Magazine » Spain » La Tomatina
written by Ashley Jex, 30.November 2012 - 01:41
Imagine this...you're standing in a small skinny street jam packed with thousands and thousands of people from all over the world. Many of which are dressed in very interesting attire - ranging from white tuxedo's to spider-man costumes and even men in man thongs. What a sight to see.
There are those courageous few who try to climb the pole greased with layers and layers of soap and fat (that would be Chris), then there are the few that are getting pushed and trampled on by those wanting to get to that greasy pole, and then there's people like me. People that are standing in a crowd full of very sweaty people (and most hairy too ) for hours just trying to anticipate what is going to to happen next. As I'm thinking, I'm wondering how are big trucks filled with thousands of pounds of tomatoes going to get by, the streets are already packed? BOOM! There's the sound of the canon being fired, that means the fight should be happening any moment...
Well I sure found out. I thought I was squished before, that was nothing compared to this. It was like more and more people kept pushing you every which way just so that this truck can drive by and people in the truck can throw tomatoes at you. Oh how fun, if this is what the whole fight was going to be like, I was not looking forward to it. But then it hit me. Well literally a tomato hit me, and then the truck stopped. Oh great, I can't move and there are tomatoes being pelted at my head and I can't do a darn thing about it. But then millions of tomatoes came flying out of the back of the truck and everyone started racing towards the massive pile of tomatoes and tomatoes juice. Ok here's where things started to get fun...
People are throwing squished tomatoes from every which way, its all so much to take in at once. I just wanted to keep throwing tomatoes at everyone, then I'd get a hard one in the face that would knock off my goggles. At some points I'm wondering whether there was even a point to empty out my goggles filled with tomato juice, it felt like such a waste of time because I really couldn't see anyways. A good part of the tomato fight for me was an argument with myself as to what I should do with these stupid goggles - keep em on or take em off. I decided to take off the goggles and experience the tomato fight as it really should be. Boy, tomato juice in the eyes really does sting, a lot. Oh well, get over it, how often do you get to take part in a huge food fight and just throw tomatoes at people? Probably never.
The only way to really describe La Tomatina is really just a big massive food fight - only with tomatoes. Not only are there people throwing tomatoes, but there are people (who I don't even know!) coming up to me and shoving tomatoes down your pants, in your shirt and even in your ears. At first I thought "How bloody rude!", then I realized that that's a normal thing that goes on during the fight...how fun! So I started doing the same to other people, mostly to Chris and to the same people that did it to me. After three trucks went by and the second (and final) siren went off, that's it no more tomatoes were to be thrown.
End of the festival right? Wrong. Now comes the even more fun part...the clean up process. If standing in line to be hosed down with absolutely freezing cold water is your thing, then yeah it could be fun. But I would rather jump into a nice hot shower....however the bus companies don't let you on the bus if you're not at least half clean and in a new set of clothes and shoes. So being hosed down it was.
After arriving back at the hotel, it was safe to say that we both needed a good shower...or two. We and our clothes stunk like old rotting tomatoes...it was disgusting. And even after two soapy showers we still stunk. I knew I would have to toss my clothes, but we tried to clean then any ways. Needless to say, they got thrown out. Days later I had finally got all the tomatoes out of my ears and I was good and clean again.
La Tomatina was such a great experience. It really taught me that no matter how young or how old you are, you can still have a good time with people you don't know just by throwing a couple of tomatoes around. I would say to anyone wanting to go that you should go and experience one of the biggest food fights in the world.