November 19th, 2013, 2pm

In Pamplona, start your morning in the old cafe on La Plaza del Castillo. It will be raining, because it is November, and the season has just passed. (Except, there is no season in Pamplona. Just hot, cold, and the running of the bulls. Then the population swells to six times its normal size, around one million people in the Old City alone.)

They’re all gone by November, though, when the chill sets in deeply and without mercy, withering the heartbeats of its hurrying figures.

Listen to a university lecture from a famous screenwriter — ”You have to be a journalist of human behavior,” he advises — and then, later, when it is cold and you are too drunk to move, watch one of his most successful film trilogies. Go to bed late, because you can’t sleep. For no reason at all, wake up very early. Head back to the coffee shop. Get una otra cappuccino.

The person you live with is attentive and talkative, always making extra food and cornering you with glasses of beer:

“I’m a serial monogamist,” he confides. “I’m moving in with my girlfriend next month.”

“You ALL are,” you want to emphasize, but you don’t know him well enough and, regardless, lack a sophisticated grasp on the language. “Todos los hombres,” you say, snorting into your drink. “Todos los hombres en el mundo son diablos.”


In Pamplona, in the winter, there’s nothing to do but drink coffee and wine, coffee and wine, interrupted by occasional bouts of egotistical philosophy; mutely desiring other people from a distance.

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Cassie Marketos

Community Manager at Hi. Traveling. Writing! Will send invites generously. Just ping @sayhi.

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