Friday, September 25, 2009

The Running of the Calves

My birthday falls on San Fermín, the seventh of July, which is the day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Since there are no bulls in Mojácar we would celebrate every year with my calf Petite Suisse. The Gypsies, from the next village, would come with their musical instruments and sing and dance. Gypsies in Spain live in villages or towns and do not travel from place to place like other Gypsies. They are famous for their Flamenco dancing and music which Spain has adopted as its own. Friends from the area would gather in groups and make their own special paella. Everyone had their own secret ingredient, mine was California vegetarian. Everyone sang, danced and ate until very late: it was an all day event. At the end there would be a competition for the best paella, then we would let Petite Suisse loose and one by one, people would take turns with their red towels and try to get her to chase them. She usually stayed stuck to my side so I had to run too.
Our house was at the top of the mountain with spectacular views and unknown to us, it was also a ‘must see for the tourists’ according to the hotel in town. One year a group of people that no one seemed to know arrived and ate and drank, danced and chased my calf, all in all, they agreed, the best part of their holiday. We all kept asking each other who they had come with. No one knew them, it was then that we discovered they were trippers and thought this was something put on by the hotel.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Although I was very young when a lot of this took place, I remember taking part in all of the events you have so wonderfully portrayed! It's great to read about them and they bring back the fondest of memories... I must say, my sister and I had a privileged childhood, being part of all the wonders of Spain way back when...
Why don't you tell the story of how we used to wash our clothes down at the public fountain, I remember I loved to stomp on them! Spain was very, very different back then, especially in a small town like Mojacar.
Keep the stories comming!