I'm very happy to report that none of my friends were injured in "the running of the bulls," which took place about a week ago in Pamplona, Spain.
One reason for this, of course, is that very few of my friends were actually there. So, why am I waffling on about this? Well, I just received an email from my Spanish friend, Javier Garcia-Lasheras. An expert with regard to embedded systems in general, Javi has a particular focus on asynchronous design tools and techniques. Furthermore, in addition to being a member here on EE Times, Javi is also a blogger on All Programmable Planet.
Javi's email was accompanied by some photos. The first shows him leaning against a monument of "the running of the bulls":
One of the reasons Javi sent me these pictures was to show me the tattoo on his left arm. This is because I was the one who persuaded him to sport this tattoo in the first place. No, of course I wouldn't encourage anyone to have an actual tattoo -- these are fake Tattoo Sleeves that you can purchase from Amazon (10 sleeves for around $14). I have a bunch of them here in the office (just in case of an emergency), and I'd dropped one into a package I sent to Javi a couple of weeks ago. But we digress... the second photo shows Javi ruefully pointing toward a rip in his trousers:
I immediately emailed Javi back asking, "Did you actually run in the event?" To which he quickly replied, "Noooo! Never! I'm a different kind of crazy guy!"
In our subsequent email exchange, I discovered that Javi had simply ripped his pants while climbing up onto the monument. Also, the white clothes with red accoutrements we see in these pictures are the regional dress in Navarra -- the Spanish "state" of which Pamplona is the historical capital. Javi tells me that they only wear these clothes for one week of the year; also that this week -- in which people honor their local Saint -- is different in every town in Navarra.
The city of Pamplona is famous around the world for the San Fermín festival ("Sanfermines"), which takes place from July 6 to July 14, and the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions. One of the reasons Sanfermines became so well-known is that Ernest Hemingway wrote about it in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. Javi tells me that Hemingway was so enamored by this festival that he returned to Pamplona every year.
Below we see a picture of Javi with his wife and daughter -- along with some folks in the background -- all sporting the regional costume. I think it's fun that everyone gets into the spirit of things in this way.
Javi and his family have very kindly given me an open invitation to visit with them and to attend the San Fermín festival whenever I can make it out there. I would love to do so -- I already have my tattoo sleeve packed!