Monday, December 03, 2007

Thailand Travel notes 2007 2/2

Day 5 was the actual wedding. We went to Wat Benjamabopit where the monk who supervised one of my cousins time ordained was. An aunt had gone the night before and set up preparations for the wedding. At that point we found out that the monk in question was very engaged with the preparations, and had made plans on showing us around to the best spots to take pretty pictures.

J (brother of groom): Wow, he is really involved. I thought monks were supposed to renounce worldly things like marriage.
Me: Yes, but that is just for themselves. If religious people are not involved with important things like marriage, births and deaths, what society will support them? And weddings are much more fun then funerals. (there was a funeral on the grounds as well)

Cousin: Noone goes to the Wat (temple) for weddings anymore.
Me: That's why they are being so helpful, they are trying to associate coming to the temple with fun things like weddings and nice pictures, and maybe people will come more often.

We got there around 9, and the monk came and met us, and took us on a tour of the grounds to take, well, pretty pictures. There were some side building that were well decorated. Sides of temple buildings. A room with pictures of some historical leaders and statel wood fixtures.

The actual ceremony was next. 9 monks at the front. They had the chanting in Bali. The presentation of the triple gem as well as the five precepts. Then the feeding of the monks. Last, the blessing and the splashing of holy water. After the monks left, we had the water ceremony. One of the things that got noticed is J and I seemed not to have any duties as groomsmen. Although the two bridesmaids had their time to stand and look pretty (they prepare water for use by the many participants in the water ceremony, namely everyone present who was married. As there were only ~70 people present it was not too bad. At my other sister's wedding with 200+ people the girls were platooning this duty.) There were a few more pictures and lunch. And that was it. B (sister's now husband) was very happy. So was the bride (a good thing).

After getting back to the house, we changed, rested a bit, and B, my sister and J wanted to go shopping. But not the high end luxury shopping (which they saw in Taiwan), they wanted real "ghetto" shopping. I had brought them down a nearby Soi (side street) the night before that was still active. So I brought them to Mahboonkrong (MBK). MBK is an older mall, but nearby the really nice malls like Siam Paragon, Discovery Center and Siam Center. When you start at Siam Paragon and walk through, it is really obvious that each mall is aimed at a different audience. MBK is divided into zones. The first zone is like th other malls. As you go further, it becomes more old fashioned. And the last zone is like a bazaar, and we went at it. They enjoyed the haggling over everything. So did I. We got back on the BTS (train). Oh, first time B and my sister used the train system here.

Last day here we went to the floating market and the Samphram Elephant Grounds. Very touristy and not really remarkable in any way. But now on my way home.
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