Blog : Spain

A letter to Bilbo

Dear Bilbao,

Thank you for meeting me again, it has been a pleasure, like the last time. Nothing has changed, the puppy Guggenheim still stands, the mountains are still mighty, and the Basques ever so warm. In Bilbao, the air is always golden, and the rain falls gently upon your face like a warm embrace. In Bilbao, summer is forever.

Last time I was here, four years ago, I learned that light always comes after darkness (after watching a Lord of the Rings marathon in my student room). Maybe that is why “Bilbao” is Bilbo in Basque. This time around you taught me to be easy on myself. Cross that bridge when you get (t)here. Maybe that is what Bilbao’s many beautiful bridges are for.

Thank you for my (proxy) family, since my own is half a world away. I loved being a daughter again. Thank you for best friends (both near and far). Thank you for Arrate, the wonder that she is. Thank you for: meluza Bilbaina, glorious red peppers, never-ending pintxos, and my favourite pastry of them all – the Napolitana.

Thank you for keeping all my golden memories safe, and making me smile in my heart knowing that I lived here, it happened, I was happy, it was real. And that I am free. A gentle step on those green fields, a wink at Zubizuri, a small nod at the ice cream shop. A faded dream, a salute to the once-was-there. Dreams burn but in ashes are gold.

I never thought I’ll see you again, but here I am, wishing I could stay longer, wishing I could bask in your warm, drizzling embrace for one more day. But here’s a promise: I’ll carry your sun wherever I go.

Hasta pronto, Bilbao. Eskerrik asko. Until we meet again, and again.


The fields

Back when we had it so easy
I would surrender completely
I built a shelter from green leaves
In the sun, in the sun

Around the fields we’d run
With love for everyone
Dreams we saw with eyes open
Until that dream was done

Phoenix happiness

Phoenix’s new video for “Trying To Be Cool” (with “Drakkar Noir” towards the end – the best part!) is definitely video of the year! Confetti, flying doves, motorcycles, shimmering dance, and that awesome rainbow jacket! It’s fun fun fun in every single shot. I stand by the belief that Phoenix songs are three-minute, golden nuggets of pure happiness.

The video also reminded me of how tremendously fun their live shows are. I remember being in front of the stage at Primavera Sound (best festival I’ve ever been to so far) four years ago, Thomas Mars stepping in, grabbing the mic and immediately opening with “Lisztomania” without skipping a beat. My heart felt like it was just about to burst with intense happiness and excitement. All throughout their set. Ahhh words cannot express how I love this band.

+ A list of the Top 20 Phoenix songs, according to Consequence of Sound. I agree with 1901 being top 1, and I think Lisztomania should have the top 2 spot. Pure happiness!

+ And here’s the best throwback photo ever. Phoenix loves me at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, summer of 2009: