Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oh, Solo Vino

There are a lot of dogs at the spa. Some are permanent residents (Preciosa and Lucy), some have owners, (Panchito, Max, and of course Biscuit), and occasionally there are other dogs who pass through (Percy, Falcor, and many others who've been adopted by guests and taken to the States).

A new dog showed up in September sometime, and he's trying to make himself a permanent resident of the spa. He's white with black ears and spots, and bigger than most of the dogs here--he's probably 75 pounds and pretty tall. He's sweet, gentle, and ultimately VERY lazy. He goes on the hikes with guests in the morning, and the rest of the day you can find him sleeping. Sleeping on the lawn, sleeping on the patio, and mostly sleeping on the lounge chairs at the pool.

When he first showed up, someone told me he was Fernando's dog, so when I saw Fernando with the dog I said "¿Como se llama su perro?" I don't speak much Spanish, but I can manage that, at least.

Fernando replied "Solo Vino." So the dog's name is Solo Vino.'s not. Because "Solo vieno" basically means "He came by himself." So when I said "What's your dog's name?" Fernando said "He came by himself." As in, he's not mine.

It took me about three months to figure this out.

I think Fernando calls him Kujo.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ole ole ole!

My friend Alicia came to visit me all the way from Switzerland. The last time we met up was in Paris, now Mexico...I can't wait to see what's next! It was so fantastic to have a friend here.

From Rodeo

She was here on Virgin of Guadalupe Day, so we went into La Venta to go to the rodeo. Of course I would have never gone without Alicia--safety in numbers. Not to mention she's a native Spanish speaker. There was a guy sitting next to us with two young boys (10 and 2). Alicia spoke with them in Spanish for a while, and the the 10 year old turns to me and says "So where are you guys from?" in archetypal American English. Turns out they live in Oklahoma but they're here visiting--or sort of visiting, because they've been here for six months, they're running a store, and the kids are in school. That's a very long visit...later in the evening we met his wife and other two sons. Very nice people.

But back to the rodeo. The cowboys are insane. First of all, there are tons of people in the ring during the ride. I've been to a couple rodeos before (I did grow up in Montana, after all), and as far as I remember, the ring is empty except for the rodeo clowns who are there to distract the bull if things get out of control. But there were five or six guys on horseback in the ring, along with one ballsy freaking macho dog. While they were prepping the bull and rider, the guys in the ring made their horses dance to the music.

From Rodeo

From Rodeo

There was a 10 or 15 piece brass band playing some crazy Mexican music. Alicia translated the songs for me. They're ALL love songs. "I love you. Why don't you love me? I don't care if you don't love me but really I do." Oh, and there was one about drugs and one about losing weight. The horses that dance in the ring are GORGEOUS.

From Rodeo

Finally they had the bull ready. They get them into a little pen so they can't move and put the ropes on. In the States they have one set of ropes just behind the front legs, and the rider uses the ropes as a handhold. In Mexico they have two sets of ropes, one behind the front legs and one in front of the rear legs. The rider doesn't use his hands at all. Picture this freaking guy sitting on a bucking bull and holding on only using his legs. Some guys didn't last too long, but a lot of them didn't fall off. In the States you have to stay on for eight seconds. I don't know what it is in Mexico.

From Rodeo

The bulls' horns are capped, which is a good thing, because one guy got flung up in the air a few times and landed on the bull's head. His foot was caught in the front ropes, so he was bounced around before they got him free.

After the ride is over, the mounted guys in the ring converge in on the bull. One guy will lasso a front leg, and another guy will lasso a rear leg on the opposite side. This way the bull can't buck. If the bull is really pissed, the give him a little room to run around, but they're always tightening in on him. They use their horses, their fearless, beautiful horses, to press against the bull with their chests and subdue him. Well, I don't know if he's subdued, but it restricts his movement and they are able to get control.

From Rodeo

I can't say that rodeos will ever be my favorite pastime, but I'm really glad I got to go and experience a little bit of real Mexico.
Blog Template by