I’m a little stressed right now, but I want to get this post in before the week catches too much speed.
Wow, what a crazy weekend.
Spent Saturday at an ordination, Sunday at a wedding, and almost went to a funeral today. So many big “life” things happening in such a short span of time. My mind is a little scattered and blurred. It doesn’t help that I am covered in Prickly Heat cooling powder right now either trying desperately to focus on writing a five minute presentation in Thai about “the best compliment I’ve ever received” … Plus I seem to have forgotten some important papers at the hub today that I’m going to have to look for tomorrow (please still be there). Oh yeah, and I’m on my last pair of underwear at the moment so sak paa tomorrow for sure. Hmm and maybe a haircut too …
But, I digress …
Had an awesome time yesterday at my first Thai wedding!
To be honest, I have no idea who the couple is.
As far as I can tell, they are family friends (or maybe cousins?). The morning started at around 6:30am at the house where my host brother, his wife, their kid, and my two aunts were getting ready for the morning gathering. We left about an hour later in my host brother’s pickup.
We made it a little early so everyone was still trickling in and setting up. The soon-to-be-wed couple were in the front, under the house, kneeling down with their hands outstretched and folded. It surprised me a little at how young they looked. I followed one of my aunt’s over to them and poured water onto each of their hands slowly, but silently. For some reason, I couldn’t bring to mind the words of congratulations I had practiced during language simulation. Sorry Ajaan!
Out in the front driveway, a large crowd was gathering. There were people setting up food dishes in a line on the ground and arranging them in some sort of specific order. A “movable” band complete with a full drum set, huge speakers, keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, horns, and mic was in the back waiting for the parade to start. I wasn’t super sure where I was supposed to be, so I waited next to some sugar cane stalks and baby banana trees wrapped with colorful ribbons.
Next thing I knew, a banana tree was in my hand and I was processing with everyone else towards the main house maybe a half kilometer away. It took us around half an hour of dancing and festive merrymaking before I was given a box of Hong Thong and led upstairs to a room where I’m guessing all the food and trees are stored? Oh and by merrymaking I mean some pretty overtly lewd acts being performed by middle aged men and women. I’m talking using the trees we were carrying as penises. One lady even took mine since there was no plastic on the end and traded me for a “condomed” one. Alcohol was being scooped and shared from a communal glass. So fun.
My host family was definitely entertained by my reaction to the craziness …
Food and drink followed along with a period during which guests put money into envelopes to give to the bride and groom. I participated and got to tie a little string on each of their wrists while wishing them good luck and many blessings in the future. Since the day was getting pretty hot, we went home to rest a bit and shower before the evening dinner. I took a short nap …
New place and definitely more people.
I’m happy I got to get some rest. The wedding couple must be so tired from all the ceremony and having to greet so many people. They were standing outside the entrance to a huge field filled with tables. At the front was a big stage. We spent the night eating and drinking basically. There was steamed fish, spicy beef, tom yum soup, slow cooked pork leg, seafood, and a cold souplike-jelly-coconut dessert. As the night progressed, performances on the stage got progressively more interesting. One of the older men at our table bought us all wooden back scratchers from a vendor. No idea why. Definitely had to refuse refills of alcohol on more than one occasion.
When we got back home, I felt like I needed another shower, but passed out before I could make the necessary preparations. Despite the hour of extra sleep I got somewhere in the afternoon, I was exhausted. Somehow, the heat, food, and darkness come together to create a sleep potion with no antidote. Totally took two showers today though. Also invested in that Prickly Heat …
I’m so ready to tackle the rest of this week.