Posted by: Team McSlade | March 30, 2010

Bullfight Sunday and a few random notes

Alright keen and ardent viewers of this travelling four tent circus, how goes it?

As the majority of you reading this are good Australian souls, I am hoping that true to form this question is met with a question. i.e. howzagoin’? (the question mark can be replaced with an exclamation point if so desired)
I was going to regale you all with the Birthday Bullfight on Sunday passed, but I thought most would have seen (at least on TV) a bullfight, but I also want to touch on what I/we miss from Australia that the Spaniards don’t seem to have quite right or to our liking. Not that we are fussy or ungrateful, just observant.

OK, so bullfight, opened at 5, park your bum on a stone step to view the arena, or pay 1.20€ for a brown cushion to help reduce the ‘piles’ (urban legend). At six the pomp and ceremony happens, a couple of blokes bound out on horses, they do a lap, the matadors and their cronies flounce out of the gate and wander into the arena.
A few practices with the care, the bull’s number and weight are paraded and then with a flash out comes Mr Toro, cranked up and keen to do some fancy pants cape waving dude an injury. Unfortunately, the bull is outnumbered and the battle of intellect falls in favour of the Matadors, thus with a few barbs to the back and a poke from a picador’s spear, the bull’s run out of enough blood for the main matador to take the stage
Here’s where the red cape and the sword come into play, with el matador ‘dancing’ with the bull, getting it to spin and to the cheers of ‘Ole’ he does his routine. Misfortune again falls our intrepid bull as he does get the sword thrust in his back, and well, it ends with him being dragged out by three horses. Not a fine way to end.

We saw six ‘matches’, one matador was rubbish and his sword work was a failure (we didn’t like that part for the bull’s sake) and I am happy to say I have been to a bullfight, but I think that’s my time in the arena done.
Oh, the matadors wear pink socks (I want a pair) and a lady two rows behind Jess got heat stroke on an 18 degree day and re-visited lunch. Not so nice.

Photos to be found on the site (no photos of bulls getting run through on the sword, also a few more of Madrid too. Look for Bullfight Sunday – Madrid)

Part II: With what is missed sees family and friends high on the bill; also Colby cheese, bbq shapes and Vili’s pies (and those last three are just Jo’s lot).
For mine; two litres of milk at a sensible price is something I long for. You can buy a litre of milk here for about 54 euro cents but it’s UHT. What possessed the Spaniards to put the milk on the shelf in the cupboard has me stuffed. Jo’s never been a fan of using the little motel UHT milk number in her cuppa in Oz. Now, take that little foil pack, times it by 100 and you have a litre you can happily keep on the shelf (until opened, then into the coolbox).
Medicare. It can be a disaster getting forms filled in, but here we only have travel insurance, not the required SIP card, making medical assistance a hassle.
Salt and vinegar chips. They have them here, but they don’t have the punch desired (also if you want chips here, make sure you like plain salted or ham flavours  – I do, so I am lucky, but others may struggle).
Road rules. Yes, I am glad that I was able to drive at 120km/h back from Madrid, it made it a quicker travel than at home, but seven ‘lane’ roundabouts with no line markings, double parking and being ‘on the wrong side’ can all wear thin.

That’s it for the whinge, actually one more, sport on free tv. Here pay tv has it stitched up, so buy it, head to the pub or try and listen on the radio (again Spanish dialect is a barrier, but at least you know when they score a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!)



  1. All throughout the 70’s, my mum had a giant tapestry of a bullfight on our lounge room wall. You’ve brought it to life. Thank you.

  2. Sweet, it also brought to life the 70’s photos in The Grace Emily of matadors holding cheezel boxes. What the…?
    (Sarcasm is meant to be on mute here, sorry for any offence caused)

  3. He he – S&V chips are what I miss over here as well!!

    Belated Happy Birthday, BTW! Hope you’re all well! Sounds like you guys are having a blast 🙂

  4. […] write this? That’s easy to field, as chips aren’t the same everywhere. As I have mentioned (in Bullfight Sunday and a few random notes) Spanish Salt & Vinegar chips don’t have the bite of their Australian cousins. Emma has […]

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