I was scared of drowning in tomato soup. “People will pull you out,” Mike said. “Anyway, you’ll be with me.”
A tall New Zealander with tattoos and a background in adventure sports, Mike was the person to be around if there was any chance of drowning.
It had been my idea to go to La Tomatina, held in Buñol, a small town an hour’s train ride inland from Valencia in Spain.
I had a mental picture of the people of Valencia, young and old, out in the streets tossing tomatoes in the air and laughing like crazy. And there was the image of the woman on the TV ad, grinning broadly at the red stain on her white linen frock, the fight a blur behind her; her smile promising the ecstasy of abandon would be heightened by the security of credit-card ownership.