaixo Henar,

    It is not a weird feeling, it is the feeling of integration (not to be confused with assimilation); you are fully integrated in the Boisean, Idahoan, and American life that you and people around you have built, and you feel at home. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? I am also about to naturalize.

    Ongi izan,

    Aitzol Azurtza

  6. Thomas

    Hi Aitzol, just want to day Hello to you and obv. you are well?! That’s great! All the best from Germany 😉 Cheerio! Thomas

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