Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bull Fight & Coming Home to America

As usual I'm late on writing this blog post. Unfortunately I can't lie and say I was busy culturing myself with new experiences abroad. Instead I was catching up on jet lag, playing video games, and eating copious amounts of Chipotle. Although I promised my grandma I would write this today, so grandma, this one is for you!

To the left you can see one of the milder pictures I have from the bull fight. The tickets were five euro and we got to sit in the VERY FRONT. When I say very front I mean that there is the bull fighting ring, then there is the place that I sat. We didn't see this video till after but this happen at the venue I was at and I was sitting right behind those wires the bull jumps onto initially. So five euro got us front row seats to six bull fights, not to shabby.

The bull fight is essentially broken up into three parts. The first part you have about four guys taunting the bull and then hiding behind a hole in the wall when he charges. If I were to participate in bull fighting this would be my job, all the fun without any of the danger. After they have their fun a guy comes out riding a horse and pokes the bull with a long stick to get him even angrier.

During the second bull fight the bull ended up getting under the horse and flipping it. Initially it looked liked the horse broke its leg, and it fell on the rider, so we assumed he was dead too. They both ended up being fine. Not sure how the rider survived by the horses are covered in some magical blanket looking material that protects them from the bulls horns. They are also blindfolded. I don't know how you train a horse to be okay with any part of this situation but they preformed valiantly and I was impressed.

Then during the final stage the matador comes out and does all the normal stuff you would expect in a bull fight. He supposedly has three chances to kill the bull before they put it out of its misery but I think only two of the bulls were killed within three strikes.

The first few were sad because the bulls gave up and sat down. At this point a guy comes up and stabs the bull through the top of a head with a knife, killing it instantly. There were a few bulls who fought until the very end though. I was impressed with their endurance and unwillingness to give in.

There was also a matador who got stabbed in the leg by a bull's horn. It is dishonorable not to finish a bull fight unless you are injured to the point where you can't continue. He hobbled around and finished the fight, losing a lot of blood from his leg the whole time. With his injury his reaction time was slower so this made the end of the fight a lot more interesting.

Bull fighting is now illegal in a lot of Spanish speaking countries. Spain is one of the last countries to allow it and I believe there is legislation in the works to outlaw it there as well. Not something I'd do again, but definitely worth seeing once.

The the right we have my "spanish family photo". From left to right we have "Don Juan", me, Jake, Teresa, Jack, and Mitch. You'll notice my host mom is holing a sword. Isn't that just awesome?

So before coming back to America I was looking forward to the following things in the following order: Chipotle, bottomless cokes at restaurants, public restrooms, and air conditioning. Since being back I have had plenty of each and now miss various things about Spain.

The pastries in Spain are unmatched in America. Specifically the neopolitana. This is essentially a croissant with chocolate all through the middle. I'm fairly certain they could use it to treat depression or cancer. It is by far my favorite food there. Their coffee is also unmatched in here. I was satisfied with American coffee before I left but now my morning Joe leaves me feeling empty and abandoned. I really began to hate taking the metro while I was in Spain but now that I'm back I kind of miss all the homeless people and bad street performers.

Finally I'll leave you with some interesting anecdotes from the flight home. I purposely didn't eat dinner on the flight so that I could rush to chipotle before it closed and be reunited with my favorite food. Unfortunately there was a half an hour "food science" show about pizza on the plane. I watched the whole thing because I couldn't fall asleep and immediately began craving pizza. Obviously my love for chipotle runs deep and requires more than an empty stomach and a food network special to make me betray her that easily. I got off the plane and ate a small snack to tide me over until I got home. When I went to the gate to wait for my connecting flight a lady sat down next to me with an entire California Pizza Kitchen pizza. She ate one slice and asked me if I would like the rest. Unfortunately free pizza was not something I could pass up at this point. I gave in and ate the whole thing, it was amazing! ...Although I still feel incredibly guilty for not saving myself for chipotle like I originally planned.

I'm heading to Mexico on Saturday for a mission trip with Flatirons. I'll probably write a blog post on what happens there. Anyway, if you've been reading this the whole time, thank you. Mo, if you read this, you still owe me $5.

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