After snow, french airstrikes and flight sellouts trying to stop me from returning home, I’m finally back in Wales.
This term has been a bit of a crazy one. I’ve sang in the theatre and the cathedral with choir, I’ve visited a few more places and I’ve had some more wonderful friends to visit. Nevertheless, I’ve still been able to pick up on the little quirks of Bilbao, so here is the latest instalment of The little things about a big city! If you’ve been living under a rock and missed the last one, you can read it here. You’re welcome. I even changed the settings so it opens in a separate tab, so you can read them in whatever order you like. If you like.
- They paint the street signs on a regular basis. It must just be for the giggles.
- They are the slowest walkers in the history of the planet. Especially when you really need to catch that train and you’re stuck in a crowd of people strolling to the nearest bar.
- People in general are a lot more outspoken. I stand out because I’m so awkward and say sorry after every little thing, I didn’t realise how British it was.
- They seem to have mastered the art of dressing for summer and winter at the same time. I didn’t think weather could be more unpredictable than the UK, but here we are.
- Snow freaks everyone out, and the vague order they had completely goes out of the window.
- Someone is protesting about something ALL THE TIME. Literally every week. Which is great because it’s so empowering but a nightmare due to the chaotic consequences. Also, I never know what the signs mean because they’re all in Basque.
- It’s a lot easier to argue your way into a club or negotiate. Forgot to put your name on the Erasmus list? No matter, just be prepared to barter in Spanish, it’s good practice anyway.
- Red wine and coke is a thing?? Known as Kalimotxo, it’s a combination that doesn’t tickle my fancy much (although it has grown on me), but many of my friends love it. Who knew.
- Ale-Hop is still my favourite stationery shop in the whole entire world. I now have slippers, a bottle, a hot water bottle, keyrings, mugs… I’m literally a walking advertisement.
- 99% of the time you pay as you leave, regardless of what kind of service it is. There’s never a rush.
- They applaud at the end of every Zumba routine, as if to congratulate themselves for enduring the squat-tastic routine.
- Literally all the teachers are obsessed with these large round oaty flapjack type things, I feel like I stick out by not having a bag on my desk.
- They don’t have an end of school film week at the end of every term like we do, they have MORE EXAMS.
- Burgers are nearly always underdone. Ask for it well done, and you’ll be lucky if you get a medium.
- Why are so many bathrooms baby pink? If I had a pound (or a euro) for every pink toilet I sat on I wouldn’t need a job or a student loan.
I love Bilbao. It’s crazy to think that this was my third choice on my application, but here we are. Until April, Bilbao!