Los Toros

May 2, 2010

I cannot believe I am about to write this, but I think I am a fan of bullfighting! I would want to see at least one more bullfight to confirm whether or not I am a true aficionada, but I went to a bullfight yesterday with my classmates and I was impressed.

There are six rounds of bullfighting, each round has specific stages until the bull is finally killed. The first matador in yesterday’s match was not that good, even though he was the most senior of all the matadors. It was brutal and bloody, and I thought I might have to leave early. Fortunately, the fighter after him was superior and killed the bull nearly instantly. The third was alright, and then there was a sort of brief intermission and we interrogated Ramon on everything we had just seen. The bullfight then continued and the fourth one was fine, but then came the fifth fighter.

The fifth matador of the day started just as well as the rest of them had. Some of the bulls had been better than others, but his was alright. This man had the best showmanship of all the fighters, and began to do some really impressive passes with the bull. The whole time he was slightly better than the rest, but when the time came to kill the bull, he proved he was the best.

For a matador to kill a bull, he must get it squarely in front of him, aim, charge at him, and plunge the sword into a very small, exact spot on the back of the bull’s neck. Most of the matadors struggled with this yesterday, and had to make several attempts to kill the bull. The fifth matador, however, literally risked his life to have a perfect kill. When he got the bull squarely in front of him, he charged at the bull with such speed, he launched his body at the bull’s head, and the bull tossed him in the air! When he landed on the ground, the bull tried to gore him, but started to get weak and ended up stumbling over him, stepping on the matador a few times. As soon as the bull was no longer on top of him, the matador sprang up and started yelling in the bull’s face, commanding it to die! The bull dropped dead right then, it was incredible. It was such an amazing kill, the matador was awarded with an ear, which is a big deal. Ramon said he had never seen anything like it!

The bullfighter then walked around the stadium and Ramon said to us, “Now you can throw things at him, anything you want! Telephone numbers, addresses!” People threw in their hats and cardigans, but none of us threw anything.

The final bullfighter was a huge letdown after that performance. One thing that was interesting about the final fight was nearly as soon as the bull entered the ring, the crowd demanded a new one because his hind legs were weak or something. But even though the bull was not replaced, it was striking that everyone knew right away that the bull was just ok.

After the fight, Ramon took us to a bar for a beer. At the bar, he ordered a plate of bull intenstine lining for us to try, and it was actually pretty tasty. At the bar, Ramon’s old friend Stephen Drake-Jones found us. He was slightly intoxicated and told us some great stories from their younger years.

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