Today´s word of the day is ¨barkatu¨: sorry
Today I ambled around Bilbao with the goal of getting a feel for the city and finding some toilet paper. A river runs through Bilbao, so I followed the board walk North as I knew I would eventually run into the Guggenheim. Snapshots from my explorations:
1. Team kayakers who chanted ¨E-T-A¨ followed by something in Basque. Terrorist kayakers? Hmm.
2. A man playing a gaite . . . the Basque bagpipe. I don´t know whether it was him or just the way it sounds, but it sounds more like a duck than a bagpipe.
3. It´s just plain disorienting to hear English music here. There was a man playing ¨Amazing Grace¨ on a trumpet outside the Guggenheim. Likewise, I heard non-descript 80s music, Simon and Garfunkel, Santana, and Lady Gaga while shopping.
4. I love Spanish children. I saw several over the course of the day and they are somehow universal in their kid-dom and thus less intimidating than adults. I walked behind this little boy who was making ¨vroom-vroom¨ noises as he glided a tin-foil car along the side of a building and it made me smile.
5. I´d be an okay gumshoe. I was sitting on a bench eating a snack when I saw one person and then another walk by with an ¨El Corte Ingles¨ bag. So, I went in the opposite direction. Then I saw another person with a bag so I imagined where they had come from and worked my way to ¨Gran Via¨ or Broadway. Jackpot: Zara and ¨El Corte Ingles.¨
6. The quest for toilet paper is an awkward one. I found the bookstore version of ¨El Corte Ingles¨ and while in the restroom I suddenly realized that I should just take some toilet paper incase I coudn´t find any. I was very proud of myself. I also figured the big ¨El Corte Ingles¨ had to be near . . . and sure enough it was a few blocks down. Once in the store, however, I didn´t see it in the pharmacy area and then realized I didn´t know what it was even called. I settled for asking for paper towels . . . I figured that would be in the same area, but that only led me to tissues in the¨perfumaria¨ section. I finally found the grocery store on the 6th floor and almost did a little skip when I found the aisle. I was down right giddy.
7. Packaging in Spain has a cartoonish character. Especially the candy.
8. Mr. Clean is ¨Don Limpio¨ . .. and you better believe I bought it.
9. I am intimidated by restaurants, especially the neighborhood-looking ones. I haven´t eaten at one yet. I´ll make this a goal for tomorrow.
10. Without people to talk to, my interior voice has become very loud.