Sunburn in the afternoon – also, death

May 17th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

So, what trip to Spain would be complete without sampling the embattled national pastime, Corrida de Toros (or as some would have it, bullfighting). Since a corrida happens every night during San Isidro, we were able to get tickets a month or so ahead of time, as well as see a prime-time corrida.

This matador was later booed (whistled) out of the ringSince better writers than I have done this topic to death (in the afternoon), here are some observations from someone with little knowledge of the goings-on:

1. There will be very little blood and gore in the photos, but I don’t blame you if you skip them.

2. There is no real fight during a bullfight. At its most raw, it is a dance with fancy outfits and stabbing.

3. I’m sure there was a lot of machismo that I missed, but on a dozen occasions one of the torreros (often the matador) dropped his cape, turned tail, and ran flailing from the bull.

4. The bulls do not mess around. They went after everything that went in the ring. They have apparently been bred to act this way. For some reason, I was reminded of the Jersey shore.

5. When a matador does a poor job, the fans let him know about it. After one particularly poor performance, fans threw seat cushions at the matador, and left the arena en masse. It made me miss Philly.

6. We left after the 5th bull (the seat-cushion-throwingly-bad one), since the corrida had already gone on for over three hours, and we wanted to share the indignation of the crowd. Although there was still one bull remaining, we also wanted to leave on a positive note (relatively speaking). You see, on the 5th bull the allotted 15 minutes had more than passed, and the bull was still charging proudly around the ring. The matador’s attempts had proven clumsy and ineffective, so they released some young bulls into the arena, and the wounded-but-still-spunky bull followed them the gate. It was the only bull to leave on its own hooves. The crowd gave the bull a standing ovation.

7. The toughest part of the corrida for uswas hiding from the sun. I had applied sunblock to my face earlier in the day, but wasn’t expecting the sun in the arena to be that ferocious. I guess when we saw the word “SOL” on our tickets, we should have taken it seriously. Neither of us got burnt because we hid our arms under my button-down shirt, but we did look like idiots wearing a shirt like a blanket in the scorching sun. Oh well. At least we didn’t drop the shirt and run away when the sun bared its horns at us.

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