Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two thoughts

Two recent observations on Spain:

1) Bullfighting posters haven't changed in the past hundred years. Seriously. Those posters that you see on postcards or that they sell personalized in Plaza Mayor are supposed to be old-fashioned looking. The modern ones are identical. Is this some sort of metaphor for the sport as a whole? Rooted in a bygone era, refusing the change in the face of modern Spain? (Bullfighting could probably be a whole post some time. I don't know if I'll ever write it, though, 'cause I feel like I'd need to research the sport to give it a fair chance. And I don't really feel interested enough in it to do so.) Anyway, the other day I came across some posters for a bullfight in Cuenca. I thought at first they were vintage posters for sale. Then I saw the date. July 29, 2008.

2) Going to a wedding, as a simple guest, is no small affair here. Women are expected, even encouraged, to get a new dress, go to the pelu (peluqueria = hair salon) in the morning, and get completely decked out. There are stores dedicated entirely to the purchase of a wedding ensemble - dress with matching shoes, bag, and, depending on the season, wrap. And the plaza in front of the local church where the wedding is to take place turns into quite the make-shift runway. People unconnected to the wedding gather outside to check out the fashions on display - the bride's gown is top of the list, of course, but no one, not even the Ave Maria singer, is immune to the prying eyes of the local women.