Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wedding Day Take #2 & Almost Ba Na

Date: Sunday January 3, 2010
Travel: Flight LAX to SGN; SGN to DAD; Van
Party: Vu & Family
Lodging: Cousin Hung's House
Photos: 20100103 Linda's Wedding Photo Journal; 2010010306 Nice Family Pictures In Da Nang & Hue Weddings

This day would be the actual wedding day for my cousin Linda. We were able to walk from the hotel to my cousins home, where the ceremony would begin. I didn't really want to take too many photos, but that just didn't happen. I had just bought a new 50 mm f/1.8 prime lens, which is nice for portraits, so I had to put it to work. After the morning ceremony at the brides house, the caravan makes its way to the grooms house. After driving through a neighborhood of marble sculptures, we arrive at the groom's house in the country side (I believe near marble mountain). There were water oxens just roaming around. It was a pretty scenery.

After the ceremony was complete, we drive off to the reception hall. There was a few banquet halls in the same area, and in each there was a wedding ceremony. The hall was enormous and beautiful, inside and out. It looked like it was recently built. The reception was grandiose, over 500 people. The reception was like a big entertainment event. Tables and chairs ornately decorated; Projectors; Lights; Laser; a singer singing Whitney Houston's "I will Always Love You", while the bride and groom make a grand entrance from an imploding balloon; a walkway that automatically rolls out from under the stage, for guys in marching band outfits to carry out the wedding cake; waiters and waitress walking in a line and delivering food to the table in unison. I guess the shock factor came from the thought that, wait, I'm in Vietnam. Even if it was in America, I would be in shock. Then again...I'm ghetto. I suppose you can call it humble roots, but I don't need to deny it, I'm ghetto.

After the wedding was over, the rest of my parents and my brother takes the van to Hue, while my uncle invited me to spend the day and night in Da Nang. My aunt, Co Cam, had just finished this big wedding, ran a ton of errands, made some dinner, all while I took a 2 hour siesta (nap). And then after wards, excitedly she says, lets go to Ba Na! Wow...aren't you tired? She seemed so excited and had so much energy, and very spontaneous. I don't know if people are like this in Vietnam, if its something about my dad's family (she is not blood related though), or what, but it really seems like a whatever goes types of attitude. She was like, bring some cold clothes, we are spending the night in the hills. Also, I had lost my voice form the past couple of days, and needed some medical attention, so her plan was to go see the Dr. on the way there. So my cousin, who is Linda's brother, and my aunt hops in their car and starts driving away. We pick up my aunt's nephews, who were just chilling outside their house, and she invites them to Ba Na, and instructs them to bring some clothes. I think one had to work the next day, but who cares!!

We finally stopped by a doctors office in town, and there was a waiting lobby with 3 or 4 others waiting in front of me. I think I waited about 10 minutes, and the guy in front of me was in disgust, about how its taking so long, and just murmuring, "just give her the damn medicine." I guess a 15 minute turnaround is too much to ask for there, which is the same amount of time it would take for me to fill out forms at my primary physician. Soon after, I walk in the door and in about 2 minutes I was already diagnosed. Meanwhile the Dr.'s assistant was already packaging my medication for me, 7 days antibiotics and some cough drops. Done. So now we are back in the car, and the sun had already set. I asked if there was anything we could see at night, but I was told, ahh, don't worry, its nice to see at anytime, and you can just spend the night up there. She hadn't really remembered all the directions on how to get there, but it was like, "ok it was on this nice road...." Well that helps (granted that the description of "nice road" actually filtered out 99% of the roads in Vietnam, but it doesn't tell us WHERE it is). And then on the way there, she states that hopefully its still open. Haha, this was like deja vu with my cousin in Boston, whatever goes. We get to Ba Na hills and the main draw for the place is that it has erected the longest cable tram system in the world. And yes, it was still open, however it had only one more run one way, which it would take us to the top. The operator said it was really dark out, and you wouldn't be able to see anything, and the only thing you could do is go to the top and spend the night. We contemplated on what to do; should we just go up and spend the night there, but people had to work early in the morning, including my aunt. The decision was that just my aunt and I would return the next morning. She'll just have to go in to work later..whatever.

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