12/July/2004

San Fermín

I’ve been this past weekend partying in Pamplona
for San Fermín. On
Saturday, thanks to Nicolás, we went to the Telefónica building to see the running of the
bulls. It was superb, a really privileged place.




As it always happens on weekends, there are lots of people, and this made it really difficult
to see the bulls when they were coming up the street towards our position.










Fortunately, the organizers always choose the less violent bulls for the weekends, since
the runnings become much more dangerous with so much people. Not only there are the bulls
(Spanish bulls, which are very brave and violent, and which in fact are trained all their
live to be so), but running besides so much people makes it very easy to fall down
and be trampled by 100s of people as scared as you are for not being taken by one
of the bulls, which of course only think about getting safe. So, on the weekend, just
a few injured people.

Today though, 8 people were injured by the bulls’ horns. On Friday morning, also, a guy
was taken by 3 different bulls in 20 seconds, one right after the other. This makes
me think, as every year, that people should be aware of the danger there is when running
with the bulls. First of all, you need to know what is dangerous and what can be done;
for instance, a lot of people touch the bulls on the back, and this is one of the most
dangerous things that can be done, since the bull can turn back, and instead of going
as quick as possible to the arena, it would stay running over people in the street. Second,
even if you know what to do, a simple error, like not realizing where one of the bulls is
coming from, or a simple slip, can make you suffer an ugly accident. Third, drinking a lot
usually makes you lose a bit of
control, so going drunk to the runnings is like calling for disaster. Also,
there are people that have seen a bull only in films, and think it’s
a manageable animal. Really, believe me, a Spanish bull weights 500/600 kilograms, and is
one of the most brave animals, specially when something afraids it (like 100s of people
running besides it), is quick, even though it looks as if it were a slow animal, and has
2 big horns!

Also as always, lots of people sleeping in the city’s streets (there are over 1 million people
now in Pamplona, where there are usually around 200,000 inhabitants, so there is no
place for everyone coming).




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