First of all, I’m not really known as Belén, outside of the internet and Spanish cab drivers. Hello, it’s nice to meet you. 🙂
This is the very first episode of my very first attempt at podcasting, and I still love it. It sets the tone for what I want the podcast to be, whether or not I always achieve. I hope you enjoy!
S1 E1 Transcript (with Minor Variations)
First of all, I am not actually known as Belén outside of the internet and Spanish cab drivers. I picked up the name in Spain. My given name is not Spanish-friendly, and it was useful to give a cab driver or a barista a name they could both spell and pronounce afterwards (and that I could recognize afterwards).
I took Spanish in high school, and plenty of people used Spanish names in class. Miguel for Michael, Ana for Anna, and Catalina for that one girl who was really having fun. But I never did. My name is weird, but I like it, and it’s mine. And there’s no Spanish equivalent, so I just kept it.
High school finished, and four years of college Spanish classes later I ended up living in Spain for a language assistant program. There, I occasionally had trouble getting my café because no one could figure out my name, including me when they called it. Based on what was written down, it didn’t come out as anything I recognized.
One time my roommate (and, let me tell you, I had 14 roommates in 2 years, that is a whole different story…) brought me home to see her hometown festival and meet her family. But, when I was introduced to her family, her sister heard my name and said: “I’m never going to remember that. I’m just going to call you Belén.”
You shouldn’t really change people’s names like that, but I like it. Belén. It rolls off the tongue. It means Bethlehem in Spanish. It has the first letter of my given name. So I started using it. Not all the time, but it made certain situations easier: ordering a coffee, ordering a cab, giving a random guy my name.
So here I am. Coming to you in the dark of the night or the airwaves of the day, saying: Hello. Nice to met you.
*As of writing, Known As Belén is available on the following podcasting platforms: Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic. If more platforms are added, that will be reflected in future post updates.