Of Being lost, and the art of translation.

September 4th-7th

September 4th

No internet today.

"Good-bye Mr. Chips" is a good, and sad, book.

Today while finishing the book lost a contact.

‘Easily remedied’, though I.

I thought wrong.

I have left my contacts at home, and will write on my loving mother’s wall on facebook next time I catch

a stray air-tube (that’s wireless internet).

September 5th


Today on a walk with Carmén I learned that It is hard to explain a few things in Spanish. Funny these are hard to explain in English as well.

1) I am bisexual.

And while I’ve never had a committed boy friend, I feel as if I’m lying to let her believe I’m straight. Though it’s a convenient lie, as that I do like women, and she’s very catholic. For now, I don’t think it will come up again, and so, I’ll let the subject alone.

2) I am not strictly a Christian, and have a tendency to side with science.
Further, I doubt there are any real contradictions between the two.

If you disagree with me, I suggest you skip to the next paragraph.

I mostly and largely agree with Stephen Hawking, on many issues.

I believe his counter religion stance, is one about practicality, money, and time.

There are several resources wasted on God-projects that could be used in more appropriate ways.

If there is a God, we should all be able to agree that he has set down some basic principles for how life works. Most of us call the study of these principles ‘Science.’

And it's real, btw.

Science that is.

If you do not 'believe' in science, I suggest avoiding using anything that scientific observation has offered us.

Including indoor plumbing, and not eating poison.

As for God, and the existence there of, well that’s a long conversation I cannot have in Spanish.

3) I am a what one might call a zen buddhist, but only mostly. And I am a terrible example of one, at best. But that's hard to explain in English.

September 5th, later in the day, 3:51pm


The internet comes and goes here, and it mostly goes. I believe it will be hard for me to make updates regularly, so don't be surprised if my posts all look like a more coherent (or on some occasions less coherent) version of my airport story.

Kissing down.

I have met much of Carmén's family and they are all very smart and kind. The kissing tradition still throws me. I figured it would only be adults, but I had to lean down to let a very young kid kiss my cheek as a greeting. I felt very embarrassed both in my United States Mind, and in my trying to be culturally open mind.

Completely Open

Carmén and I have been on a few walks and it is lovely here. The River, the Sea, the Fish in the river (I have no idea what they are, except pretty, the fish.)

Speaking of shocking cultural experiences: The beach.

I am 23 years old, male (mostly), and from United States.

Casual topless is kind of striking.

But it doesn't end there, children causally pee in the streets. I am starting to think that I was born in the wrong country.

Helado, I love you, won't you tell my your name.

In the States, I thought I hated strawberry ice-cream. This is because most strawberry ice-creams have about as much to do with strawberries as banana flavored candies have to do with bananas. To me, it all made about as much sense as ‘Holler back Girl.’

But, here?

Here, they have CHEESE flavored icecream.


Turns out to be cream-cheese.

Oh and it just happens to be DELISIOUS. That and they have CHEESE and STRAWBERRY favored icecream, which might actually make up for the complete and utter lack of peanutbutter options.

Portion sizes.

The States are terrible because of our huge portion sizes?


You see, the portion sizes here are indeed smaller.

But they seem to come more often. Much more often.

I need to learn to say 'Thank you very much, but I do believe I've had enough,' both in English and Spanish. Carmén feeds and feeds me, to the point where I feel I may burst. She's so very nice about it, I feel as if I would be insulting her if I did not eat.

I still haven't officially registered for any classes, because I'm clever like that. I'm not terribly worried about it, but it would be a good idea to ask about that tomorrow.

September 6th

So the sixth.

Big update today, between my moleskin and my memory.

I figured out to do internet. I am also far too tired for to go to a Cafe.

The Imaginary Self.

If there are two things I've learned about myself by traveling to a place where I depend on other people it is these two things.

1) I have much less confidence that I thought I did.

2) I have no idea how to talk to men, I almost immediately assume women will understand me, and I them, better.


I think I actually will get go to Morocco.

How exciting!

I’ve had my first day of classes, or rather orientation, and think I will be just fine.

At Orientation I learned that I am not screwed over for not registering for classes yet.

Yay not screwed!

During the placement test I learned that I am screwed over for Spanish level.

Boo being screwed!

This screwery was my own doing, and in a way I have satisfied the multiple requests I received from Dani this summer to go screw myself.

You see I didn’t study for the placement exam, and as it turns out, I should have.

The second test.

The second test, or challenge for the day, was finding my way back home from the university, unguided.

I tagged up with a gaggle of girls. Or is it a giggle of girls? Anyhow, we managed to get lost for a good hour or two.

It’s okay, we found the Metro.

The Metro is a godsend.

Maybe a sciencesend?

Anyhow it’s great, because you can see a little blinky map of where you are and where you’re going.


The third test.

We, I and the giggle, decided to buy pones.

So we popped into a Vodafone shack, the 12 of us, and we proceeded to each buy the same phone/deal.

12 U.S. students in line for a cell-phone.

This took time, and many Spanish customers came in, and shortly exited.

Some sat down and waited it out.

The Storekeeper girl, or clerk, was very young, and quite stressed.

Understandably so.


Oh, then.

A woman on a mission came in.

This woman, I believe was the devil.

Or possibly Arm-chair Theory’s Avatar. (The Devil of Science)

She storms in.

She sighs loudly, at the counter.

She does bother with the line.

Loudly she taps her foot.

Clearly her large girth and terrible choice in red shirt is not enough to get our attention.

Another loud sigh.

Five minutes.

She calls someone, and while I understand that here people tend to be more animated in conversation, I can still tell when someone is angry.

Especially when said someone uses profanities.

Oh, I may not speak Spanish perfectly, but I learned a lot in high school.

I did not make out much of her conversation between seeing the store-keeper/clerk almost cry, the speed and volume of which she yelled into the phone, and the rapid twitches I was experiencing.

But I can tell a complaint when I hear one.

After a bit of this charade, she hand the phone to the Clerk.

At this point, I am reminding myself that I don’t know enough Spanish to properly ask this woman what crawled up whatever terrible orifice it did, and decided to die there. This is frustrating, because there is no call for this.

Anyhow, the Clerk handled the situation wonderfully and managed to activate my new phone.

And now I have a phone and an alarm clock!

Double Going.

This summer, the concept of meeting ‘Sexy Spanish Beccas’ was brought up by Rebecca Hardy.

So far I have found many strange dopplegangers, but no Beccas.

Sexy or otherwise.

So far I have seen the following:

Beth Mann

Kelly Q

Giuseppi Romano

And the Fellow from ‘Slings & Arrows’, called Ducky. At least by his bald lover.

September 7th


For those of you who don’t know, ETA is the Extremist Basque group, who are known for assassinating political leaders, and bombing various areas. Within the last 72 hours, they have declared a truce on the violence. So for those of you worried about that, well, depending on who ask I either have less to worry about, or nothing new to worry about.

There are many stances on ETA out here, I think the most probable one, is that they have lost too much support to continue acting as they have in the past. Does that mean they are stopping the violence right now, cold turkey? I doubt it, but I’ve only been here a few days.

These are interesting times

Anyone who wants a tour of Bilbao go here.

The strange bridge thing towards the end?

I live two blocks from there.

The attractive young woman in the window?

She’s still there, wearing that same sweater, she’s a part of the tour.

So it’d probably be best to skip her, you know, what with health issues being what they are.

Culture Shock

I am actually starting to like my coffee with Milk.

I tried sugar with it today.

I may wind up liking it.

Real Classy Like.

While I have been ‘placed’ into Track 2 spanish, I am going to sign a waiver and join track 3.



But if you question my ambition, I think you may hardly know me.

If that is the case, we may have to call off the wedding.

Or at least postpone it.

I also will be involved in a theatre internship next semester.

That’s so exciting I almost peed myself.


As for my other classes, well I’ll keep you updated.


So, it turns out I have a fantastic skill.

This skill, is getting lost.

Today, at 2:55 pm (Still September 7th)

I have lost myself no more than seven times.

3 of those were today alone.

Perhaps there is a way to market this skill.


Spanish for the day:

There is no word in Spanish for ‘snuggling’ or ‘cuddling.’

This may be my country after all.

Kishpike Out.

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