San Froilan and Getting Cussed Out

Dear friends,
San Froilan continues strong even five days into the festivities, and I’m amazed it’s going to continue for three more days. It’s been fun and exhausting. 

To give you a little perspective: Yesterday, I maxed out at four in the morning, but there were still crowds out dancing to the live music and drinking. The streets were so full of people that I could not extend my arms in any direction but up. Part of the crowdedness is because during the weekend, people from A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, and the outskirts of Lugo are driving in for San Froilan (named in honor of Lugo’s patron saint Froilan, or so I’m told). 

We met some new auxiliares (other language teaching assistants) friends from A Coruña, so Blake and I spent the day showing them Lugo, and then we spent the night partying with them. We walked the wall, tried pulpo, danced, listened to concerts. I especially loved the Foolmakers.


​​​Overall, it’s been a good experience, but it was marred in part when we were cussed out. We were eating at a restaurant, seated at an outside table, when a street vendor comes up to show us the bracelets and wood carvings he was selling. He checks out my friend A., looking her up and down, and says the Spanish equivalent of How you doin’? A. says No, gracias. He proceeds to ask her questions and move very close to her. Where are you from? She doesn’t answer. My other friend Ana tells the man that he doesn’t need to know where A. is from, and that A. does not have to answer him if she doesn’t want to answer him. Ana repeats this, but the man does not leave. I also reaffirm to him that A. doesn’t not have to talk to him. At this point, he begins loudly cursing at me and Ana, some of it in Castellano and some of it in another language I don’t know. Blake tells the man to leave. The man challenges Blake to stand up and fight him. Blake does not get up. A. begins shaking her head and saying no. Immediate response. The man tells A. he is so sorry, curses at Ana and me somemore, and then leaves. A few minutes later he walks by muttering more not very nice things loudly as walks by the table. 
I’ve tried to get the facts down straight. Please note this went down quickly and this is from my point of view. 

I admit though, this alteracation bothers me. I’ve never experienced something like this and I hate that this happened to A. during her first visit to Lugo. I realize it has something to do with racial tensions in part based on the fact that A. is African American and the man was also dark skinned, but I don’t know enough about race or racial tensions in Spain to comment properly. 

It didn’t ruin the day, but I did let it ruin a good part of my evening, and I can’t stop thinking about it. What I could have done differently, if I should have done something differently, why he acted that way, what if this happens again, what if he followed us. 
I hate to end the letter on a low note, but it’s hard not to think about it right now. 

I’m glad it’s Sunday. I think I’ll just rest today. There’s a reason I don’t normally stay up until four in the morning, and right now it’s high nap time. 

We’ll keep you posted,