I really hope you like southern Spain, because I will be posting about it for many, many days to come! That’s why I appreciate you, casual reader, because you don’t expect anything of me…we’ll see how I do!
One of the first places we stopped on our trip was the Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, and if I hadn’t just looked up the name, I probably would have just called it the “bullfighting place.”
Frankly, I didn’t think I’d really enjoy walking around the ring, but it was really very interesting. The only way to see La Maestranza was with a tour, so we bought our tickets and…everything was in Spanish! O dios mio! But with some careful listening, I actually found it pretty easy to understand. Most of the time. Not that I was able to make thoughtful Spanish reflections on what was said then, or that I can even remember any of the details now, but at the time, I do recall feeling quite proud of myself. I might have made guesses at the word for “prodigy” in Spanish. Maybe.
Though there was one point in the tour where the guide had been talking for quite a while, and then one man, alarmed, cried “¿Gatos?” This was when I acknowledged that regardless of its Spanish translation, I’d never have need for the word “prodigy” (“¿prodigio?”). Why were people talking about cats? Turns out, during bull fighting matches, cats would often be released into the ring to add confusion and agitate the bulls. I can only imagine the cats feeling the same way!
But whenever me or my parents became confused by something we saw or heard, we would open our eyes wide and cry “¿Gatos?”
As for the actual bullfighting, nowadays, matches are few and far between. But what was the most surprising to learn was that, despite their untimely death, bulls actually led quite pleasant lives. Most were allowed to grow up freely in lovely green pastures, and experienced no hardship other than the traumatic final hour of their life. Euuuh…sounds a whole lot better than meat production in the U.S., but this is neither the time nor the place.
Oh yes! And we got to see lots of fancy bull fighting suits! Sprechen Sie sassy? Or more appropriately, ¿Habla usted sassy? Sí, señor!
Oh! And this is my 100th post! ¿Gatos?