Rubbernecking in Girón

By Rob Packer

While I was staying with Jimena’s family in Bucaramanga, we took an evening trip to Girón, a nearby town famous for its colonial centre. We arrived on a Saturday night, which is prime time for weddings in Colombia and drove through the crowded streets of the town looking for someone to park. Eventually we found a place on a square and parked there. As we pulled up we noticed we were parked next to a wedding limousine; Jimena shouted out “¡Esa no es buena señal” (That’s a bad sign!) and we looked to see the bride was sitting there waiting for the groom to turn up. We got out of the car to join the crowd of people on the other side of the square waiting to see the wedding, or rather, if the groom was going to turn up. After reminiscing about a similar scene in the Sex and the City film and about the experience of watching it in Hong Kong with yelps and gasps every time a new handbag was shown, the groom turned up, possibly in a colectivo—one drove past and suddenly the groom appeared out of nowhere. Everyone agreed that the bride was very pretty and we went for a walk around town.

Waiting for the wedding to get started. Tick tock!

The night-time streets of Girón.

The main church in Girón. We visited in early January when Christmas decorations seemed to be in every public space in Colombia.

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