Sunday, March 13, 2005

Randomness, Catalan and blogger-pilgrims

Hi Ianqui! Blogger comments are still screwy, so I'll answer your question here: no, sadly I don't speak much Catalan, just a handful of phrases, and enough to wish you a happy birthday. :) My Spanish roots are mostly in Madrid, where my husband's family revels in their soccer rivalry with Barcelona, and insists on referring to Catalans as "polacks," because they live in the east and speak a funny language. (I need to learn it sometime just to horrify them.)

A friend and I, however, are engaged in the project of teaching ourselves Basque, which has been enormously entertaining and humbling. We're planning on trying it out in a trip to the Basque Country this summer (which will probably be even more humbling). While I'm there, I may check out the condition of that stretch of the pilgrimage trail, to see if there's any chance of getting this blogger-trip out of the realm of fantasy and into some serious hiking boots. After my trip in 2001 I was both inspired to do it again and determined to wait a while, because with the sharp increase in popularity over the past few years, the trail is becoming decidedly crowded, which is bad for pilgrims and locals both. The whole hospitality-thing crumbles pretty quickly when you have hungry, lost, blistered, helpless people wandering through your back yard on a daily basis. (and I suspect that many of the same travelers who simply trust in the charity of others when they are hungry or in pain as pilgrims, wouldn't stop to offer that same charity to those who are hungry and lost in their own neighborhoods back home. But that's another story.)

So I'll check things out while I'm there, and once the pilgrimage-as-latest-trend has petered out enough, I'm serious about picking up my staff again and readying the thick socks. Ianqui, Rana, Jo(e), Phantom, Scrivener, PPBear, Dale, anyone else, wanna come?

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