Salte la cuerda

September 8th

This Just in.

Just now, folks, as I was sitting down to type, an enterprising middle aged man approached me, with a young woman who I can only assume is his daughter. He smied, placed a hand firm but friendly hand on my shoulder, and asked me something, I believe was akin to ‘Courte Balis.’ Now I assume he was asking for directions to a place I have no idea where it is. My first reaction was simple ‘Que?’ He repeated what I assume is a locations name. I then explained that I was sorry but I didn’t understand, at this point he realized I wasn’t a local, and had little idea what he was saying. He said the ‘Bale’ (‘Okay’ and I don’t know how to really spell the word) and left, still smiling.

I think I was just mistaken for a local.


However this feat is easier than it seems. Here in basque country, the youth dress Very similar to the way they do in the states. The only difference is that it seems the mullet is in here.

I don’t want to be a local that badly.


My first day of school. I am now in track 3. This means I am roughly on track and where I need to be.

The class is starting off easy enough, but the difficulty should scale at an alarming rate.

You see, we are taking classes at the equivalent of 1 week here to one month in the states.

Fortunately I am taking about 4ish classes, and two of them are Basque Cuisine and Basque Folkdance, which are 1 day a week. The other two are a little more complicated. Track 3 is a kind of class that will be 3 classes (they will be parceled out over the months, so now I am in Composition 1, in October I’ll be in Composition 2, and come December I should be finishing Advanced Spanish 1).

The only class I am struggling with right now is Survey of Western Art. Taught entirely in Spanish.

Try explaining you view on Jackson Pollock as a pivotal, but questionable ‘artist’ in Spanish.

Not fun. But interesting. Certainly interesting.

The wild thing is I am excited to be in school, and learning.

I haven't gone out yet, but I think it shall be less of an occurrence than I was originally thinking.


Speaking of my Survey of Art class, I have found another doppelganger.

My teacher is a wonderful woman, who is very animated, and very excited to teach.

She is also Eddie Izzard back in drag, plus five or ten years.


My third trial, or test as you will, was the bookstore.

Oh how I love the bookstore.

Things I struggle with in English, funny story, are even harder in Spanish.

Fortunately the lady behind the desk knew the USAC program, and I only needed to ask for a little assistance, and she was more than happy to help.


It's part of culture-shock and it happens to us all.

I've been expecting it, even though there was doubt.

You see I'm not the sorta person to regret traveling, getting up and leaving it all behind.

I love to stay mobile.

However I've been feeling homesick in a strange way.

It's people, you see. I have no real solid friends here, not yet.

All the American students, even the ones from Idaho... well they seem to be on a different page than me.

That's fine, this program is for language and business students, not my usual crowd.

So naturally I've begun to miss the people closest to me, my family, my friends, my mutual adversaries (I'm looking at you Todd), the like.

A lot of my dreams lately have involved Blue October, in fact last night I dreamed 'Ugly Side.'

Just the song.

No images, or visual feed.

No reasoning, or story.

It was kind of weird, the first time I think I've dreamed without a storyline.

Spanish for the Day.
There is no word in Spanish for ‘Hand-out,’ the sort teachers give on the first day of class, and indie musicians pass out before their concerts.

Kishpike Out


  1. Weren't you also mistaken for a local in France?

  2. Once as a local, and once as a Spaniard.