Yesterday, as I was packing to return from my weeklong vacation in Extremadura, I received an image on my mobile phone from my friend Andrés, back in Colindres. "You're famous!" he said, and included a photo of an article in the regional newspaper for Cantabria, El Diario Montañes. I was so surprised! When I got back to Colindres the following day, I went around to various bars to see if they still had yesterday's newspaper. I was surprised by how few of them had already thrown it away. I did find it telling, however, that the bars that still had the paper were establishments that I already considered less cleanly than the rest. I had to get two of them because the first one I got didn't have the page with the article in it. I will represent the article in its entirety here, and then give a translation below. The original is available online here. The hyperlinks to the relevant posts were added by me. They couldn't even hyperlink to me in their online article. I would not have expected many people to read the paper and go to their computer to visit my url, but I did receive a mild traffic spike on Saturday...one of the reasons to have a short url!
Americano en Colindres
Erik Rasmussen cuelga en la red su particular punto de vista sobre la realidad española
Erik Rasmussen es la otra cara de la moneda. Si a veces a los españoles nos cuesta imaginarnos cómo es un país desconocido, no digamos cómo será para los foráneos imaginar el nuestro.
Erik Rasmussen es un estadounidense que lleva seis años viviendo en España, en Colindres (Cantabria), pero escribe en inglés. Nada más llegar, y ante la temible pérdida de contacto con su familia, abrió un blog: American in Spain (erikras.com), cuya principal fuente de lectores son ellos, los Rasmussen que ha dejado atrás.
El blog de Erik no es de los más transitados de la red, ni de los que más seguidores tienen en Twitter, pero sí es abundante en contenido. Es, de alguna forma, una correspondencia transatlántica íntima, pero a la vista de todos, y subraya, además, todas esas pequeñas perlas de nuestra tierra que no hacen más que escapársenos a simple vista.
Por ejemplo: Erik opina que los españoles no sabemos utilizar las rotondas, y lo explica en una extensísima entrada, fotos incluidas, en las que detalla para sus congéneres la Â«peculiarÂ» manera de circular por estos lugares. O la querencia que tenemos por esos gatos dorados de saludo sempiterno que venden los chinos. O la relación de su hija -está casado con una española- con su próxima hermana. O el poco espacio que una aerolínea deja entre asiento y asiento. Todo desarrolladísimo: incluso detalla para lectores poco enterados la polémica que salpicó al jugador del F.C. Barcelona Sergio Busquets en mayo de este año, cuando una cámara le captó lanzándole la palabra Â«monoÂ» o Â«morroÂ» al madridista Marcelo. Erik Rasmussen es una especie de corresponsal extranjero, de veraneo permanente (un fan de las tapas), transatlántico y con un particular gracejo. Desde Colindres, con color.
Now in English:
American in Colindres
Erik Rasmussen publishes, on his personal web page, his own point of view on Spanish reality
Erik Rasmussen is the other side of the coin. If sometimes it's hard for us Spaniards to imagine how it would be in an unknown country, how it must be for foreigners to imagine our country.
Erik Rasmussen is an American who has been living in Spain for six years, in Colindres (Cantabria), but he writes in English. As soon as he arrived, to counter the frightful loss of contact with his family, he opened a blog: American in Spain (erikras.com), whose primary readers are the Rasmussens he left behind.
Erik's blog is not one of the most visited on the internet, nor the one with the most Twitter followers, but it has abundant content. It is, in some form, an intimate transatlantic correspondence, but available for everyone to see, and it furthermore underlines all those little pearls of our land that easily escape our notice.
For example: Erik thinks that we Spaniards don't know how to use roundabouts, and he explains it in a very extensive entry, with photos, in which he details, for his counterparts, the "peculiar" way people circulate in these places. Or our haunting of those golden eternally waving cats that are sold in the Chinese shops. Or the relationship between his daughter - he's married to a Spaniard - with her next sister. Or the lack of space an airline leaves between seats. Everything is extremely well developed: including the detail for uninformed readers about the scandal that dirtied F.C. Barcelona player Sergio Busquets in May of this year, when a camera caught him shooting the word "mono" or "morro" at the Madrid player Marcelo.
To Alejandro Carantoña, let me know if you ever want an interview or a foreigner perspective on something. You can contact me by commenting on this blog.
UPDATE: This article was in El Diario Vasco (The Basque Daily) too!