Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wedding Crashers

November 13th or so, 2008

As a prelude to buying a beer at the small shop two doors down, we decided to wandered down the road to see what was going on in the “wedding” tent that had been being constructed throughout the week. When we got there, two of the volunteers from the UK – Jill and Sarah—had already engaged the groom in conversation. Bill, Sue (couple from UK) and I arrived in time to (undoubtedly) overwhelm the wedding party with the number of uninvited white people standing at the tent’s entrance. However, they seemed DELIGHTED by our presence and invited the lot of us in for dinner. The UK girls, being proper polite Brits declined not once but several times! (I was ready to dive in immediately but held my tongue) When he finally insisted that we at least have some coffee, I could keep my mouth shut no longer and said I’D have some coffee (for sure!!! Hadn’t tasted coffee for almost a month by now!!)

We drank the coffee (I had TWO) and then were invited, once again, to join them for the wedding feast. (We were superstars by then… the video man had filmed all of us throughout our coffee drinking and mingling with random strangers at the tent’s entranceway). I immediately accepted (I had been eating little more than rice and dahl every night for three weeks and I knew that was what we were most probably having for dinner this night). And so we ate…. No, we feasted.

Oh, the food was delicious! The groom’s cousin escorted me through the buffet telling me the details of each of the culinary delights. (I wanted to pass up anything that had rice as an ingredient and load up on the nan – garlicky flatbread – and paneer – cheese – dishes but it didn’t seem polite so I took some of EVERYTHING but A LOT of the nan and cheesy dishes… no meat… this was a “veg” wedding).

Of course, we had only intended to go out and buy a bottle of beer so I didn’t have my camera (darn!) and I was dressed in rather scruffy (from a long day in the mosaic workshop) jeans. The wedding guests (females), of course, were adorned in colorful saris that seemed to have been spun from an out-of-control Kitchenaid loaded with rainbows and peacocks. The men, not so much…. we were in good company with those that seemed to have stopped by on their way home from work for a tasty (and substantial) bite to eat

The cousin of the groom served as our host and stood “guard” over the 5 of us as we sat in our plastic chairs scarfing down our overloaded plates of absolutely delicious food. It really was culinary heaven. I smiled and “namasted” everyone that sat near me. The wedding videographer (a guy with a small video camera in one hand and a rack of blazing lights in the other) appeared regularly to document our progress from gate crashing to major consumption to as-graceful-as-possible exit.

We met the family (the father of the groom was gorgeous hot! But, of course, married, with enough children that they had populated their hometown in India and had now spilled into Nepal.) We then bid adieu and waddled home, happy and gastronomically content! Our strategy from here on in is to casually stroll by every wedding tent we see -- at dinnertime, of course!


1. Jill and Sarah ran into the entire wedding crew in Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha) the next day…. Coincidence??

2. Bill happened upon the wedding family two days later as the bride (we think, although she appeared to be old enough to be the groom’s mother and very well could have been) and groom (festooned with an over-sized ruffled color of flowers and feathers) were heading to the Hindu temple to be blessed.

3. Boy, I wish I knew the whole story....We were told day two was dedicated to defoliating the bride (and if she looked like Bill described, probably a good idea). We thought they said the arty moved to India on Friday, but they were still here...obviously, we misinterpreted a lot... Maybe I can get a peek at the wedding photos when they are developed and at least determine who the wedding couple are!

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