On Thursday morning, I bolted straight up in bed at 5:30am as loudspeakers that felt like they were directly outside my window started blaring music. Seriously? A sound check at 5:30am?
truly, I tell you. The following is my firsthand account of surviving my first Cambodian wedding outside of my house.
Later that morning, I rode my bike through the tent as the bride and groom and attendants were setting up. I kind of hoped that everything would be finished up by the time I got home that night – 13 hours later.
But no. The street was completely alive when I got home. The tent was vibrating with music and the energy of hundreds of people dancing and singing and honoring the bride and groom. Problem: our house was smack dab in the middle of the tent. with only a foot of space to spare between the tent and our gate, there was nothing else to do – I had to walk through the wedding wearing my fire engine red helmet and walking my cherry red bike, with at least 17 layers of sweat on my face. The process went pretty smoothly at first. the neighborhood kids who had gathered outside the tent slowly parted so i could get by. i stopped to let a beer girl or two pass by. Tables packed with guests were on my right. Bodies and house gates directly on my left. Only a few inches to spare.
Then it happened. A huge pot of bougainvilleas and a pile of garbage right next to a large table of guests completely blocked my path. I stopped short. I had no clue what to do. Two young Cambodian guys, seeing my apparent confusion, came to my rescue. They picked up my bicycle and proceeded to lift it OVER the plant and the people's heads – all this during a lovely toast to the bride. I kind of did a hurdle to get over the bougainvilleas to the other side as a whole pack of middle aged men watched my every move.
Mortification. Hilarity. I experienced every emotion in what was easily the biggest gong show of my life. But I'm so glad it happened. 🙂