I should write this story in two parts as there were two events that encapsulated our engagement, a Friday night ceremony with the family at the family apartment and then the big shindig at Tra and Phalla’s on the Saturday.So….
Friday 24.8.07; At the last moment I found out that we were actually due at the family apartment for a small ceremony with the Acha ( the monk’s right hand man). This was new to me as Leakhena and I had planned to go to Raffles for dinner but what the hell, if I have learnt one thing it is that things change rapidly here and you have to go with the flow. On arrival at the apartment I find all the family have come up from Kampot and there is a lovely spread of food laid out on the floor and after some very brief blessings and such from the Acha we tuck into a fine meal with a few cold beers to boot. What was supposed to take an hour took several but I enjoyed being with all the family greatly and we were all looking forward to the big day. Saturday 25.08.07; After a sound night sleep and with Leakhena already gone at 6a.m for her make-up session, I headed for Psar Toul Tom Pong as I wanted to buy Tra something as a thankyou. He had done somuch hard work that I wanted to get him something nice and as I had caught him drooling at my Panerai watch last night, I decided to get him a nice big square Tag Heuer F1Monaco. I also had a nice quiet breakfast and a coffee and prepared myself mentally for the day ahead. I went home and suited up in the new suit which came up great and then headed over to Tra and Phalla apartment which by now resembled Disneyland ! After
giving Tra his watch ( which he loved ! ) I watched as everyone assembled in the main apartment upstairs for the ceremony whilst downstairs was a hive of activity with the caterers preparing the food. I headed straight for the air conditioned comfort of the “prep”room whilst all my guests sweated it out in the living room.
Is it time yet ? Is it time yet ?
Soon enough we were away with the ceremony. First up Darren and Heng ( my substitute parents ) had to have a good old natter with my new parent in laws and then Leakhena and I headed out for our part. It was really quite short which was a godsend because it was bloody hot in that room and my knee from the moto accident was killing me. I couldn’t take my eyes off Leakhena who was just looking stunning in her traditional red silk Khmer outfit. The best moment was when we placed the rings on each others fingers and kissed the rings. I was almost in tears at that stage !
My stunning bride-to be 😉
The Acha who performed the ceremony was fantastic. He spoke excellent English so was able to guide us throughout he ceremony and also was a natural comedian so got alot of laughs from everyone. All in all it took about 30 minutes and we were back into the “prep”room to chill out a bit before heading downstairs for hundreds of photos and a meal fit for a king.We had about 70 guests all sitting down at lovely tables all decorated with linen and flowers and outside in the street was a mobile kitchen fit to cook for an army. We had some rocking tunes playing and the beer flowed and the food came thick and fast and everyone had a great time.
One happy camper !
The party was all over and packed away by 3pm and we were home asleep by 3.30pm. After a few hours in the cot we headed over the The Green Vespa for a few nightcaps with our Friends and then again were home in bed exhausted by 10.30pm.I will post more photos when I can get to a decent Internet connection again because this one is very6 bad so pleasse check here again soon !
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