The smell of booze and wine ignites the air. Sporadic rain drops fall from the sky. However, the most notable sensation is the clamorous and constant rolling of the drums. There is clatter. There is harmony. Then discord. Then chatter. Moments pass but it is not not long until the drums find each other again.

We shuffle through the narrow streets, ricocheting off strangers’ shoulders. I feel like a pinball. We finally make our way to main plaza in the old part of San Sebastian, Plaza Konstituzio. At this point I am near def; I can’t tell which is louder: the drumming or the loaded people. But it doesn’t matter. The energy engulfs me.  I am celebrating the mighty fiesta La Tamborrada. It may only last a mere 24 hours, but those hours are unforgettable.

Here is a little snidbit of La Tamborrada (unfortunately my personal video wouldn’t upload)

Also a little history about the fiesta:

Looking back on this first weekend in Basque country, it remains as one of the top nights among my past 3 months in Spain. My roommate Klaudia and I decided somewhat last minute to catch the bus going to San Sebastian. The news of rain disheartened other students from going, but I was determined. Luckily, she is also a spur of the moment type of person. I heard it was a noteworthy festival and plus, wanted to take advantage of my friend connections. My best friend Emily’s boyfriend, Darren, studied in San Sebastian last semester and some of his friends were still there. Darren is what I like to call good people. And I rightly assumed good people know good people.

We were welcomed with open arms from complete strangers. Fabrizio was the first person we met and undoubtedly one of the nicest people I have come across. From there we were introduced to Martin, Flaminia, Anh, Chrissi, Juste, Pirita, Giuliano, Pasquale, Solene, Samuel and Ricarda. Good people.

We headed to the store to fetch ingredients for the notorious kalimotxo. The strangely delicious combination of coca-cola and red wine. We arrived back to Anh’s apartment and Pasquale volunteered to whip up some pasta. Food I recognized, I was happy. From the balcony, we took in the atmosphere. We had our own little house party eating, drinking and talking. As the night progressed we took to the streets, stopping in bars and cruising to the Plaza for the closing ceremony. We ended the night, or should I say morning since it was 6 am, at a disco tech on the beach. We were introduced to the welcomingly overplayed song: “Ai Se eu te pego.” Now every time I hear this song, I immediately go back to that night in San Sebastian. Nostalgia at its finest.