11/12/09 - A Wedding for Laugh Cafe‏

The girl who manages Laugh Cafe, Hong, when I am not there -- and when I am there too, got married on Thursday 3 December. Hong married her long time boyfriend, Quang. Quang also works at Laugh Cafe.

I was in Cambodia and did not think that going to the wedding was possible, or affordable. I should explain that the wedding was planned for 2010 and the December 2009 date was only given to me a few weeks ago. Apparently the star gazers had chosen this a the most propitious date, and who are we mere mortals to argue with that. My plans were to catch the $10 bus to Bangkiok to visit David, but I decided to check with a few travel gurus to see if there was a low cost airfare that would get me to Bangkok via DaNang (DaNang is the closest airport to Hoi An, where Laugh Cafe is). A fare was found that I could live with and so I miraculously appeared at the wedding; [actually, I did call 24 hours before arriving]. My bedroom at Laugh Cafe was occupied, with members of Hong's family, so I stayed at the fairly reliable Hoa My hotel in Hoi An. The wedding was modest by Vietnamese standards, there were only about 350 to 400 guests (no-one knows the number, because people just seem to arrive. It was held at one of the large hotel/reception places on the river in Hoi An. One of Hong's sisters (Yen), came with her 5 (or 6?) room mates from DaNang University.

It was a great day, lasting fro around 8:30am until around 3pm. Most of the guests wandered off, after huge quantities of food and drink were consumed, at around 1:30 pm - then the immediate family sat down with more food and drink, to do it again. By this stage, many of the males were fairly sloshed. Part of the ritual is every time you pick up your glass, you invite everyone at the table to drink with you. Loud clicking of everyone's glass with everyone else is mandatory. Periodically, a "bottoms up" round was required. Fortunately, I avoided quite a few of these, with the excuse that I had to take a photo of it - or something else. Here is a link to the photos on the web

I left Hoi An and headed for Bangkok, to see son David and his girlfriend, Jo, who I am pleased to report are both well. David is spending a year with the ILO of the UN and has just returned from Chennai, India. I return to Australia next week to try to find some resources to continue our work here. We have a crying need for more laptop computers (and some functional mobile phones) to assist impoverished Uni students, and to provide resources to other agencies.

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