Here’s a ‘flashback Friday’ story for you. It’s still the wedding season here in Phong Nha. I went to one last Monday and am looking forward to an invite to another this coming Monday. Below is about one I attended 2 years ago.
When you get an invite to a Vietnamese wedding you are given a time slot. They range from early morning through to about 4pm and as far as I know the later the slot the more likely it is that you are closer friends or relatives to the bride and groom.
Once your time slot is finished you leave the wedding. The bride and groom drink with each table during that time slot but they don’t sit down or eat. Instead of long speeches a few words are said by the best man, mother, friends etc and then they sing a song!
We were invited, along with everyone from Oxalis to the 4pm slot and as Captain Caveman couldn’t make it I went instead. We got a bus for all of us and travelled about an hour over very bumpy road. As we arrived the best man and his girlfriend welcomed us and sat us down at tables with a burner on each and plates of uncooked food. A waitress put the burner on and told me to wait for the water to boil and then put the tray of prawns and squid in (I think that’s what she said anyway, as she thrust a tray of raw seafood at me).
The food and beers were free flowing and we ate and drank very well. By 5pm other guests were leaving but we stayed. I was only one of two English guests within the group to go into the crowd and shake hands with all the relatives. They didn’t speak English but one guy in a sharp suit said he was from the Mafia and I remembered how to say nice jacket (au đẹp) and everyone laughed and shook our hands more and did cheers with beers.
It was such a good atmosphere but then, all of a sudden, it was the end.
We decided to go on to a karaoke with the bride and groom and their friends. Hilarious!
All the other English group left about 7pm but I stayed with the vietnamese, plus a couple of westerners from Oxalis. The bus back was lively with very loud music and dancing in the isles and we stopped off at Oxalis office for a copious amount of whisky. That’s why I was awake at 6am with a hangover!!!