Rachel in Spain

Rachel is a President’s Scholar and senior majoring in political science and foreign languages in Dedman College. This fall, she will be living with a Spanish family in Madrid and taking classes at the Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset.

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My first – and last – bullfight

CIMG0383.JPGBullfighting is for boys.

While I am definitely not a vegetarian or an animal rights fanatic, bullfighting has always seemed to me a little distasteful. However, you know the saying: “when in Rome …” So, I went.

It was more bloody than I expected, and very masculine. It starts with the matadores waving pinkish cloths to taunt the bull, who runs confusedly from one to the other. Then, men on horses stab the bull with long poles. We were pretty close, and one time I could see the white flesh of the bull before the wound filled with blood.

After this, a matador takes some shorter poles and runs up to the bull, stabs the poles in and then runs away. The poles stay in and flop around as they tear the flesh. After that, the matador uses a red cloth to attract the bull’s attention, and after a while, he uses a knife to kill it. Then horses come to drag the dead animal away.

For each bullfight, there are several bulls and matadores, so we got to see the whole spectacle more than once. The worst part, however, was that the matadores were not very experienced, so it took them a while to kill the bull, and two got gored, trampled, and pretty seriously injured. I have never before seen so much force in an animal. I am glad that I went, but I would prefer not to go again.

Today I recovered with a mocha from Starbucks. I told myself I wouldn’t do something so distinctly American, but I caved in. And it was delicious.

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