Saturday, April 18, 2009

i'm a taurus, not an old man

So. About a month ago when I was in Valencia, I went to a bullfight. I know what you're thinking. "Charlie, you are about as right wing as Nemo the fish. You obviously weren't going to enjoy this". But every once in a while, one must dip their wick into the candle of culture and this seemed like an opportunity to do just that (although I am fairly sure getting chased around by a cow was pioneered on a farm in Yorkshire somewhere).

It was unplanned a bit like 'nam, we were wandering around Valencia in the ridiculous heat, between ice creams, and we stumbled upon the plaza de torros. It was cheap and we were bored. In 'nam, with this kind of approach you end up sleeping with a boy that looks like a girl and in Spain, you see a bull getting killed.

I'd like to say I enjoyed myself a bit, but I didn't. It's not the worst thing in the world, but its right up there with midget porn.

We were sat right in the eye of the sun, literally the sun was staring at us. Personally I think it is rude to stare. But what can you say to the sun? Technically it controls the universe, so it probably doesn't care about me getting burnt.
Of course we were half an hour early, so I used the time to increase my chance of skin cancer and watch the old people struggling to get to their seats.

Old people in Spain. I think these people look much older than English old people. As usual I have a theory on this. It's because there is more sunlight in Spain, their wrinkles cast deeper shadows and are therefore more prominent. I noticed the other day in lidl that old people cough a lot here, and that they don't really bother covering their mouths, even in the supermarket. Twats. Whilst choosing bread, chorizo and activia yoghurts, I witnessed three separate coughing fits, by three separate perpetrators. Its probably all that smoking, or maybe there was an asbestos leak in lidl. Or both.
Then I was approached by one of these veterans. She was obviously suffering from some disease, and I'm not just referencing the fact that she was speaking in catalan, this broad was crazy. Not crazy good, like Fatal Attraction, although on second thought that would have been worse. As soon as she started speaking to me, I looked around for a security guard or someone who was getting paid. No one. I finally figured out what she was saying, she wanted to know the date her cheese went off. I told her. She asked again. I told her again. She said something else. I kicked her. No, but I wanted to. Once she got the point that my Spanish was limited, she started saying something like "Seven languages for the humans, one for the dwarfs, and one for the elves. One world language to rule them all.", again that's a lie, but she definitely said something about the world and she looked a bit like a goblin. Whilst at the checkout, I'm sure she was slagging me off to her mate. When leaving I cursed her with arthritis from Mordor.

So. The bullfight. You can guess what happened. They killed some bulls. I could probe deeper, perhaps consider the underlying issues of bullfighting etcetera, but I'd rather talk about how they were dressed. These men didn't belong in a ring, they belonged in Ghetto on Tottenham Court Road. To say they looked gay does no justice to their attire. Tight outfits complete with shiny diamante looking accessories glistening in the sun, waving around pink flags, even Elton would say they were overdoing it. When 'shanking' the bull, they deem this a suitable time to dance around like a fairy. The best part is all these old Spanish men go and cheer them all on, like a beauty pageant with bulls.

After two fights I was growing bored with their outfits, and I was getting slightly irritated by the whole murder thing. Don't get me wrong, I would not take a bullet for my cat and I am not a vegetarian. One of the things I miss most from home is the sainsbury's taste the difference burger range. But when you just taunt an animal for ages, tire it out, gradually stab it some more, finally kill it, then stand absorbing the crowd's applause, well frankly you look like a tosser and its a bit boring. Then expecting me to watch the same thing five times? Not likely.

Then they go on to drag it around the stadium, covering it in sand and making it 100% uneatable. Waste. So I left, secure with both the knowledge that I would only ever go to one of these things again if there was a barbecue after wards, and that my skin was a shade of red not even Dulux could match.

The positive thing that I noticed was that everyone (tourists not included) who attended this pitiful attempt at a sporting event had grey hair. Old people. After speaking to Spanish people my age, I realised this is very much a dying tradition. They told me they are not fans at all, they think it is cruel and inhumane, then we all ate chorizo.

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