At it again

It may be hard to start anew, but we often forget the lessons of the past and are thus allowed to move forward with more rewarding mistakes. I am "at it again" writing this blog, which begins in in December because I accidently erased it. I am "at it again" living abroad because I I erased from my memory the continous miscommunication and confusion of it. Luckly you can sit back in the comforts of your native language and culture and enjoy my adventures, hopefully with a laugh or snicker.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Taiwanese wedding

So I will say right now, if I were Taiwanese, I would elope. Not that I'm not American and doing that more or less, but if I was Taiwanese it wouldn't even be a question.

I went to my first Taiwanese wedding last weekend. One of my Chinese teachers got married. It was actually her engagement which is like wedding part one, for the bride, and the actual wedding is for the groom. There is a difference of ceremony, but it is so unlike the states that I can't explain that too you, especially since it's only for close family and friends. So basically I did what would be rude in the states, I went to the reception, but not the ceremony. The reception was on the 3rd floor of a seafood restaurant. There were weddings on the 1st and 2nd floor too. Actually I think it must have been an auspicious day for weddings because on the drive to the wedding, Colin and I saw at least 5 other receptions.

We walked in and handed over our hongbao, that's the red envelope full of money that you give as a gift for these sorts of things. The wedding planners wrote down how much we had given (you know, so you know who your real friends are) and we were handed a big bag before being accosted with the English question "Sophie's friends? Sofia's friends?" and shuffled off to one of the last open tables. The bag had a big box with a cookie inside that was maybe 18' diameter. That is what our hongbao got us apparently. The cookie is very traditional and has to do with the bride's luck. I was kinda excited about it until I found out that it was stuffed with dried sweetened meat. I've made the mistake of eating that before and was not going to do it again. I don't understand how meat can go in a cookie, but my Taiwanese co-workers like it so I've given it over to them.

After sitting down, plates upon plates of seafood came out. We were sitting with strangers and it was very loud, what with the kareoke in the background and all. I couldn't understand anything anyone was saying, but Colin mangaged to and had a nice conversation that broke the "we have foreigners at our table" tension. We ate for about 2 hours. In that time many people sang kareoke, there were several speeches and they played "Volare" 4 times. Sophia wore 3 different dresses and went around to toast everyone. In the end, people started to pack up the leftovers and soemone took the wiskey too. We got goodie bags of long life soy milk and that was it.

I must say, it made my slight sadness at not being able to have everyone I know at my wedding fade. I wouldn't get to talk to you anyway.