Yesterday (the wedding) was a whirlwind, and I was only able to truly appreciate it in the days that followed. To be quite honest, I’m still absorbing everything, including the fact that I was treated as a celebrity 🙂
The day after the wedding, I went down to breakfast on my own and took some pictures while I was there. They unfortunately wouldn’t let me take any pictures of the food, but I did manage to get a few of the area. Shuyan and Hanshin came around 10 when I was expecting them around 12. We went to the supermarket to pick up a couple of small gifts for her mom. We then went to her parents’ apartment and counted all of the wedding money her mother received from the guests. After everything was counted, her mom gave me a bunch of pretty bottle covers (haha I’m not entirely sure what to do with them as we don’t drink!) and some silk scarves and sweets to take back with me.
Hanshin’s family was having a lunch for them and we needed to get going as we were late. We went to the house of the grandmother and found nobody there; they were eating at a restaurant. We hurried over there to find most of the food already on the table and a large group of family present. We ate quickly and they mentioned how happy they were that I actually eat, instead of the two or three bites done by most Chinese girls so they can stay skinny. One of the worst things that can be said to a girl is “wow, you really eat a lot!” and I was a bit mortified at hearing this. I’m a small girl, so it shocked me that I am thought to be a big eater. Shuyan explained to me that a lot of girls in China will only eat a few bites in order to stay thin, and the fact that I’m thin and eat impresses them (or puzzles them, haha). I got a lot of toasts at this meal, and they loved hearing my bad Mandarin pronunciation 🙂
We quickly stopped at the bank afterwards to make the deposit; all of the money was going under Shuyan’s name only.. it was a promise Hanshin made when he was bargaining to enter her room to get her, and this was his living up to it. They made an investment with it instead of a simple deposit, and this required opening up a new account. After the bank, we came back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before going to his parents’ apartment for dinner. I ate a lot because they kept putting stuff in my dish; word had spread that I was a good eater and not afraid to try new foods. After we finished, we started counting the money that had been given to his parents. Big guy gave an amount with a 13, which is also a big no-no, while guy in the hat gave his money in an envelope that was for last year’s Chinese New Year (picture of a tiger); we all found this hilarious.
We ended the day pretty early. We stopped quickly at her parents’ house to get something and met with her dad in the garage for a minute. They then dropped me back in the hotel, and we hung out for a bit and listened to some music. There was a French song called Le Papillon with a little kid asking a grandfather all sorts of questions, and I went through and translated for them. They then told me of a French rapper that’s scary looking named Sinik (he did a song with James Blunt… the guy who sings ‘Beautiful!’). We checked out the videos on http://www.youku.com before calling it a night. It was such a chill day, despite the family visits and running around. I’m so happy to be here!!
Sinik ft. James Blunt:
One thing that was fun about today was that I wore one of my patterned hijabs and they were shocked to see a Muslim woman wearing something other than white or black. The Muslim women in China, the Hui, only wear white scarves, while the stereotype of Arabs is that they only wear black! I was very happy to cause a bit of a craze wherever I went today. Resolution for the rest of my time in China? Do not wear a white hijab again 🙂