Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in Bangkok

After 500 km I reached Phenom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, of which more in another post. It was strange seeing Westerners again and as I cycled the busy streets looking for a guest house I felt a little sense of achievement at having got here under my own steam - so far I've not seen another Western cyclist on the roads of Cambodia.

Soon after I arrived, I was off to the airport to fly back to Bangkok to see my buddy Moleskin Matt get married. What a fun and fascinating time! Moleskin met his wife Poom while he was working in Bangkok several years ago. He's quite the South East Asian connoisseur, speaking Thai and having completed several of his own cycle odysseys in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It was great to catch up with him and meet Poom, who is predictably as terrific as young Moleskin. A perfect match.

The ceremony itself was the third of the week, following civil and Buddhist proceedings. It unfolded over several hours during which the number attending slowly swelled from a hundred to around 600 as family were joined by friends and finally business associates. It was fascinating and much fun and has been a perfect break from the bike for the weekend. Cheers to Poom and Matt!

Poom and Moleskin spent most of the many hours of the ceremony kneeling and greeting everyone with hands pressed together in sawadee. This was the 'pouring of the water' part of the ceremony.

On your knees boy! (as the KLF would have said, had they been invited).

This was the grand finale of speeches, toasting and over 600 guests.

The cake has nine layers, for luck. The 18th was similarly a most auspicious day on which to be married.

It was a very grand and spectacular occasion with ice sculptures and everything!

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