Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bullfighting and friends

So here were are back in America and the culture shock has hit us. I have forgotten how much violence is ingrained in our society. One of the luxuries of living in Alex has been the lack of exposure to crime. Egypt has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world and with all the poverty you'd figure that they would get with the program and start beating and killing people, but instead Egyptians are more likely to offer you a cup of tea and ask you a bunch of much for poverty breeding crime. But back here at home it's nice to have a reminder that you are constantly in danger of illegal aliens who not only come to steal your job but want to rape and pillage your family members (at least that is what I gather form the tea baggers in the rants and raves section on Craigslist) and of course there is Homeland Security to make sure you don't forget the war on terrorism, just in case you're wondering the national threat level is still Orange. Sarcasm aside, just open any newspaper or turn on the news and you'll know what I mean...violence and fear is sensationalized, an obsession in America. There was an interesting BBC documentary film series that came out several years ago that touches on the propagation of fear called The Power Of Nightmares. Check it out. 
Ana believes this cool theory and it goes like this: "when it's your time to go it's your time to go" so it was our time to go on down to Mexico for some bullfighting action. I know you've been watching the news and reading the papers about all the killings from the drug war (25,000 and rising since Presidente Calderón declared war on the cartels in 2006) and maybe you are wondering why the hell we would want to go there. Good tacos of course. 
The sign says it all, the point of no return.

Not our favorite bullring in the world...the old one in central Tijuana made of rickety wood was dismanteled several years ago to make way for a new shopping center (which still hasn't been built). However, today was the 50th anniversary of Plaza Monumental de Tijuana...a former automobile border crossing once stood on these grounds.  
Like I mentioned, we crossed for the tacos.

The Master of Ceremonies

Our friend Güero used to take care of the mules back at the old Plaza and hook Sr. Lugo and I up with bloody banderillas. The purpose of these horses is to pull out the dead bull carcass from the ring. 

The iglesia where the matadores y picadores say what might be their last prayer. 
The cerveza 

Los Forcadores getting prepared for the pega de cara (the act of eight forcadores taking the bull down with their bare hands, in fact they face the bull head on). See them in action in the video at the end of this post.

Sr. Lugo and Ana on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon.
This has been an atypical summer in San Diego this year.

The music starts as the procession enters the ring and the cotton candy gets sold.
The waves were good that afternoon, this photo was taken from atop of the bullring and shows the US side. This area's is known as Friendship Park and is part of Border Field State Park. It is a place where friends and families gather on both sides. The fence that divides the US and Mexico goes into the ocean. To learn more go here
The popularity of the toros is slowly fading and at the time of writing this Barcelona has banned bullfighting starting in 2012.

What made the afternoon unique was that the bullfighting was preformed by Los Rejoneadores (on horseback). See video at the end of the post.

We made our way up to Ventura and Santa Barbara to visit or friends Jill Milk, Huck Finn, and Baby El 

Mangolicious aka Queen of the Boulevard aka Beryl showing off her new shopping cart chairs

Click on the link above to see his amazing photos.

A couple of Sir Walter's Wayang Golek Puppets (Indonesian)

To learn more click here


Potential lies beyond the sign

4th of July

Fireworks or strange sea creatures.

Third year anniversary shot.

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