And not Bilbao's Ugly Side.

Wednesday September 29th, 2010 (But let us be honest and admit it's all the time between the last blog and this one.)


Wine, Men, and Philosophy.
The other day I went to a grocery store and bought two bottles of wine. ("bella regaza don't tell my wife" Jason Webley.)
I sort of refuse to buy 'Box Wine' while I'm here, because I can buy all sorts of cheap and terrible wine when I'm back stateside.
For now I'm in Spain, and I should be trying delicious things and new things only. (Box wine here is different than it is back stateside. Milk, Juice, and most beverages come in a cardboard box similar to the kind that Soy Milk comes in back in the U.S.)

The First was bottom shelf, 'Señorio Del Condestable, Monastrell' Bottled in Jurmilla Spain. No year listed. Made from wild-berries, none in specific it seems. 12.5% 1.50€
It's a bit more sour than a lot of the wines I've had here, but it actually tastes pretty good. A lot better than anything you can get back home for less than $6.

The Second was middle shelf, 'Ramón Bilbao, Crianza' Bottled in Bilbao, 2007. With 14 months in the barrel. Made from blackberries and blackcurrents. (Bottle reads: Balsamic Aromas, with subtle backgrounds of vanilla, pepper, and bay leaf.) 13.5% 4.50€
This stuff is fantastic. Darker than the other one with a much more complex and subtle taste. It's very mild at first, but the after taste is wonderful.

After sampling a little of both, I received the call about class being canceled, and decided to sample some more.
Them a friend from the program called me to see if I would like to hang out.
We had spoken of it earlier, but I was doubtful of it happening as that the Metro would close before he'd get on, and he'd have to walk home. (However far that was.)
But he did.
So we went on a walk, and spoke of many things.
Talking with him is tricky, because he's very introverted, and very conditioned by his conservative mother. However he is honest when he doesn't care about a subject, and frequently the things that interest me have little interest in him.
Actually, this problem is quite common stateside, but I am used to people ignoring me when I begin to go on about something fascinating, rather than being told that the subject is uninteresting.
Anyhow, the kid is always apologizing for anything that happens.
Reminds me of some short kid I once knew.
He recently came out of the closet, and is still really uncomfortable with the subject, (thus the lack of name so far) so I'm not entirely certain why he enjoys spending time with me. (Well I have few guesses)
Particularly because of my irreverence towards 'the closet.' I often forget that when a person is out of the closet, this does not mean that they are all the way out of the closet.
Some people play halvsies, and are pussyfooting-about-the-closet, opposed to actually out of it. Other people are in the closet, but have told just three or four people about it.
Keeping it from conservative parents I guess I can understand, but I accuse any parents that person should be afraid of telling this to, I accuse them of bad parenting.
Other friends and strangers?
That makes no sense to me.
Strangers like: 'Don't say the G word right now, there's people about.'
Not: 'Hey Random Person, I'm GAY!'
That sort of approach irratates the hell out of me.
With any subject. I'll return to this thought later.
Don't bother trying to explain 'the closet' to me, I don't care.
I think 'the closet' supports an anti-gay mentality.
Anyone supporting the secrecy of a completely natural part of life is almost as bad as the people attacking it.
There are, of course, exceptions to this blunt and angry opinion, such as when a life is on the line.
Yet I digress, again.
My friend, I think may have a crush on me.
He might just be seeking friendship as that the other gay boy in the USAC program is more irritating and put on than any other gay man I have ever met. (Remember how I said I'd return to the Thought? I'm about to do that.)
I don't announce loudly in a put on accent to people that I'm short.
I don't announce irritatingly that 'I just want to go meditate all over that park over there, it looks so serene.'
I don't flaunt my passion for ice-cream like it's the defining factor of my life.
Granted I do talk about these things, and I've been known to make jokes about, or express strongly that they are true, but not like a siren at every moment of my life. (At least I hope not.)
Why then, do so many, (and don't tell me I'm being stereotypical, I have names)gay men let that little detail, define who they are? Maybe its just something I don't get, maybe I'm too set in my ways, or some psychological wall prevents me from not getting angry around these sort of people. Maybe there is no reason for it, but it does bug me. And it seems to bug other people.
That being said, and lifted from my chest, I will return to my friend.
If your confused right now I don't blame you. My mind is rather scattered.
Right. Friend. Not the irritating boy, the other boy.
(Be damn convenient right now to use names.)
I feel like I'm stringing him along, because it's very nice to have someone to listen to, but I'm not interested in him.
He's cute enough, but his personality comes off to me as 'Friend' and not 'Boyfriend.' Probably has to do with his high maintenance and lack of any strong artistic interest or passion... at least that he'll talk about.
Also, I'm a bit of flirt, well maybe more of a 'caradura.'
Funny thing about that word 'Caradura,' I don't really know how to express that in English, but I think that's a good sign for my Spanish. It has a meaning similar to Cocky Inconsiderate Asshole, way less harsh.
I figure as long as I'm honest about my intentions, and what have you, there shouldn't be a problem.
However, if this were easily done, and had a 100% success rate, there wouldn't be theatre.
And I love theatre.

An old castle-tower like building, and the Spanish Sea.

Today, in Spain, there was a nation-wide strike.
Peaceful protest against generally low pay, which has been down for a while.
Times are hard in Spain.
So class was canceled, due to complications with the bus system.
Instead of class, we took a hike.
And, my loving and adoring fans, I did not forget you, no, I have provided pictures for you on this very blog.
Yes, I'll post a few here in this Blog, and the rest on Facebook.
'But Kishpike, I don't have facebook/you as a friend on facebook!'
Well, that is a problem, dear reader, and I'm not particularly certain I'm comfortable having proposed to you not knowing that you didn't have facebook/me as a friend on facebook. I will gladly email you my pictures if you request it, but I wish you would have told me sooner about this. Don't worry, I still love you. And I still want you to consider our marriage. But no stress, we still have a whole year.

The hike was along the sea, so there are a lot shots like th

The Hike was fantastic, and far more beautiful than any of these pictures could have captured. The day was lovely, and warm and Bilbao's coast is breath-taking.
There was a distinct smell coming from the flowers as I walked along the path, that struck me with memories of living in Spokane when I was even smaller than I am now. It was quite fascinating.

A city by the sea.

Spaniards have no fear. They have zero time for it.
They have benches four inches from the side of the street, driving in the wrong lane is a national sport, and I'm pretty certain that I watched a child box a boar with one hand tied behind his back, he didn't win, but he didn't cry either.
On one of these perilous cliff sides there was a bicyclist.
This bicyclist was hauling ass not half a foot away from the ledge.
There were other paths to be on, but that's the one he chose.
Fortunately he was wearing a plastic helmet, so if he did hit an odd rock he'd have that between his skull and the jagged rocks below. The fall probably wouldn't be lethal, if he happened to be Wolverine or Link.
Another fearless soldier can be seen below.
This brave man was clearly on patrol at one of those famous 'Nudist' beaches they have here.
This beach, we quickly found had a 'Old Men Only' rule.
There were several women at this beach, all wearing everyday clothing or wet-suites.
I'm certain this brave soul was keeping the 'Only Old Men get to be Naked' rule in check.

Hain't no Wimin folk all'ad ta be nekid her'.

Spanish for the day:
In a similar vein to 'Make like the Swiss'
The Spanish phrase for playing hookie, or skipping class, is 'To Make Like You're Lost' or 'Pretending to be Lost'

These Rocks, they rule.

Pour Decision.
If you are ever in Spain, and you would like to order a drink, I recommend avoiding the mixed drinks.
They are expensive, and they are expensive for a good reason.
A mixed drink here is about 5 shots worth of alcohol.
(Okay maybe more like 3, but they're strong.)
Normally I can have a mixed drink, or two, and still keep my wits about me.
Not the case here.
After the hike a bunch of USACers went to a Bar, and I went with them.
(USAC is the program that I'm in, so these are all American Students studying in Spain. Well, we do have one Finnish Student, who speaks English really well, and somehow got into this program. I still don't know why or how.)
I ordered a Vodka+Naranja, which is five billion shots of Vodka, and a Bottle of Orange Fanta poured into a glass.
Oh, and whoever told me that there isn't ice in Spainish Bars is a Filfthy Liar. They put ice in everything here. Even the wine has ice in it.
After that, we went to another bar, and I was feeling quite... distant.
At this bar their were Pintxos (Basque for Tapas, which is Spanish for Delicious snacks).
Another mistake? I think so.
I had three Pintxos, each of which came with a side of bread, and a Red Martini. (Still not sure exactly what it is.)
They were all fantastic.
All you bacon-lovers out there are chumps. Jamon is where it's at.
After that we hoped the metro and I headed home.
When I arrived home, Carmén was waiting for me, with a whole bunch of food.
Not wishing to be rude, or let her know that I had been drinking a bit more than my share, I greeted her, and we talked a bit.
And then she asked me the dreaded question 'Are you hungry?'
I responded as I always do 'A little' because to be honest I am always a little hungry, I forget that 'a little' hungry translates to 'Feed me all the food now!'
She smiled and shot back her usual response of 'Boys are always hungry!' and proceeded to place three plates of food in front of me.
They were, of course, fantastic.
However, my stomach felt like it was going to burst, and my mind was far to foggy for 2:00pm, fortunately for me there is a tradition of passing out at just such a time.
Huzzah Siesta!

I found a place on Monday that does half-off haircuts on Wednesdays.
So I decided to wait until Wednesday to get my hair shortened.
I forgot that today, Wednesday, was the national strike.

And now to do the homework I've been putting off.

I swear to you this says 'Austin' in Basque.

This is a pirates flag, torn asunder by the wild Spanish winds.

almost mounted up my horse and lance, but the group was getting ahead of me.

Sea and Sky, and on that note...

Kishpike Out.


  1. Where. Are. The. Pictures. Of. The. Tapas?

  2. Madrid I suppose.
    But I will post pictures of the Pintxos in my next post.