“Seriously? Sounds like fun” It was also his first time in Spain
When Hiro arrived we hopped on the Metro to Ventas and got to know each other along the way as we tried to navigate the tunnels. Hiro is a native of New Jersey and grew up just across the Hudson from NYC. He is very much American and sounds and acts lake any other New Yorker but he does speak Japanese, as his father was an immigrant from Japan.
Two things about this event that stood out to me in such stark contrast to each other were the simultaneous pageantry and brutality of the event. When these 3 mules were led into the ring at the beginning of the event I couldn’t help but wonder what logical purpose they served at a bull fight other than to be “pretty”.
It turns out they do serve a very important purpose, but I will leave it to the reader to determine what it is.
This guy was apparently the headliner in the event and seemed very popular with the crowd.
He took a horn in his leg and had to be carried off. I assume that this is a rare occurence, but after he was removed the contest resumed with another matador. Hero and I spent just as much time reacting to the crowd as we did trying to figure out what was going on in the ring. Whistling appears to be the crowd's method of showing thier displeasure with the matador's performance. The entire event lasted about 2 1/2 hours. And strangely enough, by the time it was over we kind of understood what was going on and found ourselves cheering for good performance along with the rest of the crowd. We never could bring ousrselves to whistle though.
All in all it was a remarkable experience, and one I’m glad we took the time to explore.