Monday, 25 June 2012

Sant Joan

Coca de Sant Joan
Sant Joan is a rather important celebration. To make your own Sant Joan (celebrated on the eve before the 24th of June) you will need: bonfire paraphernalia; petards, which are a kind of small firecracker; fireworks; coca de Sant Joan (a type of cake); as much alcohol as your fridge can possibly hold; and a cabin full of good friends.
A stocked fridge

It's actually quite typical to sleep on the sand of the beach , build a fire and jump over it, but we felt that our pyromaniacal days were over and would instead have a BBQ. Considering that last year we did indeed manage to sleep on the sand (and, oh, how our backs were crippled), we opted for a more comfortable option of a wooden cabin very close to the beach of Malgrat de Mar. It had beds! Those wonderful inventions...

Upon arrival, late on a Friday night, it seemed as though we had entered another world, a very neon world. Bright lights flickered, jumped, and pirouetted, competing for the attention of the tourists, who - by the look of them - were mostly British. It was strange, seeing them all in this bizarre world of tacky shops and clubs, when to our eyes this tourist strip was the most hideous possible thing known to man. It was slightly better at the campsite, but there were Spanish xonis (chavs) milling about with their Spanish flag proudly displayed in support of their national football team who were playing the following evening. Dinner ensued, and so to bed. In the Squeaky Bunkbeds of Doom. With absolutely no exaggeration at all, one only had to lift an arm or twitch a foot and the entire frame creaked with the power of a thousand door-hinges. Needless to say, we did not sleep particularly well. Especially not with next door's xonis shouting and swearing.

However, we awoke bright and early and, after a caffeine intake, we headed to the beach. Blue skies, blue sea, the sighing sound of breaking was beautiful. We spent most of the day there, only breaking for lunch, ice-creams, and board games.
Once we'd tired of the heat, we decided to smoke out the rest of the holiday-makers. Quite accidentally, of course. The BBQ was a bit over-enthusiastic and we were even threatened by an uncouth xoni that she would do something rather violent if we burnt her car.

Fortunately, all went well: we were not smacked in the face, bottled, or indeed re-threatened in any way. We dined, we chatted, we sang, and had all kinds of fun - mostly of a drinking variety. After all, we had about 50 beers, wine, cava, and a bottle of rum. Would have been a waste of money not to drink it. So we played the Ring of Fire till well into the early hours of the morning before wandering along the beach watching the fireworks scatter glitter amongst the stars.

I am seriously considering exporting this tradition overseas. Well, I would, except that health and safety would have definitive issues with hurling firecrackers willy-nilly and fires on beaches. So perhaps it's best the tradition stays over here in the safety of lax laws.