August 19, 2007

20 minutes and banana suits

So when we set out at 9am for the wedding with the ginormous pots, (read post before this one) we were only supposed to stay for 20 minutes.

Our host said, "Oh, I just need to go by and say hi and you guys can greet the family. They're preparing right now for the wedding so it's real casual. Then we'll go up to Mt. Smile. It'll only take about 20 minutes."

20 minutes?

Yeah right.
When white people show up things change. But we had no idea just how out of control it was gonna get.

Mt. Smile was having a huge carnival type thing and we were looking forward to it.

Keep up with the math...we got there at 9am...

At 11:10 or so we finally left the wedding site with 2 borrowed traditional outfits (Both yellow, mine looked a lot like the surface of the sun) and instructions that we were to go put them on, I was to put on make-up, a lady would then come and assist us with a few of the details of the outfits and we were to return to the wedding at 12 to be the Best Man and Maid of Honor for the bride and groom.

We already felt weird as people looked and talked about us like we were dolls to be dressed up, but then to find out we were taking the place of the best friends of the bride and groom and we didn't even know them made us feel horrible! But all the women in charge were insisting and they wouldn't take no for an answer.

So back at the house we put on the basics of the outfits.
Anthony's boxers showed through his pants, and the waist of the skirt I had to wear could have fit a 3 year old snuggly.

Then the lady showed up to help us.
And things got worse. (You must remember it's 1000 degrees outside)

She got out the head covering for me.
But it wasn't a regular one (like what she's wearing)
It was the kind a BRIDE wears...and ONLY a bride.

You can see the excitement all over my face.
Then luckily she brought out a waist covering for Anthony, so it hid his boxers. But men only wear the waist thing at their weddings and on the first day after Ramadan. They wear jeans and shirts to weddings. They also brought a traditional Muslim hat for Anthony to wear, except they couldn't find one to fit him so it sat funny on top of his head. He also didn't have any shoes to wear but flip-flops so several men asked him straight up with a disgusted tone in their voice, "Why are you wearing slippers?"
While we were getting dressed, the village leader came over.
Here was the short dialogue which insured we'd have one of the most awkward and frustrating afternoons since we got here (we're laughing about it now, but weren't then)

Village Leader- "Where are the white people? They need to come up to Mt. Smile and get interviewed right now."
Our Host- "Oh, they can't come right now. They're dressing up right now in traditional outfits and have to go to a wedding first."
Village Leader- "Oh really?! Then just bring them up to Mt. Smile wearing the outfits!"

Nice.

So off to the wedding we went.
EVERYONE was pointing to us in our banana outfits and saying, "Pegantin! HAHA!" (Which means "BRIDE!" or "GROOM"...it was so humiliating. We've been to several weddings and this was definitely out of the norm which is why we were so embarrassed)

Check out the hat and the "slippers"... (it would do no good to try and explain they are from JCrew)
And this us eating at the seats of honor.
By this point Anthony's back was completely soaked through with sweat.

Then it was off to Mt. Smile.
Here's some of the crowd at Mt. Smile.
There were a couple hundred people there.
And we experienced another dose of "PEGANTIN! LOOK! PEGANTIN!"
Since we're taller than 90% of the population here and were wearing the brightest outfits in the history of the world, everyone was staring at us.

The supposed interview that we were to have (because they wanted to interview white people who could speak Bahasa) was slow in coming. Then our Host finally found out after another hour or so that it was a newspaper interview and that the reporter wasn't even there yet.
So we left.

Safe to say it was the longest 20 minutes of our lives!

10 comments:

Mama D. said...

Really, all I can say is "Bless your hearts!" That goes for you both as well as the bride and groom!
Mama

Cara said...

All I could think about when you said Banana suits is Garnet's Banana Man outfit...hmm?
So just think: It could have been worse! Pretty cool cultural experience though!

Beki B said...

What a GREAT Story!!! I know at the time you were probably a little frustrated, but what a great story to be able to tell Baby Rivers!!!!

Chanclers said...

you were much better sports about that whole ordeal than we ever would have been. it frustrates me just reading about it...much less actually being there.

SouthAsiaRocks said...

haha! fun! What a fun experience! I love it! (I really like the yellow - haha!)

The Agarwals said...

Even 20 minutes in that glowing outfit, in that billion degree heat, pregnant and feeling a tad awkward would have been enough- Whew! What a story to tell! I almost feel like I should ask for your autograph!! But, just for the record, you looked lovely, no undergarments were exposed and yes, I appreciated that the flops (I mean, slippers) were from J. Crew! You guys are some awesome troopers!! Hats off to you both! Well, all three, since little bit had to endure it as well! :-)

Steve said...

You are such good sports! To be in a situation like that when you know that to do what you really want to do is extremely rude...Like mama d. said,"Bless your hearts!" I had a great laugh over this one!

Steve said...

Another thing...in that last photo on this post, the flag in the foreground looks like the American flag. Is that the case or is flag of your host country similar?

Anthony and Sharon said...

No it's not an American flag, but they patterned their flag after the US's. If you look closely you'll see that their flag starts with a Red stripe and ends with a white (7 red, 7 white) and it represents their 14 states. Our flag starts in red and ends in red (7 red, 6 white) for the 13 original colonies. The top corner of their's also has a blue rectangle like ours...but has one star with 14 points and a crescent moon.
Sometimes we like to just 'glance' at one and it feels like home!

Four4Him said...

What a great experience! We have experienced some weddings here and they are definitely nothing like those at home. Jennifer wasn't real excited about the clothing she had to wear and she wasn't happy that I took a picture of it. I will try to send you a copy sometime. - Todd