The legend in Cantabria, Spain goes something like this...as the Romans were invading Gaul, a famous general named Corocotta united the Cantabri tribes and fought a decade of warfare in resistance to the Romans. The warriors used guerilla tactics attacking and retreating to the mountains near the coast. The attacks were so troublesome for the Romans that, according to Wikipedia, they put a price on Corocotta's head of 200,000 sesteri. (In case you forgot, one sesterius is 2 and half asses, so in total 500,000 asses. Insert your own butt joke here.) Corocotta himself walked into the Roman camp and presented himself to get the reward. Apparently, Emperor Augustus was so astonished that he gave him the reward and set him free. Today, this famous name is passed down in the only way that it is truly appropriate...to the tight asses adorned by ultimate frisbee players from Santander, Cantabria!
Yes, I have just returned after spending a sunny, sweaty weekend in the capital city of Madrid. The guerilla warriors of the north took the trip south for two full days of frisbee games. It was a great time to play frisbee again with a great group of new friends. The Corocottas from Santander split into two teams, so I played with the less experienced team and we were happy to watch the improvement as we moved from being a team led by three people to a team that went undefeated on the second day thanks to the skills of the new players. The experienced Corocotta team also did well finishing second to the home team after realizing that they need to practice their offense against the zone defense.
Besides the frisbee aspects of the weekend, I was truly amazed to see how openly germs are spread here in Spain. First of all, no real worries about washing hands after going to the bathroom. Then, after each game we would line up and congratulate the other team for a good game. But we’re not talking half-heartedly shaking hands. We’re talking kisses on both cheeks, regardless of how sweaty everyone was. Finally, the fun ended by the passing of the Corocotta bottle. After each game we give the other team a bottle of a special liquor from Cantabria that is a lot like Amarula. We always stand in a circle and pass around the bottle as all the sweaty frisbee players, fresh from their kisses, guzzle down the bottle. And the thing is...it’s great. I love the physical closeness of it all and the relaxed feeling everyone seems to have. Just positive people, good competition and good fun. Basically a great weekend.
Add to all this a night playing darts and dancing and a night eating for 4 hours in an Tony Romeo’s American Rib restaurant and you have yourself a great weekend. I returned home at midnight Sunday night absolutely destroyed, feeling muscles I haven’t felt in a long time and feeling welcomed here in Spain.