There's something special about Madrid. In fact, about most of Spain and its surrounding Mediterranean countries. There is the fabled 2000 year history...classic castles and monasteries...romantic hill towns and sea ports...but mostly the kitchens and restaurants. Spaniards love to eat; in fact they will tell you they often eat to love.
What's high on their menus? At first glance, everything that's bad for you. Fats are very big here, especially generous quantities of olive oil and nuts. Rich red wines too, a minimum of seven glasses a week. This whole American thing about low-fats and low-calories doesn't impress most Spaniards who remind the visitor fats are nature's natural appetite suppressant. The Mediterranean diet makes it much easier to control your desires for sweets and sodas.
But what about the Spaniard's famed desire for bull blood?
In fact, the number of bull rings in the country has dropped sharply over the generations. However, they remind th visitor of why the tradition first began. As people learn the limits to their dreams and confront the harsh reality that nature is always king, here they have learned to respect the raw force of the bull as symbolic of the raw forces of nature in their lives. To ceremonially confront the bull -- the world -- is enacting the role of man surviving his world.
The Spanish hosts don't expect visistors to automatically grasp the symbolism, so instead they pass you another glass of wine as they toast this moment of life and friendship together. What better use for your wine and your time....!
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