Not long to go ...
As far back as I can remember I have only missed out on the Sanfermin fiestas twice in my life. That happened in 1978 and again in 1988. It was in ‘78 that the great outrage erupted and when one of my neighbors was shot dead, a young guy called German. The fiestas were called off amid the all the commotion. I was on vacation in Tavira with my family and I remember well the apprehension of those days, waiting for news that came in dribs and drabs and all of it bad news. I well remember how angry my father was about the whole thing and how he was obsessed with getting back to Pamplona in the belief he could sort things out. But there was nothing to be done about that shameful affair. It was all planned. So much so, that nobody was ever punished for the crimes. It still astonishes me every time I look at those photos of the police inside the bull ring and firing live ammunition, amid the mayhem.
Back in ‘88 I was spending some time in Australia, and it did not make any sense to go back for the fiestas. They called me up by phone so that I could listen to the txupinazo opening rocket go off. I felt a pang of regret, but as I was into a good scene there, I soon got distracted by other things.
This year too I have some other commitments and there is a very good chance that I may miss out on the Sanfermin fiestas. Some commitments that can only be done in July. Right now, I am counting the daisies and wavering.
I must admit that the pain I will feel if I miss the fiestas will probably be as strong as the morbid curiosity that I now have about how I will handle that same pain.
A second part will soon follow.
¡Biba Sin Fermin!