Salima and I had decided we needed to take advantage of the short bullfighting season in Sevilla during Feria. There are more during the summer, but the week of Feria is really the prime time. We arrived at the Plaza de Toros and were greeted by scalpers. I distrusted their sales pitch; even as an American who knows Spanish, I could not tell if I was being ripped off. We ended up just buying seats at the box office, which were ultimately perfect. The shaded seats sell for the most money. We bought cheap sun seats and miraculously ended up in the shade, albeit in the last row. Salima would probably say she was grateful for being far away. What we would witness--the killing of six bulls before our eyes--would be much intense than expected.
Bullfighting is a wonderful conversation topic in Spain. Many youths now oppose it, but the older generation hangs on to the tradition in certain areas. Madrid and Sevilla are the most famous bullfighting cities of present. Barcelona has outlawed the "sport," having converted its bullring into a massive shopping center. I remember raising the issue in conversation with Valeriano and his girlfriend, Mariola. Mariola took off in opposition, talking at the speed of light (from my perspective, a challenge). She was appalled by the treatment of the bulls, which are often drugged even before entering the ring. Valeriano was not quite so fiery, understanding the preference by some for the tradition. My host siblings, Ceci and Borja, also oppose it while Montse still sees some beauty in it.
Mariola and Valeriano
Looking back on the fight, I was most surprised by the rigid routine of each fight. Bullfighting today has departed from the Gladiator-in-the-Colosseum "sport" of its past in favor of a scripted play. Each fight has three acts: (1) In the first
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