Safety 3rd.....that is what I always say.....
Right as we pulled up to the rodeo…..I started to get really excited. It looked just like a carnival….only with more alcohol and angry animals. It also became quite clear that Adrian was very popular in the community. I could see why….. he was very outgoing, easy to chat with…….and I forgot to mention that he was the guy you went to when you needed good weed. I swear, it must have taken 30 minutes for us just to get up to the ticket stand……as he made his rounds, making sure that everyone was “taken care of”. We got our tickets…..and as soon as we passed through the sheet metal fence……I knew immediately that this would be a glorious night……and that someone was going to get hurt. There were hundreds of people mashed up to the makeshift arena……but the great thing about being with Adrian was that we walked straight pass the masses of people…directly to the best seats in the house…..the ones on top of the arena fence. Now…..this would NEVER fly in the states…..as the fence is just tall enough to make sure the bulls could not jump over. In fact….the fences were so short, when the bulls came our direction, we had to lift our feet up so that the bulls would not gouge our legs. Now comes the crazy part…….. Apparently, in a Costa Rican rodeo……ANYONE CAN PARTICIPATE. We were sitting on top of the fence and the guy next to me jumped down off the fence into the arena. At first I thought he was working….but I notice that he had a beer in his hand. I looked at all of the other people in the arena and they too……had a frosty beverage in their hand. Drunk, inexperienced locals screwing with bulls?? About 5 bulls into the night……people started to get pretty saucy….and that is when the trampling began. This particular evening….they pulled 3 unconscious people out of the arena. In addition, about halfway through the night……they started tossing plastic bottles of Guaro into the crowd. For those of you who don’t know what Guaro is…..essentially, it is a Costa Rica’s version of Everclear…..except that it is so harsh…..it makes Everclear taste smooth. Who of all people catches a bottle of Satan’s brew?? Yup…..yours truly. Adrian is so pumped that I caught one of the bottles…that he insists that we open it immediately. This stuff is so strong and tastes so damn bad……I dry heave with every shot. After about 30 minutes, we polished the bottle off…….and I realized that I am hammered……along with everyone else at the rodeo.
You might be asking yourself….I wonder if Ashby got in the ring. Damn straight I got in the ring. No way would come all this way not to get into the ring. Now granted, my departure came pretty early…..but I did get in the ring.
When the rodeo ended and it was about 1:00 in the morning. I looked over at Adrian and realized that he was just warming up. There was a big dance starting right outside of the arena…but I was starting to feel the effects of my day. All I wanted to do was lie down in the bushes and go to sleep….but Adrian and his crew wanted to forge ahead. When 2:00 rolled around…..I begged Adrian to unlock my bike so that I could head back and get some sleep. I was worried that finding my way back would be impossible…..but there were plenty of drunk people walking back to town……so it relatively easy getting home.
I cannot tell you how good it felt when my head hit the pillow….tomorrow is a new day.