I went to a cockfight and bullfight last week as part of the Feria de Manizales festivities. I was raised well enough to understand that these events are morally wrong. I still went because I have always been curious about them.
I have to say that I enjoyed both fights, more or less. Not enough to want to go to either on a regular basis but I have to admit I had a fun time. In a way I appreciate fighting for sport. I myself competed in greco roman wrestling way back for over six years. But unlike the cocks or bulls I never died the many times I lost a match. Our fights barely compare in reality.
The Cock Fight
I found myself randomly waiting for a cockfight to start on a night out with friends in Manizales, Colombia. We were at a place with lots of traditional western-style bars (fondas) when I was told they were going to have a cockfight in the back a few minutes later.
A few minutes turned into nearly an hour as they prepped the cocks.
Meanwhile I saw the perfect business opportunity to work as a bookie.
Alright so in reality I bet US$5 on a cock. The real bookie was smart. For a while they showed off one cock while the other was hidden in the back. They fooled me and with everyone else without a clue. We all bed on the less talented bird.
Here I am posing with the loser before the match
Then back to taking more bets
At the time my friends and I were psyched taking shot after shot of aguardiente in anticipation. With a fight in progress we all enjoyed ourselves cheering at the novelty at it all. Until one bird mercilessly ripped the other apart. At that point we went from WOOOOOOOOOOO to ohhhh….ummmm..yeah.
In Manizales Plaza de Toros my Swiss friend joined me after I found us some scalper tickets outside the stadium for US$30 each. Once inside the stadium we settled onto the bleachers and lit the candle provided. The stadium lights went out creating this view.
All around us were burning candles and the atmosphere left us without words.
The opening ceremony began with a bunch of steriotypical men on horses and properly dressed people saying something at the center of the ring. The national anthem and city’s anthem were both played.
It wasn’t long before the matador’s were ready and the bull ran out into the ring.
Then death ensued.
Does this make me a horrible person?