The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 182

Monday night they found themselves at a cocktail bar just a little off one of the main thoroughfares of the Parte Vieja. Maite had never even heard of the place, much less been there, but Belen raved about it. The interior was dark and moody, with couches spread around small tables. Very different from most of the pubs in the old part of town.

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!

Two bartenders waited behind the bar, and behind them was a huge array of bottles, more than most of the other pubs in town. She and Kepa sat down on one of the couches and perused the menu in front of them while they waited for Belen and her boyfriend. As Maite looked at all of the exotic names, her head began to spin. There were so many choices! She was used to getting a kalimotxo or a gin-kas or a zurito. These menus almost reminded her of the United States – so many choices!

Before she could really delve into the menu, though, the door opened up and Belen walked in with a young man in tow. 

“Epa!” cried Belen as she spotted them and came over, giving both Maite and Kepa kisses on each cheek.

“This is Joseba,” she introduced the man who waited patiently behind her. 

Joseba gave Maite kisses on each cheek and Kepa a firm handshake.

“Nice to meet you two,” he said as he sat down. 

Joseba didn’t look like most of the men who wandered the fiestas and pubs of the Basque Country. Maite had gotten used to the mullet which had either come back in style or never quite got out of style in the Basque Country. And the large hoop earrings. Joseba sported neither. He had longer dirty blond hair that was a bit unkempt. He also sported what she guessed must be perpetual stubble. But, he had an infectious smile. And an odd accent…

“You’re not from around here, are you?” asked Kepa, as Maite elbowed him in the ribs. 

“How rude!” she hissed in his ear, but Joseba just laughed.

“No, no,” he said. “I grew up in Mexico. My grandfather left the Basque Country for work when he was a teenager. He always wanted to come back, but then he made a family there and sort of got stuck, as he would say. But he would always tell these stories about his home, stories that would captivate me. He always talked about the lush mountains, the wonderful beaches, and – “ he glanced over to Belen – “ the beautiful women. I knew I had to come when I got a chance. I’ve been here a few years now, but my Mexican accent still shines through.”

“Is it all you imagined?” asked Maite.

“It’s different, you know. My grandfather, his Euskal Herria was very different than the Euskal Herria of today. I don’t think he would recognize it. It is much more modern than he described. Much more cosmopolitan. And much more diverse. I don’t know if he would like it so much. But, then, I don’t know if he liked Mexico either. It’s where he lived, but I don’t think it was home for him.” Again looking over at Belen, he added with a big smile “But he was right about the Basque women.”

As they were talking, one of the bartenders walked up.

“Can I help you with the menu?” he asked.

Kepa and Maite nodded enthusiastically, prompting the bartender to delve into the details of all of the strange cocktails they served.

If you get this post via email, the return-to address goes no where, so please write if you want to get in touch with me.

What do you think? Leave a Reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.