We took my dad, a lifelong fan of Hemingway, to his first bullfight on the last day of Fallas, squeezing into the stadium’s tiny bench seats as best we could. Next to us, a couple of gray-haired Spanish ladies sat gossiping; in front of us, a rowdy group of Spanish youths smoking and eating bocadillos… a perfectly Spanish day, which could’ve come straight out of Death in the Afternoon.
Enrique Ponce, one of Spain’s most celebrated matadors, started the day with a great performance, and received an ear for his efforts. Kind of gross… he tossed it into the crowd, during his triumphant lap around the arena.
We stayed for the first three bulls, but left mid-way through. Attending a corrida is an intense, uncomfortable and interesting experience, but there’s just so much we foreigners can take.
I know, I know, we’re awful people for attending a corrida — last time we wrote about it, we got a bucketful of hate mail screeching about our depravity. That’s fine, and I understand the argument; an arena filled with people celebrating the death of an animal is pretty barbaric. But I don’t get the intensity of the opposition. The world is full of real problems, like wars, genocide and poverty. Global warming. Female genital mutilation. Deforestation. Catholic rape orgies.
Sigh, but if you must share your hatred with us, at least make sure to put that hamburger down. You won’t want to get your keyboard greasy!