On Thursday night I was invited to the wedding reception of Amp and Dalton in Hat Yai. They are the owners/bosses of Visions, the agency who I am employed through. It was held in a huge ballroom in Lee Garden Plaza, and it was beautiful!! They had planned so well for it, with big blown up photos of the couple together, taken on a professional photo shoot around the south of Thailand. I was intrigued how the reception would go and if it would be typically Thai or a mixture of cultures, as Amp is Thai and Dalton is from Zimbabwe, and there were also lots of English teachers attending. The answer is it was a hybird of all cultures. We arrived at 6pm and were showed to a table in the corner next to the stage, which would later become farang corner, where all the teachers were placed. It was really nice to meet other teachers, and I now have some new friends in Hat Yai, as well as catch up with people I previously knew. The evening started with a big bottle of whiskey and mixers on the round tables, and everyone got stuck in. Then alot of food followed, i think there was a total of 8 courses?! The food was so good, and even though it was Thai style it was nice not to have rice and to try lots of things, and it wasn’t spicy either! First were cocktail sausages in a chinese sauce, then a fish soup, then prawn balls, then mushrooms and fish, then chicken and cashew nuts, then a whole fish, then noodles. And for dessert was rice in coconut sauce. It was yummy and I’m not really doing it justice by saying what it was! As the first courses came out, Dalton and Amp arrived but were outside for a long time posing for photos. She wore a western styled dress that was stunning, and had about 10 bidesmaids (thai women) in a variety of dresses that were all dark blue in colour. I hardly took any photos of the night because everybody had their cameras out constantly but i did get one of the happy couple as they arrived.
Amps Mum and various family members provided a running commentary, in Thai and English, as well as singing in Thai as the evening progressed. When Amp and Dalton had finished posing, they were welcomed onto the stage with both families and all the traditional wedding stuff took place. They cut the cake (5 tiers!) and crossed arms to drink champagne, though they didn’t do a first dance. They did prepare a really cute video, in Thai and English, with them telling us how they met and why they love each other, and it was created to be all animated and was really clever and sweet!
At 9pm the Thai guests started to leave, and only at this point could Amp and Dalton sit down and enjoy dinner, and relax a while. As the stage was free, the teachers took over, doing Karaoke and dancing, as by that time 2 bottles of whisky had been consumed and kicked in!
By 10pm the hotel staff were trying to clear up around us so it was time to go. As everyone was very merry we decided to head on to The Pubb, a bar around the corner but on the way thought we would provide everyone with entertainment. As we left the hotel the security guard got the shock of his life as we all burst out into song of Grease to him, his face was priceless. There was about 10 of us and we continued to sing outside the hotel on the steps leading down to the main street in Hat Yai, and everybody stopped what they were doing and stared. It was a real glee moment, somebody should have filmed us. At the time it was so much fun but I feel a bit foolish explaining it to you now. It was a really good night! In the tuk tuk on the way back to Nadias house at about 2am I also saw an elephant cross the road too (only in Thailand.)
The following day we decided to have another new experience and took the train from Hat Yai back to Khaochaison. Usually we take a mini van because its reliable and has air con. That costs 80baht for 2 hour journey, so £1.60. The train costs 14baht, a whole 30p, also for a 2 hour journey. The train is pretty simple and old, it has wooden benches to sit on, and fans on the ceiling that probably stopped working 10 years ago. When its moving its a bearable heat though as there are big windows for the wind to come through. However for some reason the train was stationary at Hat Yai for over an hour! No reason at all was given, in Thai or English, it just stayed still for a very long time while I actually melted, it was so hot. Also a wierd man decided to stand right next to me. I think he was hoping i would move my bag so he could sit next to me (very squishedly as the seats are quite small) but I wasn’t going to move my stuff when there were plenty of empty seats in the carriage. So he continued to stand up right next to me and stare, and stare and stare. He stayed there for the whole hour we werent moving and then about an hour into the journey he finally got off the train. It was really uncomfortable and at first I tried to smile back thinking he would move on, but no. So I gave up and looked out of the window and ignored him. Two older men were sat nearby looked like they felt sorry for me and kept smiling but the man did not move. I was not impressed as he was standing so close to me he was blocking the fresh air and he smelt bad too, wearing a jumper and a coat in the heat, and the way he was looking me up and down, not even subtle, was freaking me out. I was happy when he left the train. Apart from the wait and the stares it was quite pleasant, it was nice to see a more rural side of the area, and the view were pretty good too!