Things you forget

Some things you really miss about living in England - like Sunday dinners, white wine spritzers, salt 'n vinegar discos - and some things you don't. Rain, cold and darkness closing in at 4.30pm are a few examples.

But there are some things you just completely forget existed. Or so I deduced this month when bonfire night came round. Remember, remember the 5th of November… or not – I totally wiped it from the hard drive. In fact I haven't thought about it for years.

Of course, they don't celebrate it here in Spain. So to kill time in the morning meeting before everyone else arrived, I decided to tell a colleague about it.

Me: Well basically there was a guy called Guy Fawkes and he tried to blow up the houses of parliament on November 5th, 16 something. But he failed. And to celebrate it every year people Britain light fires and let off fireworks and eat apples covered in toffee, and potatoes.

Him: That sounds like fun.

Me: Yes, and you also make your own Guy out of old clothes stuffed with newspapers, and you take him round your neighbourhood in a shopping trolley, and you get people to give you money. Then you burn him on the bonfire at the end of the night.

Him: British people are quite strange.

And I suppose it does sound weird. Burning effigies of some guy (literally) who tried, and failed to burn the government and the king alive. It's quite morbid.
They say horror films and computer games are twisting kids' minds nowadays, but I reckon the story behind bonfire night is more disturbing.

Anyway, they've got their own quirky festivos in Spain. La Tomatina for example – where everyone gets leathered on sangria and pelts each other with tomatoes (silly). Or Pamplona – where everyone gets leathered on sangria all night and runs with the bulls at eight in the morning (dangerous).

I've never done either, and in fact I don't think I'd cope too well with the tomato pelting. It looks a bit too violent. But Pamplona is deffo on my to do list. Though I'd like to get a hotel room there and actually go to bed at some point. Not like my bloke, who went by bus from Barcelona with only the clothes on his back (which, by the way was only a shorts and t-shirt combo)

And I'd be watching the bulls rather than running with them. I find sparklers scary enough. Being chased down the street by 2000lbs of wild angry beast is a marathon step too far.

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