Tonight I am due to eat of the tapas and drink of the wine in a local Basque eatery with my friend El. (El is short for Elenore, but it really trips the folks up here since it means “him” in the Espanol.) I just wanted to mention to ya’ll that my married name, Arechiga, is Basque. Now, I don’t believe the family was part of the Basque terrorist organization, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA (Basque for “Basque Homeland and Freedom”), but even if they were well, that’s all over now as the emigrated to Mexico three generations ago then crossed the border illegally to have their anchor babies. And one of those anchor babies would be my father in law. Believe me, there was much name calling fun had with John-Mark and his brothers regarding their family’s historical illegal status and quasi Mexican heritage. In fact, I recall one time telling my nephew, who was three and a half at the time, to go call his father a term that involves a popular gastronimic, and delicious, legume. He did, and it was funny.
Anyhow, there are many Basque restaurants around here, being not too far from the Basque region, and also because they have delicious food. And I feel I must point out the Basque-ness of these restaurants to those all those surrounding me who might not be aware of this. Because it’s kind of cool. Not too many Basque people around here. But there is ME – and while not of that heritage by blood, its still something I feel a connection with. Therefore, my name is deserving of a medal. Or maybe just a drink. Which is where I’m off to right now. See how that came full circle?