Dirty Words, Goose Attacks and Strange Short Men

So my trip to Galicia this weekend was crazy. The title of this post kind of gives that away huh? Where to start… We arrived to at the stone house at 2:30 am. After five hours in the car I collapsed on the makeshift bed and didn’t move for eight hours. The next morning I was ushered to Lugo, the capital city of Galicia. Lugo was founded by Romans and the wall still surrounds the city without renovation. The day was rainy which suits Galicia’s rolling green hills. I walked along a portion of the wall with Pilar and her mother, stopping to take a picture now and then. Galicia is showcased in stone. Everything is built using giant rocks, especially the settlement of Gallego. Gallego is the village where Pilar’s whole family is from. The people in Gallego are all stout and cute. Every single person I met, family or not fit this description. Their dialect was so different from Castilian that I couldn’t understand a word they said. They are also very expressive. When I met some of Pilar’s cousins I was quickly unnerved. As soon as I walked through the door, a chubby and short, little man (shorter than me, I’m 5’4) ran up to me and grabbed my face. “Que guapa! Que guapa!” he said over and over again, which means “How pretty”. It always shocks me how the Spanish are so ready to compliment your looks. His name was Alvaro. He and his wife own a dozen cows and four pigs, all for slaughtering. He insisted on giving me a tour of the livestock right away. He lead Pilar and I down to the pasture on his way to pick up the cows. For those of you who know me well, you can understand how I must have felt at this point. I have a strange-some may say irrational- fear of cows. I will have you know that more people are killed by cows than sharks each year. So there. Anyway, these cows were massive. I got close enough to take a couple pictures and conquered my fear a bit. Next, Alvaro showed us the pigs. The pigs were kept in a stone shed next to the farm house. As soon as he opened the door, the smell proved too strong for Pilar and she stayed outside. Being from Berthoud I have smelled many a farm house odor, so I ventured inside. Alvaro grabbed a rogue goose nearby and asked if I wanted to hold it. I politely declined but before I could get the words out the goose had taken flight and flew into my face. I let out a very unflattering shriek as a wing smacked me in the face. This day had taken quite a turn. After the tour ended, we all headed back to our stone house at the top of the hill. That evening, the cousins visited and we all ate chocolate and drank beer with lemon. That’s when the ever so popular subject came up. This has happened to me twice now, so I figured I should share it. The adults always want to know what nicknames we English speakers have given our, egherm, privates. Every time I would say another nickname, they would shout the word again and again. Their favorite was “Joystick”. Spaniards are very open about their sexuality.

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