I am late for far too many things and have stumbled through the doors of churches before now, midway through the wedding ceremonies of family and friends.
As a consequence I made a particular effort to be on time today, so much so that I actually arrived at the venue for the festivities about an hour before anybody else!
It did allow me time to explore the venue before the other guests arrived and I was particularly impressed with the melon sculptures you see here.
The function was on an island in the middle of a lake in the north of Hanoi and moored to it was a boat largely consisting of a swimming pool on which this floating decoration was installed.
In Vietnamese culture the function is far more important than the ceremony itself and as a consequence I was staggered when all the local guests attending the function just disappeared halfway through the ceremony and speeches because the food was being served.
This leaves Tom, his brother Patrick who was acting as his best man and his father having their speeches interpreted to people who are largely more interested in the wonderful food which had been prepared for everybody. This was only mildly interrupted by the gentle ribbing from Patrick about his brother during his speech, which caused some degree of alarm to Tom’s new Vietnamese family about the caliber of man they are allowing into their family. What is normal in western weddings would have the locals reeling in horror.
It is a great experience though and as somebody who is not always a fan of weddings I have to say how much I enjoyed the one for Thomas Edward Wallace Bulfin and his beautiful new wife Lily.
As with all things in Vietnam everybody starts early goes hard and then disappears around ten o’clock. I enjoyed a few more beers with the Bulfin family and their friends before getting a cab back to the old quarter.
I couldn’t resist a gin and tonic or two before turning in at the Moose & Roo bar just down the road from my hotel, which has become a second home for me during my stay in Hanoi. It is a North American Aussie hybrid bat that serves great food, and as usual I was warmly received there having a great chat with the owner and his staff.