The day finally arrives

Trip Start Sep 03, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2014

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Flag of Thailand  , Roi Et,
Sunday, March 9, 2014

I am awakened just before 5:00 or at least as awake as I can possibly be in the circumstances.  People are arriving already.  It hardly seems worth having gone to bed and indeed most people havent bothered.  More people are arriving all the time at this Godforsaken hour.
Protocol decrees that they approach brother Sai who is sat near the gate and give him their invitation envelope containing a cash gift.  He records their name and amount in a book then gives one of the kitchen servers a piece of paper with the same details on it.  They then go and collect a bag of veggies and meat so that the person can take them home.  Alternatively they can give their gift then take a seat to eat and drink here forsaking their bag of food to go home with.  All money collected here goes towards paying for the party etc
Husband to be, Gay, arrives about 9:00 and we make our way indoors about 9:00 with the medicine man who will conduct the ceremony.  For something that is supposed to have Buddhist overtones there is not a monk or anything 'official' in sight.
We had bought a set of new bedding in England about 2 years ago now - the wedding has been imminent for quite a while ! - but have not been able to change the bed.  Apparently this is the job for a couple of old folks to do just before the wedding commences.  Jai disappears briefly to their bedroom to show them where the stuff is then returns so that things can begin. 
I stay for the initial formalities then when everyone starts tying the good luck string around the wrists I retire.  Lots of people, family included, dont even bother coming into the house for the ceremony so I dont feel guilty at all.  The tying of the string can go on for more than an hour and it is stinking hot in a roomful of people.
Whilst tying the string everyone leaves some money at the foot of their good luck trees.  This money will be kept by Jiap and Gay and is supposed to be used as an investment for the future.  In the old days they would have bought a cow or some chickens but now they will probably get a new mobile phone.  Everyone who ties string gets a present of a pillow from Jai.
Last night's excess of beer wasnt a good idea and along with an almighty hangover which I probably could have lived with, it has started me coughing again and set my blocked ear in motion making me a bit light headed.
Outside the tables are full of people eating and drinking and the karaoke is in full swing again.
Not too many people came with Gay from his village and they set off back about midday.
The karaoke was booked till 12:00 and thankfully the last noise dies away at 12:07 - believe me, I noticed !!
By mid-afternoon it is just family and a couple of neighbours left and the worst is probably over.  I am keeping a low profile but my absence doesnt seem to matter as others are missing by now as well.
By 19:00 all have called it a day except for Jiap and Gay and a couple of their friends.  No doubt they are all glad its over as well.  They set up on mats outside the back door where there is now a cool breeze for a few drinks and something to eat.  We have held back a few bottles of local wine and stuff which we take out for them to enjoy and then leave them alone.
We had emptied the lounge of just about everything and stacked it in Jai's mother's bedroom which is now full.  This means that she has nowhere to sleep tonight so sets up a mat on the floor in the lounge.  She will sleep anywhere - I really mean, anywhere.

There are shedloads of photos but at the moment I cant be bothered to upload them all !!
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