After something like 2.75 years in Vietnam, I'm taking the low road back to civilisation.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

#4 Dave's wedding/stag do and the discovery of Weissbier

The weeks surrounding Dave’s marriage to Hue provided me with several good memories and discoveries. The stag do in Phuket cannot feature in this list, but the wedding itself was a very emotional and memorable occasion.

It was around this time that I had discovered Weissbier, which was the greatest discovery of 2009. I had experimented with Erdinger before, but it was HB that got me hooked in the latter stages of the year and increased my expenditure on beer by at least 150%. I have pretty much sussed out the availability of the different brands in Edinburgh now, but have to limit my spending on the cloudy stuff sometime soon.

The groom’s speech reflected his penchant for - in addition to his new bride of course - the written word and Microsoft Powerpoint. It was a unique speech, delivered bilingually in part, that exceeded my estimated length, and lost me 50k. Give a task like a groom’s speech to someone who is as fond of writing down his thoughts, memories and feelings as Dave is, and you will get a lengthy speech, but despite Khalid and Les’s assertions that a speech should be finished within 20 seconds, Dave’s was kept engaging for all by the inclusion of readings in Vietnamese of thanks and joy to his bride’s family (a quick look around would see the Vietnamese listening intently, and the ex-pats mouthing along silently). Normally, if you give the big man a microphone for that length of time, you will see him steadily deteriorate into shambolic slurred state of drunkenness for as long as he can maintain the majority of the quizmaster’s essential skills of reading, speaking, focusing his eyes (on something, anything) and avoiding mashing the keyboard with his elbow to the detriment of the presentation. A once in a lifetime chance to see him come away from an amplified stage more sober than he was when he started, but considerably more glassy eyed.

The Holmes’s guest list demonstrated a challenge that, under very different circumstances, I have faced and which has on several occasions put me off organizing shindigs. Helping everyone get along. On a night out you can just stick to little self contained groups. The difference being of course, that at a wedding the guests you invite cannot be excluded and then invited to another bash so there’s little room for creative omission.

Seemingly at Ben and Rachel's wedding at the same location some months before, Ian and me got into a bit of a aggro with each other over some throwaway comment I made that neither of us can actually recall. The result of which being that when us boys went up to the bar to sort out some shots, those of us with partners seemed to invoke a no shot or no sex for a month rule, as Ronnie and Rachel were able to kill Ian and Ben's enthusiasm for hitting the shorts in the blink of an eye.

However, Ronnie couldn't stop the blood from flowing as Kerry leapfrogged Liam and sent her chin into a very solid object and had to be escorted off to the hospital for stitches.

A fantastic day, tinged with disappointment only at Chris Marsek and wife walking out in the middle of Dave’s speech. Shame on you Marseks.

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