Boulder vs. the World
Well, people are off to places like the Red, Rifle, and RMNP...and...FML...I'm stuck in CU. And today I have a cold, so I'm going to fill this time with a spiffy blog.
Boulder. I moved here expecting to be a black sheep, thrust on the social sidelines by bigoted stoned hipsters armed with highly-concentrated shit-talking powers and equipped with a tiny dog that yaps and poops on your rope. But, with the exception of the shit-talking, I've found Boulder almost more hospitable than my hometown.
And it all comes down to washing underwear.
AJ and I ran into each other randomly at the Boston Airport at 1am, and she started talking about the way people treat each other in Europe, and the stark difference it is to the states. I think she was putting the underwear concept in a kind light, but it's a tough stain on our under-layers.
People, hospitality is CROOSH! 23% of climbers would be homeless right now if the climbing community had the same hospitality as a broke Swiss banker. (About the same percentage as that of boulderers dans le monde.)
For example, this time last year I stayed with Slovenja's Vidmars. They are painfully quiet and - like most extraordinarily beastish climbers - innately bashful. But after one Facebook message (and one polite rejection from another female sport climber in Slo) Katja ecstatically picked me up in Ljubljana and shoveled me into their tiny cozy abode full of eccentric chew-toys and the sounds of a snorting pug. I'd heard imbecilic comments before about their thinness and negative musings on what their diet habits must be, and I can assure you none of them are true. After the final European cup we ate A MUERTE at an Italian restaurant - the three of us finished four plates of food; we demolished the gnocchi; devastated a whole pizza; polished off a platter of pasta; and we wanted to keep eating.
Before dropping me off at the train station at 2 in the morning, they took me out to eat burek. GOOD. GOD. Burek is deep-fried in grease, fried in more grease, fried in grease again for good measure, dipped in grease just in case they missed some, slapped on a grease-pooled plate that sits on your greasy table at 2 in the morning and somehow seems to accumulate more grease as it sits there, shining brightly in its heap of oil. Amazing.
Back to the underwear thing:
If you're a good, hospitable person, and you don't want to go to hell, wash your guest's underwear. It's a good way to bond, find out something new about your friend, and dissolve social squirms with one solid laundry load.
Boulder has a bad reputation in the underwear-washing department, and all everyone hears about the Boulder bubble is about the native's outrageous social drama; about their method of send-bagging and calling each other out; about their shit-talkers and blognoxious bores (i.e. people loudly blogging about obnoxious and over-dramatized trivialities scraped off their mountain of problems and well-trampled on by the shoes, boots, and Sanuks of the vox populi of trad climbers, sport climbers, and boulderers.)
Everyone hears about the social drama, the sand-bagging, and the phrase "You don't lose your girlfriend: you only lose your turn." Luckily, that's all bullshit. DPM, Nina Williams, and everyone else - I'm calling you OUT!
Since moving into the Boulder bubble, the one thing I want to say is to Nina Williams and DPM's joke in her interview the other week, and to everyone else who's been fooled into thinking Boulder is one big drama queen convention:
I can, right now, walk out this door to the bus stop across the street, catch a free ride to Boulder's park, and walk twenty minutes to some decent bouldering. I can go to a coffee shop and pick up a trad partner, or sit in on my bio lecture and get a stranger's word he'll bring his pads to a session at the Sats that afternoon. I can sometimes even catch a ride as far as Rifle or Joe's Valley for the weekend.