Por Amour. A Boisean in the Basque Country

For the Love of God, More Ice!


Nothing is better than your favorite cocktail, a new coca cola, even the water we are obliged to drink, poured over a nice big glass of ice.

I get it, for some of you a full glass of ice is miserable. It hurts your teeth and causes the liquid you are drinking to burn your throat. If that sounds familiar, then the Basque Country is where you need to be!

Why you ask?  Because they have a serious problem with ice and an even bigger problem with putting more ice cubes into the glass – even if you ask over and over and over again.

I order a drink, any drink, it doesn’t matter what type of drink it is, and I always finished my sentence with…“mucho hielo por favor.”

I would like to think that they don’t understand me, my accent is a bit broken and they don’t get it, or maybe they are somewhat hard-of-hearing and what comes out of my mouth didn’t make it into their ears – but that is not the case because when I ask a bartender for “a lot of ice please” they repeat what I say, questioning my petition – “muchos hielos?” “Si” I respond, “muchos.”

Holding the glass on the palm of their hand, tongs in the other, they put one cube, two cubes (which is where it ends when you don’t ask for mucho) and finally three cubes of ice.  I used to smile and politely ask for more which, who knows why, seemed to offend each bartender.  But I have come to kindly smile, grab my glass and bitch about it to the person I am with!

Yes, I bitch about the ice cubes as if it is something of substance to bitch about.

The dog that is not on a leash doesn’t bother me as much, the child who has just pulled their pants down and peed in the middle of the sidewalk doesn’t bother me as much, the excessive use of house slippers when you just want to walk barefooted inside doesn’t bother me as much, as their disregard for a nice cold drink!

What bothers me is the ice issue in this country and I after experiencing this ice issue over the past several years and visits here, I think there is a conspiracy to teach the American that more and bigger isn’t always better!

Well I get it, my glass is not going to be packed full of ice – but don’t think that is going to stop me from saying – “muchos hielos, por favor!”


4 thoughts on “For the Love of God, More Ice!

  1. Asun

    Ice is one of the things, you will find later the other big thing is the air conditioning, they complain about it in bars, restaurants and vehicles, they don’t like it.

  2. Elizabeth Eiguren-Bilbao

    I enjoyed reading today! I’ve been there! So hot you could die and no ice in your drink! Makes me laugh just to think about it!

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