Today I had such an amazing experience. Our program bought us tickets to go to Pamplona to see the Running of the Bulls!!! That was so amazing!
Let’s get into some logistics here. It (the running of the bulls event) goes on for 8 days. Saturday to Saturday! It begins every morning at 8am with the bulls running down the streets (that are blocked off so the bulls know where to run) with “trained” runners in their places. Side note: runners are not allowed to be drunk (dangerous of course). The bulls run down about 3 blocks then into the Plaza de Toros. Then, from there the bulls are guided to go into a designated area outside the arena, away from the people and runners. They do this thing where they put one wild bull into the arena with the people and let it go wild, which they do with about 6 different bulls. Yes, people get hit and possible broken bones. In the afternoon, they do a (or a few?) bull fight (I’m unsure of the number). And this repeats for 8 days! Enjoy it, I guess! (people were sleeping in sleeping bags in the parks nearby and Pamplona looks like a hell-hole… terrible because people just drink all day everyday)! So it’s dirty but it’s a pretty city (just not during this week) when it’s clean.
I will post videos on the event, because I prefer videos over pictures of this!
Anyways, I really enjoyed this thing. Let’s get to some real stuff here. So I talked it over with my pops when I arrived back at the apartment, but we basically agreed that this is animal cruelty. But he was glad I experienced it. I agree though, basically, they bring these bulls into the arena and taunt them in the morning. At night, they have a bull fight. If you do not know what a bull fight is, let me explain it to you, and I just learned about this today so don’t judge my knowledge. There’s a bull, a matador, and people on horses. The beginning is suppose to be a beautiful piece (look it up on youtube or something for a visual) of the bull and matador. Then the people on the horses throw spears at the bull near its head to make it weak enough to not lift its head up to fight. Eventually, they try to throw a spear at it’s heart to kill it. Apparently, it was meant to be a privilege for the bull and the matador to do this beautiful piece. It’s tough to even explain. The bull is then cleaned and cut up by the butcher. Ok, moving on. I made my statement.
The part where the runners taunt the wild bulls is so confusing. SO they let out one bull and the runners from the streets are still in this arena and they taunt the bull. They can taunt it by hitting it’s butt, pulling its tail, jumping at it, or just running from it. Anything to get it aroused. They did this about 6 times with 6 different bulls. I thought this part was fun. So the main point is to get the bull upset and have it chase you but you being able to escape the bull. A couple of times, people were fast enough to run away but there are so many people in the arena that it was hard to escape the bull. I was literally in the edge of my seat the whole time, because people could get seriously hurt but maybe because it was my first time. Either way, it was so exciting. The number one rule is to respect the animal. You’re not allowed to ride the animal or to grab its horns in an aggressive way (like to have control over it)!!! Because you will be beat up by the locals. This guy got shoved on top of the bull and was riding it and I was cheering because now he can say he has ridden a bull. Apparently, that’s not the right idea. He was hit/punched in the face, slapped, and kicked numerous times and then someone finally said to him to basically respect the animal and don’t ever do that again. It was funny, but sad. I was so shocked, but it didn’t make sense that we couldn’t disrespect the animal but it might get killed tonight? Right, what part of it is right!? Then again, if you think of it as a beautiful piece of art then I guess we have to respect the animal!
In the end, it was an amazing experience, and I’m glad I went. I actually think it would be awesome to be a runner within the streets! You can always just hide up against the wall and be safe that way. Chad what do you think about that idea!!? Let’s do it next year? I told my dad and he didn’t say much! Ehh, it was so exciting and just being in a bull fighting arena that you hear about in history class was awesome! You know? Just think about that! Now everything is hitting me that I’m seeing them in person instead of via textbooks or internet! Crazy and mind-blowing!