The Thai Wedding And A Brush With The Local Mafia!

Those of you that read about my overnight train journey (A Train Journey And An Accordion Playing Baboon) will know that the whole reason for that sleepless night was for a wedding further up north in a place called Rattanaburi in Surin province Surin. Surin is an area known for its vast areas of farmland, an area that helps to feed Thailand and is particularly known for its production of high quality jasmine rice. The people, known as Isan people have a unique culture and even their own language. Although I was slightly nervous about going somewhere new and intruding on a wedding, I needn’t have been as the welcome there was warmer than my crotch after a two-hour walk…in a pair of woollen pants, that had been left on a radiator overnight! (sorry)

Bleary-eyed and unsure of my mental state due to 15 minutes sleep (really, read the train journey blog!) I was met at the train station not by my pre-arranged lift but by a gorgeous dog and a complete disregard for health safety…

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My Welcoming Committee

…I was going to fit right in here.

The first day was spent wandering in wild forests and eating raw fish from the river before teaching the local people about algebra…no, not really…I arrived in my room and slept for 6 hours and then woke up in order to go for a walk, to eat some food and drink beer with the lads! (The lads were three other men I’d never met before who had also come from far and wide for the wedding and I had one beer…I know, Rock ‘n’ Roll).

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I Wasn’t The Only Wild Beast Out For A Walk That Evening!

The following morning I was up washed and dressed early, then I began to sweat and contemplated another shower. Sadly I didn’t have time as Thai weddings traditional start early…really early. I don’t know why for sure, but I think Thai weddings start early because it’s just too darn hot to do it at any other time. It’s probably got some really deep cultural meaning but I’m going for ‘heat’. I arrived at the village at 8am and began to sweat a ‘bit’, maybe the only reason I was invited was so the villagers could watch a western man slowly die from sweating. Well, I would do my best to give them what they wanted.

The local children took an instant interest in myself and the other western men (who weren’t sweating!?!?!) and before I knew it I was involved in impromptu football match!

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The Over 40’s Football Legends v Thailand under 10’s

It wasn’t really an even game and I swear it was never a penalty…I was nowhere near the girl in the white dress! But despite an ill-tempered game and my debatable red card for a supposedly reckless challenge, I do hope the young girls ankle is ok, ankle breaks can be a bugger to heal properly!

Then the wedding began, but not like ones you would experience in a western society, all slow walks and dull music…no, Thai weddings start with loud Thai dance music, lots of dancing and lots and lots of noise…

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The Firestarter! Twisted Firestarter!

I may sound cynical but it was an amazing experience to see a wedding start this way and I began to feel the excitement of being present…Oh and where was the music coming from? Erm…here…

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The Loudest Car Stereo In The World

I don’t know if you can see the speakers at the back of the car…can you see them, they’re quite hard to make out but they’re there and were really rather loud! See if you can spot the speakers in the next photo…

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We’re Coming And We’re Bringing The Dog With Us!

The stereo/car followed behind the groom and the rest of us towards the brides house, I learnt that this is also a tradition in Thailand which dates back many, many years – at least the 1980’s! The slow dance/procession mash-up took around 15 minutes until the groom reached the house where he had to ask some of the local children if he could enter…

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Traditional Thai Children Being Told What The Hell Is Going On Next

The Groom then entered the house and while something traditional that I know nothing about goes on inside the house (I think it’s something to do with the groom saying ‘don’t worry, love, I’ll take care of you’) all of the guests sat down to eat! Yes, it may be around 9 am but here’s some curry! I love Thai food but at 9 am I’m still very much a cereal and toast kind of guy but not wanting to offend anyone, I dug in with all the gusto of a barn owl in a hair salon who has been given a 10% on a haircut (I don’t know how I think of these sayings…I am truly sorry).

The bride and groom then left the house and sat outside with the rest of us while one of the villagers reads out what can best be described as ‘the vows’ – I have zero idea of what was being said during this part…come one, what do you expect? I’m trying, here! Here’s a photograph of it…you’re more interested in seeing these than reading words that only Shakespeare would appreciate…

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A Thai Wedding…Look At It.

As you can see from the angle of this photo, I got a seat so close to the front that I am almost behind the ceremony.

Anyway, then some more speaking happened and more things got said, then the bride and groom had to eat a boiled egg and then some ladies chucked some plants on them and it all started to wrap up. I know I am being sarcastic at times but this was a lovely experience and then, as the wedding was wrapping up a group of what would be best described as ‘village elders’ approached me and the other westerners before tying thin bits of yellow wool around our wrists which is said to give you good luck…nice of them, wasn’t it?!

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This Isn’t Really My Hand As I Employ A Hand Model For Such Moments

Shortly after this and a long discussion about contracts and royalties I decided to get the band back together…

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Yes, Electric Sandals Have Reunited!

The wedding really was a special day for me and I suppose the bride and groom also, I’m not sure but they looked pretty happy and despite the chances of them reading this being pretty slim I’d like to wish them a very happy future and to say that the fish curry I had at 9 am was delicious!

I had an extra day to kill before my train home to Bangkok so guess what? I went for a walk and saw a temple…

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An Amazing Thai Temple

Sadly, the doors were shut, the monks there had probably gone for lunch or to use the toilet or something, so I carried on my way which is when I had my run in with the local Thai mafia. I’d not heard of the Thai mafia before and it’s certainly not a famous organisation like the Japanese Yakuza but they are pretty fearsome and ruthless…the follwing story is true.

I was heading back to my hotel when a truck approached me, but it wasnt an ordinary truck as I saw in the rear of the truck, some rough members of what must have been the local mafia keeping an eye on ‘their’ properties. I was lucky to take a photo, thinking they hadn’t noticed me…take a look but be warned, they may try to kill you now that you’ve seen their faces…

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THE MAFIA

It all looks pretty harmless and you’re probably thinking that I am getting carried away and making a big deal out of nothing but look closely at the young one near the front of the truck…look at the cold icy stare and the lack of soul in the eyes…here’s a close up…

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Utterly Chilling

I felt my blood run cold and new I only had a matter of hours to leave town or face the consequences which luckily for me I was due to do in around 10 hours after this brush with death occurred.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and if this is your first time, relax, take a look around, I’ve loads more posts you can read and they’re all incredibly funny and interesting. I have a very unique perspective on things – like a rabbit attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle.

Thanks for reading

 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Whew.. so much to unpack here.
    1. I hope you sweated profusely and in true Western fashion so as not to embarrass the home team.
    2. That stereo speaker was artfully camouflaged, thanks for pointing it out.
    3. Exactly what kind of plants were chucked at the groom? Turnip greens? Philodendron? Details man, details.
    4. Glad you made it out alive past the local mafia. That’s a nasty looking bunch of thugs. I’ve heard they’ll tie lead weighted rubber ducks to your ankles and beat you senseless with Nerf bats if you don’t cooperate. Scary stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1. Yes.
      2. You’re welcome.
      3. Small yellow petals of something.
      4. It was a close call but I think my case was helped by the fact I wet myself so badly that they were happy to let me go.
      Thanks for replying in a numbered and clear fashion, I wish all of your responses were this clear…😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah. Spontaneous urination has gotten me out of quite a few jams…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s an often overlooked self-defence mechanism

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny post, but there are a couple of glaring omissions. For example, how exactly did you come to be invited to this wedding and how do you know the happy couple? Also, you don’t mention if you got them a gift and, if so, what it was. Taken together, these unanswered questions make me wonder whether you weren’t simply crashing that wedding for a shot at breakfast curry and blog post fodder. On the other hand, perhaps you did get them a gift – one carefully considered and lovingly chosen, but which ended up being totally culturally inappropriate, bordering on offensive, and now you have a funny tale to write and I just need to shut up and be patient. I can’t rest until I know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! If these queries were numbered it would be easier to answer but I shall bravely endeavour to ease your inquisitive mind.
      1. I met the groom in Bangkok around 18 months ago in a restaurant (not like that…)
      2. Gifts are not given at Thai weddings…money on the other hand. It’s tradition for guests to walks past the seated couple, tie a yellow piece of cotton around their wrists and shove some cold hard cash into their hands (I probably should have mentioned this…)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wedding sounded so fun! I love the impromptu soccer match too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was nice to get involved with the locals like that but after running for about 20 seconds while playing football it didn’t seem like fun 😂

      Like

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