Matador – 1, Bull – 0. As part of the Malaga Feria, there were free events throughout the city. One of the these was a chance to see a Corrida, traditional bullfighting of Andalucia. This was offered over 4 evenings. We went on the last night. I have seen bullfighting in Mexico City, when l was younger..much younger. This was my husband’s very first one, and he wasn’t too eager to go. I sort of insisted. The chance to take pictures finally convinced him to go. Is bullfighting legal in Spain? Unfortunately yes :-(.
I have to admit that l enjoyed the ones l have been to in the past. I was always one of the very few people rooting for the bull! Looking back, l guess l was lucky l didn’t get my ass kicked. It seemed a lot more even then too. It was just the matador and the bull. There were maybe a couple of clowns in barrels to distract the bull when things got hairy. It was more of a fair fight, and l have seen matadors tossed about like dish rags and get gored pretty badly. It’s amazing that despite the number of bullfighting deaths, it continues till today.
Things have certainly changed since then. There were ten matadors for 1 bull! 10!!!! Talk about overkill! Plus they had these things l called a “hide behinder”. This is basically a flat panel that the matadors can hide behind, and that the bull horns can not penetrate. It was quite disappointing. The Plaza de Toros (La Malagueta) is where bullfighting in Malaga takes place and it was full that day. We got there about an hour before the start, to get good seats. It started right on time at 7PM. First the arena was hosed down with water, probably to cool the sand down a bit as it was still quite hot. Next, the matadors came out, preceded by two men on horses. I’m not sure who they were, but they were dressed all in black. Maybe they were the big kahunas, the experienced matadors. The matadors practiced with their capes for a bit, that was quite cool to see.
The star of the show came in shortly afterwards. It was a bull stamped with the number 34, and it was quite mad. It ran all around the arena, and then chased the matadors as they taunted it. The female matador was the one who had the most interaction with that bull. I must admit she was quite brave, as she had the bull within like 3-5 inches from her at times. Once, she got herself in a bit of trouble and was on the ground. Was l hoping she would get gored? Abso – freaking- lutely!, but l am wicked like that :-) . Unfortunately, within seconds, the other matadors were there to save her :-( . I do believe there is such a thing as bullfighting art, but l saw none of it today.
I remember sitting there, and thinking how l had changed. When l was younger, l enjoyed this bloodthirsty sport. At some point, l plan on doing a post or 2 on movies, and when you see my list of favorites, you will understand..no Harry met Sally in there! That day though, l just sat there watching with a mixture of horror and almost embarrassment. It seemed pointless somehow. Do l wish it’s something that should be done away with? I don’t know. It is part of their culture, and most of the audience seemed to be enjoying it. I did notice several people leave before we did (mostly tourists).
After what seemed like forever, the bull being so tired, they started the piercings with these long sharp sticks. Each matador had one in each hand, held high and they would stab at the bull when it got close enough. Needless to say, the bull got very bloody. Finally, the female matador went in for the kill. I’m not sure if she was a newbie, or just nervous, but it took her 5 tries to finally down the bull with the blade. Each time, it didn’t go deep enough and the bull would shake it off himself. It was painful to watch.
We left after that first one. We just didn’t have the stomach to see any more. Our humble opinion is that bullfighting is cruel. It is an old tradition that should be discontinued. I have chosen not to show the more gruesome pictures of the bull. Would l every attend another corrida? The answer is no.
How about you? Would you like to see one? or have you ever watched one? What do you think of it?