Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Basque Bayonne

Sunday morning began with us sitting in front of an amazing complimentary breakfast and awkwardly packing bread up and walking away for later because it was fast Sunday. It was a weird start to the day...because when you body sees food...you want it. When you see food in France...you REALLY WANT IT. And when it is complimentary with your hotel room...which hasn't happened since you got to the country...YOU ARE DYING FOR IT. But hey, opposition in all things.

And you know, we all got really lost going to church but we made it there eventually. It was actually a really cool experience to be in a French testimony meeting. Bayonne is part of the Basque region in both France and Spain. The original people in that area are not Indo-European and have their own distinct language. And because it is on the border of Spain, there were people in the ward from Spain, Chili, Equador and even Peru. A sweet grandma from Equador gave her testimony in Spanish, with her granddaughter translating to the congregation in French. I loved the mix of language and culture. And the best part of church by far was that everyone came up to us and asked us where we were from and why we were there. They won the nice award. I had so many conversations in French and they were so patient with me and helping me communicate. Someone even told me I was good at French, which I know was a lie...but I will hold it dear to my heart FOREVER!

Also, everyone thinks my name is the strangest thing. They can't say it and without fail they all look at me with the most confused look. It is hilarious! The conversation goes like this....

"Je m'appelle Tatum." Then I see the look of absolute confusion. I follow it up with a clarifying statement.

"Tatum. T-A-T-U-M. C'est bizarre no?"

They reply with a resounding "OUI!"

But I don't care, I am just happy to make some friends and learn some French along the way. I met this guy named Robert who is native Basque. So he speaks French and Basque. He kept going on about how Salt Lake City was a small city and Basque is GRAND and HUGE and GOES FROM YOUR HEAD TO YOUR TOES. You can tell he was very proud to be Basque. I was getting a kick out of it. We became friends and he taught me how to say hello, goodbye, and thank you in Basque. He wrote it down for me. It was a weird phenomenon to be translating from French to Basque.

Then, we went to an original Basque home that was constructed in 1660. Again, the tour guide was native Basque and was very proud to be it. I really feel like I got a flavor of that culture. The houses are built differently and there accents are different. On the second floor, they have the kitchen area, and right next to it, the shower out in the open because it the most warm room in the house. Usually three generations lived in every home, and they didn't sleep laying down because it symbolized death. WHAT??? First reason I wouldn't be a good Basque woman. It was a beautiful area though. I was dying. They are mountain people in France. It was impossible not to get carsick from all of the little roads turning and turning and turning.


The shower right next to it.

The bed they sat up right in.

Inside of the attic.

Finally, we broke our fast and ate a fun French dinner. Boo yah. I just got to Spain...and I missing me some French food already.

Anyways, I am in Spain now. The Basque side of Spain. It is so wild that in 30 minutes, the language is totally wild and you have no idea what people are saying all of the sudden. The buildings all look different, the food tastes different and it is cheaper, which I guess is good for my wallet.

We had our first Spanish meal yesterday. I had a mixed Salad, that turned out to be basically like a tuna salad with oil vinaigrette dressing. Then, I ate a legit chicken leg with fried potatoes. It was so filling. I understand the concept of Siesta. It was so filling that we checked into the hotel and I passed out.

Side note about our hotel...when you go up the elevator, it looks out to a soccer field. And there was a game going on and so every time I went up and down the elevator I got to see a soccer game. I just couldn't help but think this would only happen in Spain. Felt so good to sleep with my little Spanish food belly. And then apparently in Spain, the party doesn't start until because that's when everyone eats dinner. So somehow at 10, I got sucked into eating dinner. We went out in the city and found a cute little restaurant. We got hamburgers....I am not sure why...but I didn't know what else was on the menu really because it was in Spanish. The portion sizes here are like 10 times the size of French portion sizes for a lot cheaper. The cups are blowing my mind because they seem so huge in comparison. And in my coke they even put ice....and a lemon...

The Spanish are really killing me kindness....I think I am going to like it here.

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