Vietnamese brides go through at least three dress changes during their wedding day - that's why you see Thuy in a white dress and a pink one in these reception pictures.
One minute she was wearing a beautiful white gown and the next she was in a pink princess dress. We're not sure how she slipped in and out of a dressing room so quickly, but I think she might just be a really good onstage performer.
Wedding receptions here seem to consist of coming, eating and leaving, which Katherine says is what the ants chant about the grasshoppers in the movie "Antz." "They come, they eat, they leave..."
That's basically what we did. The food was delicious - five courses - and the only one of us who was disturbed by the food at all was Katherine. After getting the baby pig's ear placed in her rice bowl, she began to comment upon a "'theme" in her life: getting undesirable animal parts at weddings (from a Western perspective, that is). Her fear stems from the only other wedding she went to in Vietnam, when a fish head was placed in her bowl. Tarn - only three months from turning from vegetarianism - took the hit, or took the baby pig's ear in this case - a favor he reminded her many times through the night that she "owed him for." (In the picture below, Tarn is perfecting his "blue steel" look).
Yeah, so after the five courses, we looked around and the two-hundred- or-so-guests began to disappear. There was no dancing, no lingering...after the female performer sang three songs up front and Thuy and Dung made their way around the tables toasting, we realized that the tables were empty. Maybe because it's such a long day for everyone.
Well, it's official, Thuy is married. For the first time her life, Thanh will go home without her sister - something that I can't think about too much. Thuy will still be at the fabric stand every day, but she no longer lives down the alley. I saw Thanh sort of linger saying goodbye to Thuy at the reception (right after this picture was taken of the six of us), but Thuy waved her on and just said, "go." I don't think they can think about it too much, either.
Tarn, Katherine and I agreed that this is a nice way to "go out." We all started this thing together, and we are all going our separate ways in less than a month. We are having a goodbye party at the castle on Saturday night. Time keeps on slipping into the future...