Okay, I can't even believe how amazing this weekend has been. First of all, I want all of you to know that I finally feel at home here. It took a month but I can now say that I am settled in and absolutely IN LOVE with this city! So yesterday was indepence day, well actually it is the 16th. But they celebrate it kinda like new years, it starts at 12am! So, we went into plaza de armas (where the city hall building is) and hung out for a while. Then people started to gather, in anxious anticipation of the Governor's speech and the VIVA MEXICO chant! We got there at around 6:30, wandered around for a bit, then ate a delicious sandwich while waiting. We stood infront of the building for a good four hours! There was a concert going on of a mariachi band and a few different AMAZING singers! So we sang a ton and just listened/observed the craziness going on around us. At one point in the night a group of runners came through the plaza with a torch that they were carrying through the country. They were on their way to San Miguel de Allende which is a good hour away in a car. These guys weren't messin around.
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for... The governor came out and addressed the crowd by shouting all of these VIVA statements, to which the croud responded... VIVA! haha. This went back and forth for about 5 mintues. And then out of NO WHERE came the craziest firework show I have ever seen! They were shooting of from all of the buildings around us, and were insync with the song that was playing. It was CRAZY! And, gotta love Mexico, they were so low that the ashes were falling on us hahah. Then at the end after the finale of craziness happened it started raining CONFETTI!!! Of course! What's a party without that shiny stuff! It was surreal. Basically no words can do that experience justice, but I tried :)
Tonight we had the crazy opportunity of going to a bull fight (corrida de toros). We ran into the centro this morning (actually for exercise) to buy our tickets from this taco stand who happens to sell them. And as we ran into the centro we found out that there was an independence day parade going on... OF COURSE! So we basically drew a ridiculous amount of attention to ourselves (it was Me, Sara, Emily, Justin and Zach... our five man wolf pack). We laughed pretty hard at how american we looked at that moment. Running the morning that everyone else in the country is sleeping and exhausted from partying the night before haha. So we bought our tickets, Sol especial (in the sun), for 100 pesos. Which, we were SO excited about when we found out that it started at 6 so every seat would be in the sun, even the 160 peso tickets that others in our group bought. Stoked on our frugal choice. So, we took a taxi the Juriquilla, a suburb outside of Queretaro and arrived at around 5:45. I can't believe that we actually signed up for that! So we showed up and it was this little stadium in the middle of this super nice neighborhood. confusing. Our seats were the equivilant to the nose bleeds, but it didn't matter because the stadium was tiny anyways. For those of you who don't know, in a bull fight there are 3 toreros (bull fighters) and 6 bulls. What. In the very beginning all of the toreros, the two guys on armed horses, and the other matador's in training come out into the ring and the musicians play a song. It is super hard to explain how the process works so I will try my best. There are the three main toreros and then there are about 6 other guys who have pink and yellow cloaks. Those 6 are the ones who taunt the bull initially, to get him all riled up for the actual matador to fight. Then after he has been sufficiently taunted by the others, the men on armed horses come out and give him a stab in the top of his back/neck. It is not a deep wound, just enough to weaken the bull. And then comes the show. Each matador had a very distinct way about his fighting. I was surprised at how young they all looked! When the first torero came out and was fighting the bull it was such a surreal experience. He fought him for about 15 minutes and then killed him, which was insane. Our favorite was the third torero. He was SUCH a showman. It was insane how close the bull got to him, each time he went under the cloak it seemed like he could ram into him any second! After he killed it, the crowd went wild! The way in which he fought it made it seem like so much more of an art/sport than just the killing the poor animal. When we entered they gave us this white square piece of fabric and none of us knew what it was for. Maybe it's for sweat cause we're sitting in the sun? No. When the thrid matador was finished everyone started waving their white squares! They are a sign of approval/favoritism toward the torero! So cool. He was pretty much on cloud nine. The final bull of the night which he fought was crazy, and at one point in the fight someone threw their hat into the ring. The torero knelt down infront of the bull, picked up the hat, and put it on the bull's head. Again, the crowd went wild! That absolutely MADE the whole night. He was amazing. It was such an insane experience. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about it, especially the fact that people come every year and watch it as if it were a sport. But after experiencing it, I can completely see how it IS an art! And, for those of you who are having a hard time with this, you'll be happy to know that they give the meat of the bull to the poor people in the area, which is actually very loving and seems pretty practical to me. Anyways, it was quite a cultural experience!
Tomorrow we are going to Tequisquiapan, which is a little pueblo with a water park and a basket weaving museam and some other cool stuff. Adventure is out there!
Thanks for reading! Sorry that this was kinda scattered, I just wanted to write about it tonight before all of the details escaped my brain!