Monday, May 5, 2008
Asia IV: Sinying/The Resort
Mandie grew up in Sinying, a town outside of Tainan. We arrived the day before the wedding and didn't really get to see much of the town outside of the resort. The weather was incredibly hot and humid and, aside from a morning walk around the large grounds, we stayed indoors. It was a very good break from all the walking.
Mandie's parents hosted a dinner for out-of-town guests the night before the wedding. The highlight for me was the best sesame bun I have ever tasted. There was something in addition to sesame in the paste filling. It was rich and earthy; almost like dark chocolate. After a multi-course banquet, I somehow managed to eat two of the buns.
I think Sinying is where I felt the most foreign during our trip. The resort was a local destination and not used to hosting foreigners. I was met with polite curiosity by the other guests - a few small children openly gawked. The wedding, too, was a unique experience. Mandie's three outfits were beautiful and Dr. Colin looked dashing in tails. However, as formal as the bride and groom were, the guests were equally casual. They pretty much came "as is" - t-shirts, shorts, jeans, etc., and this is completely normal. Also, there was no dancing - the reception was a banquet. The event concluded with a private tea ceremony for the family.
The following day we headed to Macao, the Las Vegas of Asia.