I promised myself I’d never watch another bullfight since my first in 2002. Well, many visits and 13 years after, I broke that promise. With friends in tow, I gave them their very Spanish corrida experience.
Taking the Metro Red line to Ventas, I watched them gape in awe as we got out of the train station to take in a full view of the 2nd largest bullring in the world. Yes, Mexico beat Spain in this department but it doesn’t take away the drama, the elegance and the cruelty of the sport. 😔
Six bulls. Three matadors. Of the 3, one earned 2 ears and was thus carried out of the colloseo on the shoulders of fellow bullfighters and fans. Let me explain. Those “ears” are like medals or trophies. After a good show, the audience can wave white handkerchiefs to convince the “President/Juez” (of the corrida) to award one bull’s ear to the bullfighter. A 2nd ear may be earned as decided by the President/Juez. In extremely rare cases, a superb performance commands the awarding of both ears and the tail!
Watching this entire spectacle, I am not that confident Madrid will do away with the corrida as Barcelona did. The latter has banned all bullfights. Not Madrid. Nor in some other areas of Spain where the “sport” and its glamorized matadors are nearly revered.
The videos provide short, but nervewracking man-bull encounters. The only thing pretty are the heavily-embellished garments worn by the matadors. Worse, the bull sometimes win.