Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Wedding

Finally, it's over! Official duties done and I'm going back for CNY tomorrow.

As I expected, guests at the wedding were mainly foreign dignitaries, government officials and a princess, too. She is the sister of the Sultan and the acting foreign minister. If the crown prince was not in Singapore at the same time, I think more royal family members could have been there.

It started with a long discourse in Malay. I did not understand a single word and I think I was not alone. I saw the bored expressions of the 'ang-mohs' standing around me. The reception was more like an embassy's function rather than a wedding. It was very business-like and formal. If you have been to formal receptions, you will know that when polished ambassadors are present, protocols will be observed, regardless of the occasion. Although it was a private function last night, those ambassadors were careful not to leave until the princess made her exit. Within minutes of her departure, the crowd thinned quickly. But for us, we had to wait for one more person: Larry's boss.

The Singapore entourage was a miserable 5 reps, including the 2 of us. The Malaysia entourage outnumbered us with about a dozen of them flying in, wives, junior officers, etc. The night before the wedding, we were at a tripartite reception. Poor me, I was alone seated with all their wives for the dinner. Fortunately, they all speak English. Every now and then, I lost them because they wandered into their comfortable language. This is why I am still trying to find myself a tutor in Malay.

And they 'karoaked'. I hate karoake. This remarkable karoake system even rates the singing and a score is given at the end of the song. I was praying very hard that neither Larry nor I had to sing. Phew! I remembered my most embarassing incident in Taiwan when the Taiwan CNV wanted a duet with me in Cantonese. Of course, I had to oblige. You see, what sacrifices wives of government servants had to made! Will my government give me a medal?

Ok, time to pack and go home.

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