Village wedding with Winnie and Liao.
Jan 28, 2018
|What a wonderful day!! I was invited to go with Winnie and Liao to a wedding in the village where Liao grew up. It was a cold day, but when you know it is going to be cold, at least you can be prepared, and dress accordingly.
Winnie messaged me just after 10 am to let me know they were on their way, so I headed down to the front gate. By the time we set off, it was probably about 10.30, an we headed out onto the expressway which goes to Wuzhou in the west, and to Guangzhou to the east.
It was a pleasant drive, past mountains that were shrouded in cloud. And it rained lightly on and off for a lot of the way there, but thankfully it stopped before we arrived at the village.
Coming off the freeway, poor Liao ended up in the wrong queue to get through the toll gate. He should have been in the line for cars, but we were in the truck line! And that meant we took longer to get through than perhaps we could have!
But not to worry, we arrived, and I saw a hotel with a whole archway of balloons, and thought that was where we were going, but no, we crossed a main road, and walked down through small roads to get to the village where the wedding was going to be held.
I was very surprised at the size of the marquee in the open space of the village. I could not guess how many tables were set out. But I would imagine that there would have been at least 400 people there.
We got ushered to a table on a raised area, where a guy said that we would have a good view for taking photos. We went into the community centre, where the cooking was taking place. The was a veritable hive of massed helpers. The job must be huge.
We had finished eating, when Liao took Iona for a walk. It was great to see him interacting with his little daughter. They took off hand in hand, and at different places that were of interest to Iona Liao would squat down and explain things to her. Really nice to see. He is a little lacking in patience with her, but he really does think the world of her.
We were still sitting watching what was going on, when the sound of drumming started. At first I thought that there was a lion or dragon dance about to start. So, I followed the sound, and found a storeroom that held a whole lot of ceremonial gear. And there was a little boy who I was told is six years old giving the drum skin a real hammering. Gee, he was good.
After playing around in the storeroom for quite a while, the kids all came outside onto the porch, with quite a few little boys taking turns at the drum, and others playing the cymbols, and one very young kid with a big mask on his head. But he was so shy, it was hard to get pictures of him.
Later I went for a walk around, got some more pictures, handsome boys, the bridegroom, and then slop buckets full of scrap food, women clearing up with a hose, and then we set off, back to the car.
It was a nice walk, with Winnie and Liao both going out of their way to show me points of interest.
When we got back to where the car was parked, Liao needed a toilet break, and went into the hotel there. While he was gone, I got a photo of the bride whose wedding feast was held there. And then I managed to get a picture of the newly wed couple outside. So obliging.
We got back to the medical college at about 2.30! I was feeling really sleepy so had a kip on my bed. I had arranged to meet Melrose for dinner, so I set the alarm for 5pm. Lucky I did because I was out like a light!
I got to Spango just before 6pm, and was surprised when Larry walked in. But then I had a message from Melrose to say she was on her way, and that she had asked Larry to join us. Before she got there, Bing, who is one of the main cooks at the restaurant, and who used to live in Bendigo for some time, came to talk to me, and then she rang her daughter Coco, and I talked to her, and she said that she would come and catch up with me.
When I first met Coco, she was about 14 or 15, and had recently returned to Zhaoqing after being in Bendigo for about five years. She was finding it hard to settle back here at that time. She is now nearly 23, graduating from university in June, and quite the young lady. Her English is still very reminiscent of Australia.
We had a nice dinner, and Larry took home the leftovers because like usual we had ordered way too much.
It was very cold, so we all headed off to home after dinner, as it was just too cold to be hanging around outside!