Three weddings and some mangos

March 26, 2013

It appears to be wedding season here in Cambodia; I’ve got to go to three inside a week. I don’t know why this should be so, but I suspect it has something to do with it also being the beginning of mango season. There’s definitely a link that can be made between fructification and marriage.

Anyway, there are lots of weddings on at the moment. Last Saturday, Theary, the daughter of our landlord, the saintly Mr Sokha, plighted her troth to Vuth, to whom she’s been engaged for six years. Blossom and I were delighted to be invited, and turned up at the hall where the dinner was being held nearly on time, only to discover we were an hour and a half early, and that the time on the invitation is really only meant as a piece of fun, or something.

So we sat in a corner and drank warm beer, and watched as the place filled up. With nearly 1,000 people. It was truly enormous. As well as the guests, there were innumerable waiters and people with ice buckets and baskets of beer and soft drinks wandering about, so it was all a bit like being in Grand Central Station at rush hour.

Except for the women. By god, they like to dress up, and put some makeup on. They’re not shy about vivid colours, with purples and cerises and yellows, but all very modest, with long skirts and demure blouses. But the hair and the maquillage were quite astonishing. Lyta, my plant-watering sidekick, said she’d spent two hours having her hair and face transformed, from being a naturally pretty little thing, to looking like someone had covered her face with marzipan and then iced it. Her face was as smooth as marble, and as white as snow. Theary was practically unrecognisable. And not in a good way.

But hell, the whole thing was such fun, and everyone was so nice and welcoming, and there was so much Black Label, that it would be perfectly churlish to complain about aesthetics. The women all looked lovely. Not particularly human, but lovely nonetheless.

For readers in the UK and the USA, currently shivering in what you call ‘Spring’, I’m sorry to have to tell you that as well as being mango season here, it is also 37 degrees C (98.6F) today, which is the same temperature as the human body, apparently. All of the trees are in flower; the tamarind and bougainvillea and jasmine and other assorted nice stuff. And they have what are called Mango Showers, which are brief evening rainstorms: we had our first last week, which was the first rain I’ve seen this year.

And for anyone who’s bothered to read this far, I’ll probably be back in the UK at the beginning of July for a week or two, so anyone who fancies a soothing ale or two, let me know. I’m hoping your weather will be fixed by then.

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2 Responses to “Three weddings and some mangos”

  1. J&J said

    Yup, freezing our nuts off here.

    Going to N & A for our usual Easter festivity. Will miss you both. Please come and see us when you are back. You could even bring Blossom.

    J

  2. Gigi D said

    Would have liked to have seen pictures; sounds likeva delightful time.

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