Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fiesta Brava

While in English the term bullfighting evokes a bunch of idiots hurting cattle, the Spanish term fiesta brava (lit. brave party) depicts a festivity that involves as much art as big cojones. The popularity of los toros (lit. the bulls, as fiesta brava is also known) has permeated to Chilango jargon in multiple allusions. Here is a colorful handful.

Hacer la faena (to work the bull) => To complete successfully a hard task
Cambio de tercio (Switch of third) => To go from beer or wine to liquor
Traer media estocada (With half of the spade in) => Not quite drunk but far from sober
Llevarse orejas y rabo (take the ears and tail of the bull) => Grand success
Partir plaza (walking in the middle of the arena) => To catch everybody's attention, in a proudly manner
Vuelta al ruedo (tour around the arena) => Deserved recognition
En barrera (ring-side location) => Right next to action and the blood
Sol general (the cheapest section in the plaza) => Common, not special

In conversation:

Cuando el Licenciado Godínez llegó de la comida ya traía media estocada. Me tocó ver el pleito con su esposa en barrera. La neta que el Lic. se llevó orejas y rabo con tamaño faenón.

[When Mr. Godinez returned from lunch, he was far from shit-faced but drunk. I saw him fighting with his wife from three feet. I swear he did a grand job in the way he worked her.]

Plaza Mexico, "the biggest and most comfortable in the world" according to the Plaza's flyers (right next to the Blue Stadium, home of the soccer team Cruz Azul).

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