Our landlord invited us to a local street bullfight, or Tourada a Corda (bullfight on a rope). I've mentioned one before, here, but this time around, we had a much better view of the bull. There are four bulls, and each is "loose" (they are tied to ropes and controlled by men dressed in white shirts and black hats) for 30 minutes, while other men chase it up and down the street. After 30 minutes, the bull is put back in its pen, and there is a 10-minute break. Then they bring out the next one for 30 minutes, and so on. They don't actually harm the bull, but I think the poor thing is pretty miserable, running all over the place for that length of time, in the summer heat. Not to mention scared of all of the activity and the poking and prodding that's going on, and the jeering crowd. I felt really bad for the them.
Usually, the people participating in these bullfights come away unscathed, but the week before this bullfight, there had been a bullfight in a neighboring town and someone was gored in the head and died. I'm glad we didn't see anything very bad- just a lot of running around, and once, the bull gored a hole in one of the white cement walls. Someone had just barely jumped out of the way and missed that by a second.
At one of these "bullfights", you only see the bull for a few minutes, because the men keep it running up and down the street. So it's a lot of standing around, and then a few minutes of action, then more standing, and then eating! Bullfights are huge social gatherings here, mainly a time to see and be seen, eat, socialize, meet new people, and talk to your neighbors and friends. Not too long ago, a bullfight was a place to meet a potential boyfriend or girlfriend, and many eventual marriages started at these bullfights.
Our landlord's mom made some great food for everyone. Chocolate cake, pineapple tart, almond cake, assorted sausages, breads, ribs, fruit salad, chips, nuts, etc. We really enjoyed the eating and socialising. :) If one is not lucky enough to be invited to someone's house, one can purchase food from the vendors wandering around: popcorn, homemade potato chips in little bags, candy, corn on the cob, ice cream treats. There are also trucks with hot food: pork sandwiches called "bifanas", sausages, etc.
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