Theory of relativity

Just the other day, we were remembering how I got food poisoning as a child while on vacation in Ukraine on the Azov sea. What happened was this. In communist Russia, food was a commodity not always readily available, especially in remote towns, and especially things like sugar, ketchup, tea - these things were usually … Continue reading Theory of relativity

It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

What exactly is a pueblo remains a difficult concept to explain to those who don't see it for themselves.  A pueblo is a village, or a town, but rather than a strict geographical definition, it's more of a way to describe a community.  Also, it's a people or the people.  The word also carries with it a … Continue reading It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

December 25, 2007   As an outsider looking onto what is completely routine and normal in the town of Portugalete, of Bizkaia, País Vasco, España, I note things to myself that people here take for absolute granted. For example, I am constantly aware of the ethnic pride-slash-mild superiority complex that perfumes the air. I get … Continue reading Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

My first Thanksgiving

Once in a while, I meet an innocent ignoramus who'll ask me with a straight face: "do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Russia?" I usually reply, "Well, it's a holiday that started because people wanted to celebrate the Pilgrims arriving in America, so... no.  No Native Americans in, you know, Russia." Russian immigrants like us celebrate … Continue reading My first Thanksgiving