Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 3- Cultural experience to the max

Wow, so the wedding... where to start. So the marriage itself wasn't too different than a marriage in the US; the bride walked down the aisle with her dad and the dad handed off the daughter to the groom half way then some old guy married them. Here are the things that were different:

  • Lloyd has 2 younger brothers. I only thought he had the one younger brother that was getting married, but no he has two. We met the other brother before the wedding. Lloyd introduced us to a guy and said it was his brother and Jon thought he was just saying that because he will often call his cousins his brothers etc, but it was his actual brother that his mother had birthed. The parents gave their youngest son to his uncle to raise because they couldn't have kids. That was some crazy-biblical-like child trading stuff that I didn't know really happened. I did think that was pretty cool though and it kind of makes sense.
  • The bride's parents are Buddhist and the mother of the bride wanted to not have any meat at the meal because they don't eat meat. This in itself made for some interesting dishes and a never ending joke about the lack of meat by Lloyd's family (most of his family members are Taiwanese aborigines who really like eating meat). The meal was probably ten courses of different strange vegetable things. I ate almost everything, but none of it was that great. The thing I liked the best was the very last course it was a mango soup type thing with little tapioca balls and some grapefruit in it. It was fantastic. Sadly most of the other stuff was not so great. My second favorite was probably the lettuce wraps that had pine nuts in them. The other dishes were things like really bland soup with strange vegetables and sea plants in them, a wooden cup with rice and bean like things, and a variety of things that I had no idea what they were and tried to block from my memory because eating them was difficult.
  • Besides the jokes about the lack of meat- the facts that me and Jon weren't drinking, were mormon, and were American were the next favorite joke topics. Luckily I couldn't understand half of this, but Jon was very patient and very polite and filled me in on what they were saying. I think one of my favorites that Jon told me about was in the middle of dinner- at the beginning of dinner one of the uncles had made a joke about saying a prayer and then later in the middle of dinner one of the other uncles tried to make a similar joke but no one laughed because it made no sense to say a prayer in the middle of dinner. Luckily by the end of dinner the uncle that had been the rudest at first was so drunk that he was inviting us to his house and was now our best friend. I'm so glad that we don't drink. I was also glad that the way we sat at the table me and Jon were on one side of the table with Lloyd's younger cousins sitting on both sides of us and then the aunts and uncle's were across the table. I think this helped so we didn't feel obligated to talk to the adults as much, and I was much more comfortable sitting next to the kids that weren't drinking.
  • This wasn't really part of the wedding, but one of Lloyd's relatives had a little baby girl and they brought her around wearing a necklace made out of cookies. I watched as other family members made comments (I assume about how cute she was) and then break a cookie off the necklace and try to feed it to the baby. When they brought the baby to me I followed what I had seen broke off a cookie and tried to feed it to the baby and everyone thought it was great. Jon asked the kid sitting next to him why they were doing this and he told him that when a baby is one month old they feed it cookies. I'm not quite sure why they do that, but I tried to feed the baby cookies too.
  • In Taiwan rather than gifts all the guests just give the couple money. We saw some of the pile of money and it seemed like a ton. That might be because about 30 Taiwan dollars is one US dollar, but still it seemed like a lot.
I think those were the main things that I thought were pretty crazy about the wedding and the goings on of it. After the wedding we drove back to Lloyd's and his girlfriend ended up driving because Lloyd didn't get much sleep (besides the fact that we were out until 2 getting massages his brother got him up for some thing and he ended up only getting probably 2 hours of sleep). It was pretty funny having her drive because Lloyd and her were kind of fighting about her driving- it kind of reminded me of my parents :). When we got home we took a nap. We napped for a long time. We decided that we probably shouldn't be allowed to nap longer than 2 hours or past 7 pm. I guess here the people stay up pretty late, because when we got up from our nap at about 8:30 we went to a BBQ place for dinner. The part of Lloyd's family that had been sitting at our table at the wedding was there. We just could not seem to get away from that one uncle. The place was an all you can eat thing where you go grab chunks of meat from the buffet thing and then you grill them over the hot coals that are under a little grate in the middle of all the tables. They like a lot of fat on their meat here, and I found it easier to swallow bits of meat that i would have usually only eaten five percent of than to swallow slimy seaweed and some of the weird veggie dishes from the wedding. It was quite the contrast no meat for lunch and pretty much nothing but meat for dinner. My favorite part of both meals was probably the parts that involved fruit. They had some good watermelon and pineapple at the BBQ place that I ate a bunch of. We were sitting around one BBQ with the kids again and the parents were were sitting at another and the one uncle kept cooking us things and bringing them over. We kept eating to be polite until we were too full to eat anything else. It is crazy because we ended up taking all the kids home on the three scooters we drove there because the parents were going to go do Karaoke and of course drink some more. On the way to the BBQ me and Lloyd's girlfriend rode on one scooter and Lloyd and Jon rode on another and then his younger brother (the one that was raised by his uncle) drove another. On the way home me, Lloyd's girlfriend, and the only girl cousin were on one scooter. Jon, Lloyd, and the two twin boy cousins were on another scooter and two of his other cousins were on the one that Lloyd's younger brother had brought because he was going to stay out with the adults. Riding home on the scooters with all the kids was quite the cultural experience. Today was an interesting day. It will be nice to have a relaxing sunday to go to church- Oh, so we are bringing all the kids to church with us. I think they are curious about Lloyd's church and want to see what its like (I think Lloyd is probably one of their favorite cousins even though he is probably 10-15 years older than them). We have church in about 7 hours and Jon is already asleep so it is time for bed. I'll see if we can find some pictures from today, we didn't take many but other people did.

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