Cake, Champagne, Pamplonada

Still having fun, still writing up a storm. I believe I’m now a third of the way into Magic or Madness III (and, yes, I have my fingers crossed that, finally, one of the trilogy will have the preferred title: Magic! Magic! Magic! Oi! Oi! Oi!). Being a third in works out well as we’re now a third of the way into our stay here. How bout that?

Was me birthday last week and Luz’s lovely sister baked me a cake:

It was dead good. Champagne was drunk. Poker was played. Excellent presents were received. Not to mention all the wonderful birthday calls. And I wrote a bunch of words. Yay, me.

Also, just to add to the birthday celebrations ’twas the week of Pamplonada, the Mexican running of the bulls. This meant even more rockets going off than usual as well as lots of wealthy (and a few not so wealthy) folk from all over Mexico descending on San Miguel for three or four days of drinking, fornicating, bull taunting, and, in some cases, broken bones and concussions. Imagine a slightly older schoolies week with bulls (for you Usian-types think spring break, Fort Lauderdale and bulls). The average age seemed to be early twenties.

Many of the newcomers were from Mexico City, invoking a mixture of awe and disgust in the locals as only wealthy, young, glossy folk from the big city can. I overheard one young local lass, saying to her friends,

“I do, too, have friends from Mexico [City]! Lots of them. You’ll see.”

“Who cares?” replied her friend. “They’re all [rough translation] unpleasant people.”

The uniform for the girls was tight jeans, high heel boots, shirt and cowboy hat. For the boys: jeans, boots, white shirt/T-shirt with red kerchief and cowboy hat. It’s amazing how such a simple look can speaks volumes as to class and wealth.

The Pamplonada, itself, was not at all what I was expecting. I’d been imagining a large amount of bulls let out at once and blokes in front running like buggery. In San Miguel they let one bull out at a time, the huge crowd parts, while all the bravest, cockiest and stupidest blokes do their best to provoke the bull into going them, waving tiny red kerchiefs, or big, full-on matador cape thingies, or pulling the bull’s tale. The bull, increasingly irritated by this behaviour, will then oblige by tossing one or more of them into the air, or kicking the fool standing behind him. One of the bulls was so annoyed by one particular bloke he threw him in the air, then tried to pick him up again several times, finally trampling him. Score many for the bull.

Eventually the bull will get bored or start to run off around the circuit. They then release the second bull and so on, until there are eight bulls being provoked, getting shitty and sending the occasional bloke into the nearby ambulances. Most of the bulls emerged fulling prepared to go anyone remotely near them. This usually turned out to be the blokes who’d let them out of their enclosure.

It was impossible not to barrack for the bulls. Fortunately, they seemed to aquit themselves well. Yay, bulls!

P.S. Thanks everyone for all the wonderful birthday messages! Touched me heart, it did. When I’m online for more than a few hours every three or four days I’ll reply.


  1. Roger on #

    Happy birthday!

    Were the bulls for eating afterwards?

  2. Ray Davis on #

    Happy ‘ken late birthday! I owe you late cake.

Comments are closed.