Seven Reasons To Keep in Mind if You’re Not Ernest Hemingway


San Fermin—the Running of the Bulls to you and me—starts tomorrow, and just as it has for decades, will draw millions of people to Pamplona to prove their stupidity, er, test their bravery each day in front of the galloping horns of a throng of 2,000-pound beasts. The party goes nonstop, through next weekend. Here are some tips if you go: 1. The run starts at 7 each morning, and the best place to watch the action is in front of the Telefonica building. But be sure to stand behind the second fence—police keep the first one clear for runners. 2. If you run, respect the local tradition and wear all-white with a red bandana around your neck. Every year, a few heathens ruin the visuals in cut-offs and T-shirts. 3. Contrary to what other foreigners (mostly drunk Australians) will tell you, jumping off the Fountain of Navarra is not a local tradition. It was invented by foreigners (mostly drunk Australians), and the locals see the practice as dangerously stupid. For a bunch of people who annually throw themselves in front of a herd of charging bulls, that’s saying something. 4. Somewhere around 6 a.m., you’ll want to fortify yourself with chocolate and churros. The best place: La Mañueta, on the street of the same name. 5. Opposed to this barbarous display of cruelty to animals? Or just looking for a little action? Next year, come a day early: PETA sponsors the Running of the Nudes on July 6. 6. Don’t wear flip-flops, sandals, or any other kind of open-toed shoe. This is not for fashion’s sake, but hygiene’s. San Fermin is above all a week-long party, which in Spain means a whole lot of outdoor vomiting, urinating, and fornicating. 7. Stay down. If you fall while running and suddenly hear the delicate pitter patter of pounding hooves behind you, don’t get up—that’s how most people get gored. Flatten yourself onto the ground so you present less of a target for the enraged bovines. It’s nasty down there (see No. 6), but it’s better than a hole where your intestines used to be.

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