When my brother in Canada announced that his eldest of 4 sons was getting married, we felt elated at hearing the news. That was Nov 2018. With the cold and dreary Canadian winter (ahem … Alberta to be precise), the low-keyed garden wedding was beautifully executed.
Since the garden prenuptial was purely a Canadian family affair, families from afar did not get the feel of the joys of that matrimony. Knowing this brother of mine, he’s not one to fall short for such plan. Let’s put it this way … he’s not an ‘alang-alang’ guy. LOL!
One fine morning we all got up to reading a pleasant message from my brother via WhatsApp
We’re going to Kyoto for the wedding!
So desu ka?
So desu ne!
I was over the moon with that news …
If you’re wondering, why Japan? Well, my brother has embraced a new addition to the family. His daughter-in-law-to-be is a stunning Japanese 😉
By the way, Japan has always been one of the countries I have bookmarked. Coincidentally, it’s also the destination I have promised my younger son with a sworn statement, swearing my promise to bring him to the Land of the Rising Sun, one fine day… Here’s the story if you missed it : My ‘Japanese’ Boy
Just as we were feeling euphoric with the news, our ecstasy suddenly fell flat southward. Alas, the cruel force of gravity! Our joys were short-lived because there was not going to be a trip to Japan. Sob! Sob! Instead, the Japanese contingent preferred to travel to the Land of the Hornbills! So much for my Japanese dream … sigh!
Another stumbling block was the Wedding date: 30th January! It’s the month-end close and coupled with the unceasingly intense news coverage of the pandemic Covid-19. Ai yai yai! So how?
Well, I could choose not to make the trip, but the thought of missing such event that occurs once in a lifetime was just unendurable. So, geared with my laptop et al, I booked my flight and hotel. Hubs and BIL booked theirs separately.
Exit Miss Piggy, Enter Stuart Little
We touched down Kuching International Airport exactly on the first day of the Lunar New Year. While the family were enjoying scrumptious Chinese New Year Eve reunion dinner, we had to make do with the mediocre Emirates meals on air. The 24-hour flight and transits covering 4 airports and 3 continents had left me feeling absolutely knackered and groggy. To add salt to injury, 3 of 4 of our check-in luggage went missing, or rather, they did not arrive in the same plane as our ETA, therefore, we had to go through the hassle of filing reports of our missing baggage. At that point, I could not wait to have a nice warm shower and jump into a comfortable bed. Luckily the hotel shower was excellent and the bed was very clean and comfortable. I was in slumberland in no time at all.
Oh by the way, the 3 luggage arrived the next day.
In between working and delivering my reports, I thought some free moments could be spent with my family or friends, but I was wrong. The time zone difference of 7 hours was the most challenging factor. When I was free, it was already midnight M’sia time and time to hit the sack. This was the mode I had to endure for the next 2 weeks …
I must thank my hubs and especially my younger sis for being the protector of my tummy while I was on “lockdown” in my hotel room
All I needed to tell them was what I craved and hocus-pocus, my wish was granted. Ha ha …
Wedding Day: Morning
The day arrived when the Lands of the Hornbills and the Rising Sun became ONE.
The beautiful bride and the handsome groom exchanged their Holy Matrimonial vows with their unyielding “I do” and promised to be true to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for they will love and honour each other until death do them part.
Amen to that!
With teary eyes of joy, families from near and far flocked together and rejoiced in jubilation.
Wedding Day: Afternoon
While the melodic morning bells chimed and made way for the fiery afternoon crackers, we adjourned for the traditional Tea Ceremony at the groom’s uncle’s house with a “light” brunch.
A Wedding tea ceremony is the epitome of respect and gratitude by the newlyweds towards their parents and elders by serving them tea. It also symbolizes that the bride and groom officially belong into a new and extended family.
Wedding Day: Evening
My sisters, a niece and I were the first to arrive and therefore we had the first glimpse of the banquet hall without any mortal in sight.
Oh no, we were not trying to be prying “kaypo“, but we were there early as ‘duty managers’. Lol!
Once upon a moment, very immaculate, absolutely quiet and empty … Sssh… ssshh..
The empty banquet hall was slowly filled with guests, one by one, filling each table to the brim, and zing, boom, bam, the roof caved in and the noise began! Forget whispering to your neighbour because you would never get your message across to the recipient correctly 🙂
The party began with the clamourous and deafening Yuuuuuummmm Seng!
The Prosperity Toss
What an appropriate dish to serve as we were still in Chinese New Year mood.
The higher the better, the messier the table means you have done your part in shouting at the top of your lungs, the blessings of good luck, fortune and happiness. Toss High! Lo Hei!
Reunion of Family and Friends
Although it’s the Bride and Groom’s day, it was, without a doubt, an opportune day of reuniting with long lost relatives and friends. My brother must have invited his entire year school mates that evening. Buddies whom he had not met for more than 30 decades came from near and far! It was practically a class reunion. I bet the boys felt 17 again …
Likewise, it was great meeting cousins and relatives whom we have not met in donkeys years!
Only an event as such, could bring us together.
And by the way, I shared my fair share of reuniting with long lost friends whom I have not met since Primary school, since Form 5 and since Form 6. They have evolved to be successful ‘towkay’ and ‘towkay neos’. One owns the chain of Curry House restaurants throughout Sarawak, one an acclaimed Music teacher and one ‘Superman’ in the person of the Most Hallowed, His Grace, the Archbishop of Sarawak! I was so thrilled and blessed to have met them all in one evening!
Luckily, I was not the one getting married. A wedding day is a very exhausting affair akin to a full time job with full-blown overtime albeit for a day! Been there, done that. Ha ha …
It was a BIG relief when the party’s over and we’re back on the normal track.
Although I was physically in Kuching for 3 weeks, it was a working ‘holiday’ for me for 2 weeks . I had only one week of ‘me-time’, therefore, it was very precious. I had consciously chosen to spend more time with my siblings, reminiscing the good old days. There were too many stories to share in too short a time. We knew Mum and Dad were with us throughout because we could not stop talking and thinking about them. How else could we be here without them, right?
As we grow older, we’ll find the only things we regret are the things we didn’t do, and one of the things is making the most out of visits to our elderly relatives.
They’re not getting any younger and so are we.
Life is too short so let’s make the most out of it.
The truth is, a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by the headcount at dinner table, but by the tradition you help family members create; the memories you share, the commitment of time, cares and love you show to one another.
Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as ONE.
Have a Blessed Weekend!