19 March 2014

New friends, mascletas, and killers

After seeing a few of the beautiful fallas in our barrio, I decided we should head to the city centro to see the huge fallas.  In the way there we ran into our Australian house mates who were headed in the same direction.  We all immediately got it off and walked and talked for a long time in search of mascletas.  

Las mascleta are the noisy firecracker displays set up in each barrio.  Some are bigger than others but all are loud enough to rattle your inner eardrum and shake up your heart.  The deafening sound is like none other.  

After missed a few mascleta by mere minutes we finally found a small one and waited here for the explosions.  It was well worth it.   Our housemate were so cool.  Originally of chinese and Malaysian decent they lived in Australia and were recently married.  Their plan was to spend 2 years traveling the world, a year in Europe and a year in Asia!  I LOVE meeting other travelers!!! After a few hours we parted ways.  Our plan was to go to a bullfight, which they'd done the previous day and enjoyed, and they were in the search for more fallas and mascletas.  The bullfight would be la morenas one day early bday present from me!

La morena and I made it to the bull fighting rink bought our tickets and grabbed a delicious quick lunch and a Spanish sandwich fast food joint.  Before we knew it we were af the bullfighting rink  watch or first of 8 matches. Of course the first match had to be the most traumatizing.  The bull was not going to be an easy win and was a true champ.  After being repeatedly stabbed he fell in dispair, while the matadors tried to deliver the final blow by stabbing him in the too if his head. He didn't die.  The matador continued to stab him 5 times to be exact but the bull refused to die, he bravely stood up and began to charge again.  Every single one of us was in shock!  Finally the bull couldn't take t anymore and dropped only to be stabbed several more times as his body quaked and quivered.  I was traumatized and sick all at once.  To make matters worse there were 7 more matches to follow.  This is one of those cultural
Differences that I find it almost impossible to appreciate.  It was bloody, cruel and unfair.  Right next to us however wa a very sharp older man who was a former matador and explained so many thing to us in detail.  He spoke so passionately about the kill that it was like poetry.  The matador (or killer, from its Spanish meaning) is supposed to be skilled enough to have a clean kill in which the bull is not repeatedly stabbed as we saw in the first fight.  After so much killing and conversation we'd made a new friend Carmelo Espinosa.  After the bullfight he led us to a restaurant that had the best paella in town and went in his way back to Madrid.  

After a nice long super delicious dinner we stepped out of be restaurant to see the smaller fallas were being burned already!  It was amazing.  After seeing some small fires we decided to take a taxi home to rest before leaving to see the bigger fallas but at midnight.  We hulled at home for about an hour then headed out with our German housemate Julian, just to see the larger fallas in our barrios burn.

Today was everything Spanish, everything Valencia, everything fallas.   Having la morena to share it all with also meant everything to me.  Feliz Cumpleaños nena!!!!

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