Zodi’s Blog

The Fountain of Wine

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Officially the fiesta starts on Thursday afternoon with a church service, but none of the real action heats up until pre-dawn on Friday. It’s at this point that you know you’re in a fiesta. It begins much like how retarded people have sex; abruptly at 5:00am, violently, with eardrum shattering explosions, and bright flashes of light, followed by 6 hours of utter silence. Okay I admit that I’ve never actually seen retarded people having sex, but that’s how I imagine it would be when I fantasize think about it.

 

A vociferous marching band complete with all of the accessories that a college football halftime show would include, begins in the center of town and winds its way through the narrow, echoing, white-washed streets. Every fifty feet they come to a screeching halt and a man in a fireproof suit begins setting off fifty shooting M-80’s. They are like bottle rockets on steroids. This is a tradition done to ward off evil spirits, because they can’t have the evil spirits screwing up the drunken revelry and debauchery of the three day party. Having nowhere else to go, the spirits flee into the body of our mini-dachshund who immediately begins shaking, howling, and hiding until deciding to shit on the floor.

                                                                                                                                                       

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 This is a very exciting beginning, especially to the newcomers of this tradition. The first year we hurriedly dressed, cleaned up the dog shit, and practically jogged into town. When we got there, it was all but deserted. There were only a few drunks sleeping it off on the park benches, and some hippies who had pitched tents on the cement, and were enjoying their daily wake and bake.

 

It turns out that nothing happens again until 11:30am when they turn on the wine flow into the town’s main fountain. Since nobody on this planet can turn down free booze, this draws a hefty, exuberant crowd. The wine itself is a potent potable, that if examined by a scientist would probably be classified somewhere between ‘red whiskey’ and ‘flotsam.’ It’s about 40 proof, and if you have more than a couple of Dixie cups full, you’re likely to have to fish your lower intestines out of the toilet the following morning. Luckily there are private bar stands conveniently located every 10 feet so you are never out of arms reach of life sustaining, soul-saving alcohol.

 

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The drinking age here is 16, but never enforced. The other day I saw an eight year old who was unable to change his Transformer back into the truck until he had two double vodkas. Anyway, they also have three rides set up for the teen-alkies. All three spin around in a circle with various degrees of violence. I’ve come to believe that these rides are for the sole purpose of sobering them up, by causing them to upchuck. The puking is usually performed while the ride is in full swing, causing a chain reaction puke marathon. It’s all pretty funny until you get hit in the eye with a piece of vomit.

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At 3:30pm they serve a free paella dinner with free beer, and nobody misses this event either. Except us. After last year, I figured out that I actually like my own paella better. Especially because I never get sick off of it. It helps that I don’t leave my sausage sitting in the sun for a couple of hours before cooking it. But this is also a must attend event that can not be missed, if only for a glass (or 17) of cervaza.                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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At 9:00pm the church doors open and three ginormous statues emerge. Each one is carried by six men. Three of four of whom are over eighty years old, and four of five of whom are half in the bag. They then carry these cumbersome statues up and down the narrow, steep, slippery streets to the church at the other end of the village. What makes this even more difficult (and hilarious) are the utility lines which are hung far too low for this procession. So every hundred feet or so, we get to watch St. Peter, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus himself, perform a very drunken, shaky limbo. In the two years that I’ve watched this I’ve seen Jesus (he’s the tallest, with the cross and all) almost wipe out and take a cache of bystanders with him.

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The limbo performing statues taken last year during daylight.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                     

I’m going to publish the conclusion to this post on Wednesday, since it’s so long with so many photos, and hopefully video to follow. I’ve saved my favorite part for then, so stay tuned!!

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October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

28 Comments »

  1. So basically this festival is like life itself. You party and drink and eat and engage in all kinds of debauchery and good time and then Jesus comes along and all the fun is over. 😉

    This looks like a good time though. I love festivals.

    Comment by Jay | October 12, 2009 | Reply

    • A very accurate observation Jay! The only thing is the fun isn’t over when Jesus comes along. They drop him off at the ‘top’ church, and then continue the party until 5 or 6am. These old men make me look like a featherweight. It is an amazing fiesta, and you should definitely try to make it next year!

      Thanks Jay!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. I can smell the alcohol vomit from here. Now I know why you live there. All of the free booze?

    Comment by Claire Collins | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • No, the free booze doesn’t hurt, but considering that I only drink about 2 months of the year, that’s certainly not the reason. I’m living here for the experience of living in Europe. My goal is to live on 6 continents and many, many more countries than that in my life. I know so many people who never left their home towns, and that makes me sad. The Spanish fashions and the women who wear them do not hurt either!

      Thanks Claire!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

      • You only drink 2 months of the year? What’s with that Scott?

        Comment by nursemyra | October 13, 2009 | Reply

        • Because I can’t seem to not smoke when I drink. So I only drink for the fiesta season which is also when we get all of our visitors. Then the rest of the year, I can quit smoking easily and jog, mountain climb and all that other healthy shit. It’s easier for me, but I’m a weirdo!

          Thanks Nursemyra!!

          Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. I want to come.
    And I think all drinking ages should be removed. I bet they have a lower drunk driving rate…then again are there cars there? Other than the Transformer variety.

    Comment by suzettevaughn | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • There are a lot less DUI’s because they don’t enforce the law. I think that the alcohol laws in America do lead to more alcoholic style binge drinking though. When you grow up around it, it’s a lot less of a big deal. And yea, unfortunately everybody does drive, even 90 year old blind, drunken men. Everyday is an adventure!

      Thanks Suzette!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  4. Interesting tradition.

    The religious theme and the goal of getting drunk serve to illustrate how this culture and other cultures around the world celebrate by imbibing with a “religious fervor” somewhat safely.

    In the states, we would somehow manage to screw this up with some unspeakable tragedy occuring as the result of the celebration.

    As we say, “there’s always one…”

    Comment by Candy | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • That is one thing that I love about Europe; there is a lot less violence. Here, the worst somebody can do is throw up or make an ass out of themselves while drunk. If you ever manage to visit Spain, you must experience a fiesta. It is such a unique experience!

      Thanks Candy!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  5. That rocket man picture is awesome, it would make me shit too.

    I googled Cadiar, stuffed up against the mountains…Nice.

    What if I may ask made you pick that region to live and work? I thought you were a coastal kinda guy!

    Comment by Micky-T | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • I ended up with a lot of unintentionally artsy photos. Sometimes not having the highest quality camera actually pays off!

      We are only 45 minutes drive from the coast, and if you could drive ‘as the crow flies’ it would be a 15 minute journey. We moved up here because a friend had two properties which needed looking after and selling. We are probably going to be making another move here shortly. We are blessed that we can both work from anywhere thanks to the internet!

      Thanks Micky!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

      • THAT is an ideal situation. Good for you, The Sechelles are really nice I hear.

        Comment by Micky-T | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  6. I have but one, short thing to say to you…Man, Life is Good For You. I’m jealous…Spanish Bagwine. Mmmmmmm. Cheers Scott!!

    Comment by Matt-Man | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Like I’ve said, you’re welcome to come visit; you would really appreciate it here! I really am lucky, blessed even!

      Thanks Matt-Man!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  7. You never cease to amaze me…

    The fact you have a sentence like “…begins in the center of town and winds its way through the narrow, echoing, white-washed streets”, in the same paragraph as “…shaking, howling, and hiding until deciding to shit on the floor” and make it work, shows just how talented you really are.

    Count me in for this next year…I’ve already started training my liver.

    Comment by bschooled | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • I don’t know weather to say thank you, or apologize for my frenetic writing tendencies. I guess I’ll do both: Thanks and sorry!!

      Even if we are back in the states or in another part of Europe, I’ll come and meet you here so that you can experience it. I think you would find an even more creative way of describing it! It’s a very good idea to train your liver beforehand. Like Rasputin eating cyanide to build immunity, you can overcome the toxins of the wine. Just don’t let down your guard like he did, and let the gypsies stab you!

      Thanks B!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  8. Dont know what sounds funnier the 8 yr old sipping the double vodka or the meat sitting out for like 8 hrs..either way sounds like a party not to be missed and you were thinking about moving back to the states??? cmon!!!…zman sends

    Comment by zmanowner | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • In all honesty that situation is entirely dependent on work and the real estate market. If it was up to me, I’d stay between here and south America!

      Thanks Steve!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  9. Absolutely hilarious Scott! Nice to know that I will have a room-mate down in hell 😉 I can’t wait for the conclusion, but I guess you have to dump your lower intestines first!!

    Comment by tlwshoemaker | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • You know how I’d love your company! No, my lower intestines are right where they belong; I stick to the cervaza!

      Thanks Tammie!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  10. I can’t believe you have a sentence in which you both thank someone and apologize to them! And that’s just within the comment threads.

    Spectacular stuff, Scott. No wonder the early Americans (not the Indians, mind you, but the ones who annexed it) considered them heathens. Of course, they were all from Europe as well, but farsightedness being 50/80, it all made sense, especially when viewed from a pedestal.

    It sounds dangerous, odorous and fascinating. The kind of thing I would be into if I were 15 years younger and fully paid on my life insurance. I would go for no other reason than the paella and the chance to be designated Transformer driver.

    Comment by Capitalist Lion Tamer | October 14, 2009 | Reply

    • It’s all part of my discordant schizophrenia theme. I can’t tell what in the hell I’m thinking, how can I tell what B is thinking?

      I love your farsightedness line, remind me to set you up a royalty receiving account so that if I ever ‘accidentally’ ‘borrow’ it, you get a nice chunk of…well, we’ll have to negotiate on that.

      I’m telling you CLT, just come over here. Pack up the wife and kids and visit the mother land. Probably your motherland, I don’t know for sure without at least seeing a picture. We’ll have a blast!

      Thanks CLT!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  11. […] you missed the first part of this post, you can read it here. After the old men miraculously got the three statues inside the second church, the fiesta kicked […]

    Pingback by The Fountain of Wine II « Zodi’s Blog | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  12. I really do need to get Shipra on a plane with me and go out to visit you! You have a very exciting life kiddo!

    Comment by Vicki | October 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Yes, you really do, I’d love you guys to visit!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 16, 2009 | Reply

  13. “The other day I saw an eight year old who was unable to change his Transformer back into the truck until he had two double vodkas.” – that’s the stuff!!! Fuckin’ genius!
    If I sent you some vomit, could you throw it on the concrete at next years festivities?

    Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | October 19, 2009 | Reply

    • I’d love to; it would be an honor! If you can’t be here physically, at least you can make it in spirit!

      Thanks Rooster!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | October 19, 2009 | Reply


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