Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Weekend in the big smoke

We spent last weekend in Sydney as we had quite an important wedding to attend. It was the wedding of my oldest friend J, whom I have known since we both were 4. I was really happy to be able to share that with her. She is someone who has an infectious laughter and is easy to talk to. It was no surprise that friends and relatives came from all around the world, from as far as UK and Malaysia.

We left Cowra at about 6:30 pm after fluffing around a bit getting organised after work. We drove over the blue mountains where Richard stopped at Mc Donalds for a quarter pounder (yuk). I think I object most to the aftertaste that McDonalds burgers always seem to leave behind in my mouth for hours and if you happen to burp, you can definitely tell its still sitting in there.

We arrived just before 11 pm at the Stamford Plaza Airport which was where the wedding reception would be held the next day. I got it at a really great rate on the internet of $125 per night. The room was really comfortable and the bed was larger than a Queen but smaller than a King size.
"Ooh look a magazine-esque picture!"

As I was starving by now, I ordered room service. I really didn't want to get out of the room again after sitting in the car for 4.5 hours. I had a fresh soft chewy multigrain roll spread with olive tempanade and filled with grilled mediterranian vegetables, served with a side salad ($13) and a sticky date pudding served with cream and ice cream ($7.5) Richard merrily ordered (seeing I was ordering) a berry crumble served with cream and ice cream also ($7.5) It was pretty reasonable for room service !!! It wasn't much more than a usual cafe at all! I took a shower and the food arrived even before I was done. The picture shows my order.

The pudding was moist and not too sweet. Richard scoffed all his crumble before I could ask how it was hehe. The roll was very nice but way too large. I kept the other half for morning.We soon fell asleep in the comfortable bed which I am sure had a more than 225 thread count sheets.

I awoke to Richard frantically saying " Honey its 8:10 !!" I jumped out of bed and into my clothes, dabbed on some make up and off we went. I was amazed that we reached J's house by 8:40 !! It was about 5 suburbs away :) I think we did pretty well.

In Malaysian/ Singaporean Chinese customs, the bride has a few of her friends at home in the morning whose sole job is to keep the groom from coming in to see his lovely bride. I helped J a bit with dressing and I could hear B's voice wafting upstairs " Saaaaying I loooove youuuu is not the wooords I waaant to heeear from youuu" I stifled a giggle as I guessed her friends downstairs must have made him sing a song as well. He failed one of the questions they asked but they finally let him in as he produced the red packet of money (Hong bao) as a bribe to let him in. He and his groomsmen delivered the roast pig which was quite a monster. This is also a custom as a present on the day. The pig is later divided up amongst the relatives. Its kind of a chinese version of the wedding cake as J wisely commented.
" You go granny!! Don't let that pig get away!"

B finally got to see his bride whom I thought had never looked so beautiful :~)Its wierd remembering all these times when we were young trying to toast marshmallows over a candle and sleepovers, staying up to all hours of nights as teens gossiping on the phone. and now seeing her at that moment where her husband to-be came to get her. *sigh*

Anyway, they went off to church for a catholic wedding mass followed by a roast and salad buffet with a great chocolate fountain for dipping strawberries in for dessert, as well as some Pad Thai and other assorted asian desserts. We then came back to Js house for the tea ceremony. Which to the chinese *is* the wedding ceremony. Red dates are added to sweeten the tea and to comemorate the special-ness of the occasion as well as to "sweeten" the couple's new life together
"Teacups quivering in excitement of the workout to come"

Tea is served to your elder relatives as a couple, starting with the male serving the male first and saying "First/second/third etc. Uncle please drink this cup of tea" The tea is presented and accepted with both hands and drunk as a sign of acceptance of the couple into the family. The male then serves the elder female and the female then serves the elder male and female. The number is the order in terms of age and the "Uncle" or "Aunty" suffix differs depending on whether the elder is from your mother or fathers side. The new married partner now then addresses the elder by that same name. The elders then give the couple a red packet of money as a wedding gift.

B's family is Dutch but they also wanted to participate in it so it was my job to orientate them on the customs. Everyone was a bit confused at first but everyone had a good time. Richard's job was to video everything so after all the tea serving was over, we rushed back to the hotel room to start editing. The video was to later help in B's wedding speech.

Finally after 2.5 hours we got a rush job done.(Mostly Richard) The reception was great and we heaved a sigh of relief after the video was presented. Everyone had a wonderful dinner and lots of people danced the macarena, locomotion, nutbush etc. We then tottered upstairs and crashed.

We did manage to meet up with C &C in their new home and we had a nice yum cha lunch with them as well. All in all, it was a very busy but enjoyable weekend and now I am back in the country freezing my fingres off as I am typing.

Here is the view from our room which overlooked the airport and the Brighton Le Sands bay beyond.

8 Comments:

At 2:41 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Woooooo, Ba-Bee, I'm in love with that Roast Pig!!! I'll even sing to it: " Saaaaying I loooove youuuu is not the wooords I waaant to heeear from youuu........." LOL! Sounds like you had a blast - even with the long car ride.

 
At 3:50 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...

Rachel,

That rast pig is large, gaint...WOW That pig was bigger than the Grandma! It looked quite good. Yeah it did sound like a whole mess of fun. :D

 
At 3:50 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...

Rachel,

That roast pig is large, gaint...WOW That pig was bigger than the Grandma! It looked quite good. Yeah it did sound like a whole mess of fun. :D

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...

LOL that was interesting...Double posting again and I don't know how I did that. Sorry Rachel.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

It was so nice to see you Rach :) while you had some RnR LOL :)

Those Chocs were yummy mmmmmmmm
The toll house brownie thing was my fav mmmmmmm

The Kaya toast is YUMMY!!!!!!

 
At 7:28 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Kirk,
you had to see it and smell it to believe that pig ! The best man had to sleep with it. Well, next to it as he spent the night on the sofa in the living room. The smell just wafts and fills the room and the skin is oh so crunchy.

Milly, The pig was almost 20 Kgs !! I made your kim chee noodle recipe for dinner and it was yummy sorry no piccy as I ate off the cooking utensil *blush* I was too lazy to make a plate to wash up :)

Clare,
sooo glad you liked the kaya. Its one of my faves too. And I love the toll house brownies best too. I should have bought back bags and bags!

 
At 1:15 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...

Rachel,

No problem! LOL *blush* I do the same thing! :P :D

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger msm|chellekwok said...

chocolate fountain!! i'm so envious!! my friends n i hav been talking about gg to the Fullerton Hotel's choc buffet but we haven't got down to doin it *sighs*

wells i'm glad u had fun in Sydney. i can just imagine how fun it was, esp the unique chinese tea ceremonies n everyone almost always laughs it off :p

 

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