Today we woke up and met at 9:30 am to watch a very large parade. By “very large,” I mean: this parade started at 10 am and didn’t reach our location until 1:30 pm. The parade didn’t end where we were until at least 5:00 pm, or even later.
It was a very, very large parade. So large that my camera died halfway through (in its defense, I also forgot to charge it last night and it only got about an hour this morning). The parade was a lot like parades in the USA, with tons of people along streets and floats. A few differences: the “queens” and “princesses” and “Senoritas Colombia” and other pageant winners were dressed in tradition costume or bikini-style costume (think the movie Rio), and danced suggestively as they passed by. This is contrary to the straight-laced, Lilly Pulitzer Posture favored by my Etiquette Book and American society.
In fact, dancing in risque costumes seemed to be a theme (and quite a fun one!)
This was the parade after standing for four hours and it still not reaching us.
So we took selfies.
While the Devil and his companions walked around. (Also taking selfies).
Finally it started!
Like the USA, it included horses. Unlike the USA, said horses did not have poop baggies.
Because Ibague is the center of culture, art, and music in Tolima (or something like that), there were tons of cultural dancers, with many representations from other Latin American countries.
It was much more fanciful, too, than American parades, with magical characters loping down the streets (stilts are super popular, apparently).
And when you’re tired and the parade stops (which it frequently did), you just sit with the actual spectators.
There were very many World Cup floats, understandably. Colombia plays Brazil this week and it’s going to be one hell of a game.
Then there was a massive segment dedicated entirely to music. And by “dedicated entirely to music,” I mean they had five foot paper mache 32nd notes.
Also, this one’s for Kay, but they had a Brazilian drumming/dancing squad that made drumming sexy. There was a drummer that looked like Khal Drogo, no lie! (I also have a thing for guyliner anyway, so that might just be me, but I don’t think so).
After this my camera died. But it went on for four hours, at least, and I saw Miss Colombia (who will participate in the next Miss Universe competition); I saw the gay pride segment of the parade; these alcohol-sponsored trucks with the MOST attractive men (and I can say that because for every sculpted, oiled-down, attractive male that was available for the girls in our group to admire, if we so chose, there were five sculpted, oiled-down, attractive women for the guys in our group to ogle over, if they so chose).
Afterwards the city continued the party long into the night, and so did we. I guess the club was super excited that we were there, because they provided us a free bottle of whiskey and these yellow headbands, and offered us the VIP section, but it was too small for all of us to properly dance in.
Here, you can pool money and just buy an entire bottle of alcohol- most often aguardiente, but also whiskey, rum, tequila, and others. They bring the bottle, a set of shot cups, and a plate of lime, carrot, mango, grapefruit, or what have you. You then pass the bottle around until it’s gone. Much cheaper than the States, if you pay for every drink in the States (which, if you’re a girl, you usually don’t have to).
Today I’m going to a farm and livestock show, because my host dad is a veterinarian and sells medicines for large cattle. I’m going back to my 4-H roots!
Until tonight (: