day 2 & 3 - i took a plane to spain
first, thank you to all the new contributors! i know i haven't had an opportunity to put your names on the contributors page, but tomorrow i promise you will be listed...
departing nyc was amazing and sad. i really wanted to bring all of my friends. i would have settled on one. sitting to my left, on the laptop prohibiting iberia flight, was was a little lady from new jersey. on my right, sat two israelis who randomly met another isrealie couple. the four argued, laughed, cried and eventually settled down after some insane bollywood movie.
i would have paid $10 to curse at them in hebrew. every time someone walked by, the woman, who was standing, would bum them into me. when the fifth person walked by, i pinched her ass. ok, i know it's not kosher, but i thought she was doing it on purpose... too boot, she then moved... sorry...
to be honest with you, if i would have known that my flight had two hops, one to madrid and then another to barcelona, i would have never ventured out of madrid. instead, i sat in the madrid airport and stared at the wonderful sunrise...
in barcelona, i found myself with less than two hours to jam. despite this small problem, i jammed my stuff into a locker (4.10 euro), and hopped on a bus (3.90 euro). with a lightened loaded, i failed to sneak into a museum, but purchased two postcards (1 euro). then i walked to one of the grand plazas. with the high noon heat blazing, i hopped back on the bus for a quick nap at the airport (3.90 euro).
after a short flight and a shorter nap, i finally arrived in pamplona around 5 pm. as soon as i step foot outside of the airport, i noted the chilled air and knew it would be a long cold night (1 euro).
with a full load i walked around in circles. everyone whom i asked pointed in a blank general direction. in complete frustration, i approached a cop and pleaded with him for more information. in his broken english, he told me "500 meters, church, right, square."
walking and cursing, i found "punk rock" square, aka san fransico plaza. lined with punks, broken glass, and the stench of piss, i would call this little rectangle home for the night. after depositing my bags (3.40 euro) and with 20 euros in my pocket, i was hell bent on exploring the city sans expenditure.
as the day turned to night, i walked, walked, walked and walked. tired, hungry and cold, i made the poor decision to purchase a pamplona classic. within a bagett, sat some mayo, cured ham and cheeses. for 5 euro i also got a mini-bottle of water. it was a poor desperate decision, around the corner sat a lovely cafe and for 2.50 euro, i could have had the sammach.
for two hours, i watched family after family come into the the bright red coffee shop. in toe, children aged from 2 - 5.
for two hours, i watched mothers and fathers, buy endless amount of cookies. then they would sit and the kids would shove their mouths with pure unadulterated shugga. even with ear plugs, the screaming was unbearable. little would i guess, that this screaming would only be the start of a long night.
finally, after much marching, i limped back to "punk rock" square. for about 10 mins i debated on what i should do. option one, find a bar and drink the night away. option two, get sleeping bag and watch the festival of anarchy. i took option two. i really didn't have too much money and fearful of the glass studded streets, i took refuge on a clean park bench.
as the hours ticked, my body warmed. franky, i was worried. i was worried that i would fall asleep and would then have to fend off some drunk. instead, i discovered a new job. as people walked by, they would ask if i was staying awake all night. i would say yes, and then they would ask if i could wake them up in the morning. regretfully, i didn't ask for a few extra euros and offered protection from drunks...
finally around 5:30 am, i packed up my gear and headed north to check out the runners. the light was amazing... as meandered, i discovered hundreds still packing in the booze and a few sleeping in the urine filled doorways. as i hussled, you could feel the excitement.
have you ever felt the presence of lighting? well, it's kinda like that... with bag in tow and a questionable knee, i decided not to run, but to film everyone else. working my way though the streets, i saw fear. not just fear of a bull... fear of death...
what ensued, i can't even begin to describe. the insanity of pampalona's running of the bulls is unmatched in words. the hour and a half before the run, the air warmed and death loomed. my words have no real explanation of the insanity that festered within the walls of pampalona. you'll just have to see the video... ;)
(gotta run... they are locking the doors of the school that i'm in... grammer and spelling will come later...)