Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kaixo, Ni Barak Naiz, Cola Lliure and Some Pix - by b

As Kristin wrote in her last post, we travelled deep into Catalan land for the long weekend. The honor-bar in the common dining room was stashed with Alter Cola, the Free Cola (Cola Lliure) of Catalunia along with a beer from the same company --- with it's logo of the Catalan flag.

Catalans and Jews sometimes remind me of each other -- small groups with rich histories and the talent, drive and resources to develop and promote their cultures. I like this and am also annoyed by it. Affinity for affinity's sake can be comforting to me ---- and also quite the opposite!

Then there was Aritz, the young professor of Basque culture and language transplanted from his village of Hondarribia near San Sebastian to Catalunya. He was not sure he'd find work when he came with his Catalan wife ... but he got a job at at university here teaching Basque language. He gave me a lesson.... the important words like smile (irribare), hello (kaixo), i am barak (ni barak naiz), beautiful (polita), thank you very much (eskerrik asko) and, of course, small beer (garagardo). He's really really proud and protective of his culture. His name means oak and the oak is central to Basque culture and history. L'Arun, their son, is named for a mountain near his village. We asked about their son's Basque name... he said (in Spanish) "somos pocos y el es uno mas"... (we are few and he is one more). I saw some my own semi-national or cultural proud in him. I liked it. And I was turned off by it too. A mix of sentiment, for sure.

Whatever... enough wordiness... here are some pictures to illustrate Kristin's last post

Some dried flowers... Kristin brought one home for our living room

Arel in a gorga (that's gorg in catalan!)

the bridge

under the bridge... water levels were LOW

the ceiling of the smoked meat museum. yes one exists.

a sculpure by local artist

candied catalan wishes in a shop. "per molts anys" (happy birthday... i think)

before riding... kristin putting a saddle on kim

dorian with his reins

while riding... a rest along the way

after riding... pardu the dog. guilem talks dutch to the horses and catalan to the dogs

in the car after horse riding.. while the kids and kristin were at a swingset, i listened to this cd i bought in germany last year... jewish liturgical music from berlin before wwii... title is "it will not go down" ... which basically is a similar sentiment to "somos pocos y el es uno mas" ... It was good to listen to... I def have a bit of Aritz in me. but not too much :-)

yummy last supper

Agur (that means bye in basque)