Monday, November 20, 2006

i am white dontvha know

hTurns out I got TRES DRUNK the night before the wedding. Due to a confused communiqué, I and a comrade were under the impression that we were stranded for a good 4 hours. To relieve the boredom we purchased a bottle of Mekhong (sic), which is a sort of rice whisky. No sooner had we poured our first glass each than people we weren't expecting showed up. So we got a couple more bottles. Suffice to say we saw the end of 7 bottles of this stuff and all woke up dead the next day.
Even so I was made to MAN UP and go along to this wedding. We as ELIE comprised the total of the token Barang at the wedding- highly honoured were they to have a table of white folk. We were assigned high ranking family members and plied with drink and a succession of foodstuffs. Jack and I were even made a fuss of as it was known that neither of us partake of the flesh and hence a platter of fruit and a plate of cashews each. Rumour has it that in an attempt to whiz up some animal-free food the kitchen was SET ON FIRE and hence we ate a raw meal. This is just as well because the Khmer have a traditional form of dancing that the Barang were BEGGED to join in with. It went something like this:

Groom: Hello. I am happy you came to my wedding. You must dance! Learn from me!
Me: umm... er...
Groom Grabs my arm.
Me: um... okay then, i'll just copy you.

There was a table in the middle of the dance floor, covered with a red table cloth and a vase of flowers. Two girls of about 17/18 were moving anti-clockwise around the table doing some sort of footwork and complex hand movements.

As soon as a couple of white guys were up at the table about a dozen Khmer shot up to join in and hang out with the Barang. Everyone wanted us to copy them and they all seemed to want to copy any of our "western" dance moves i.e. poor imitations of their own. Normally I'd find being so highly regarded painfully embarrassing and faintly annoying that something as stupid as race should make me important. But I'm glad that everyone was too excited about dancing with Barang at a wedding to care that I moved around that table like a crippled tuna fish suffering an epileptic fit. Lots of smiles and laughing got the token white men through what could have been a mortifying ordeal.

Ooh! This reminds me, every guest gets a present! AWESOME! We all got a key ring with a plastic fruit on. I got some sort of raspberry type thing.

There are too many things I could say about the wedding for me to type here, but several demand a quick mention: the grooms pink silk dinner jacket; they innumerable change of costumes for the newlyweds; the brides gold-coloured genie shoes; the TINY guy who learnt to drive in one afternoon and used to drive troops to fight the Khmer Rouge; older people covering their mouths when the speak French; the instantly replenished stocks of drink; the unfathomable square dance/Macarena song that was played about 5 times; the fact that we got invited to a 2nd wedding on the strength of being Barang; the fact that the only remote inkling of disapproval of us complete strangers was when someone wanted to 'cheers' my glass and realised it had Fanta in it; the special sign language which means you are (un)willing to down your drink and can show extra respect to your drinking partner(s); all the guests turning up on Motos...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home