justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Part 19: Bilbao

Bilbao played host to two of the strangest sequences of my life:

Rushing for the Blues:
6:45 Show up in Bilbao, our airbnb host invited us to a Blues festival that night in a old fisherman’s village just outside Bilbao. This sounded good, so we accepted. He told us we’d have to leave by 8:00 to get tickets. We needed to hit the market before it closed and wash the waterfall off us, but this still seemed do-able.

6:50 We discuss how we’re getting to the concert venue. Initially I thought our host, Imanol would drive us. Then we went over the plans once more and realized that Imanol wanted us to drive him because he planned on drinking heavily that night. I ignored how bizarre this plan was and told him that our car only has two seats and wouldn’t be able fit him and his wife and that I too might enjoy an adult beverage on the evening.

6:55 He speed walks us to the market. Once inside he says, “Tell me what you want and I’ll run and show you where it is, we don’t have any time to waste.” Sarah and I buy a frozen pizza to quickly eat before the show.

7:15 We’re back home. I’m wondering why Imanol didn’t bother to tell us that his oven was broken as I’m watching a frozen pizza dethaw in the microwave.

7:20 Imanol tells me that he will make us dinner and we’ll share, he then asks if Americans are normally stingy with food and makes a crumpled up gross face calling Americans stingy. I tell him we’re not and we like sharing. He makes this weird face at me two more times. I’m not sure why.

7:30 Sarah and I are ready for a night of Basque Blues. Imanol is still a ways away from being done with dinner. He’s sweating profusely as he runs around the tiny kitchen. Sarah thinks he’s on cocaine. I think he’s just crazy.

7:50 Imanol’s wife, Maria, comes home from working her second job as Imanol in unemployed. She’s a firey Columbian who immediately changes Imanol’s smooth blues to meringue.

8:10 Maria sets the table. The placemats are mini holographic posters depicting disjointed scenes of wildlife. My placemat changes from vibrant tropical toucans to wild deer running in a field. Sarah’s is an elephant in the African safari that changes into a bottlenose dolphin.

8:15 We all squeeze around a small table in an insanely small kitchen. Imanol shows off a his bottle of olive oil for the sixth time and he speaks of his salad as if he were Da Vinci showing off the Mona Lisa.

8:30 Sarah and I are baffled as to what happened to the crazy sense of rush. Maria recommends dessert and Imanol begins to cut pineapple. Maria brings our a large black portfolio from their bedroom. She then asks Sarah what her name is and says, “Justin, Sarah look at what else I do.”

Then she reveals charcoal-drawn portraits of little boys and girls, and a 1950s American actress that Sarah and I had never heard of. After flipping through six or seven, she thumbs to one of a dark-skinned, curly-haired boy. “This one is my son,” she says introducing him for the first time.

8:45 There’s a knock at the door. Imanol says it’s Ruben, Gloria’s son. The teenage Ruben enters and we throw him holas through the wall. He never responds and he’s gone. I’m left to wonder what is going on as I stare into my toucan/deer eyes.

I feel like we're in The Room where characters walk in and out with any context or explanation.

8:55 We all leave for the metro station to head to the jazz show.

8:57 Imanol stops at a toy store window to point out the model cars he’s fond of.

9:10 On the train Imanol talks to us as if we represent all of America. He asks why all Americans are fat, despite the fact that Sarah and I are both thin and he has a massive gut.
He says he was grateful that Americans saved Europe from the Germans in WWII, but he didn’t like our involvement in Vietnam. 

He says he can read English easily, but he has much trouble speaking it. He asks me why English is pronounced so much different than it’s spelled. I tell him I’m not sure. 

9:50 The 10-minute train ride Imanol promised turned out to be closer to 40 minutes. We walk over to the jazz show which is about halfway over. 

Tickets are still available. At this point Imanol says he’s doesn’t really feel like going any more and mentions that he already went the past two nights.

Halftime Break to Talk About Bilbao:

The Guggenheim is cool, but in terms of cool modern structures I saw on the Iberican Peninsula, I’d throw it at third behind Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and the Casa da Musica.

Their river is gross.

Their old town (Casco Viejo) is nothing special.

Sequence Two (these time are even looser than the other one)

4:50 Sarah and I sit outside a bar on a busy Casco Viejo street sipping some vino and munching on a pintxo.

4:55 Everyone at our bar stares at a drunk woman at the neighboring bar who is laying on the ground under a table near a dog. Above the table are two guys. One wears a Kelly green polo, the other has a shaved head, reflective aviators and a tight-fitting grey polo with the collar popped. (I'm pretty sure this is the standard issue European outfit given to homosexuals once they've come out of the closet.) Also above the table is a normal-looking dude and a punk-rock-styled girl, who is floor-girl's friend.

4:56 I suggest to Sarah that she might be blowing the dog. Sarah says they’re making out.

4:57 You can clearly see dogs mouth and eyes. I think I’m right.

4:58 The woman takes her shirt and bra off

4:58:10 The dog is humping something…For a long time. Everyone on the street is watching.

4:58:30 I snap a couple pics.
Bestiality in Bilbao