The wedding day! The bride was too busy preparing for her wedding so we agreed not to hang out with each other. She would be busy with her own things and I would mind my own business which was… to do nothing. 😛 I had become very good at that lately. I woke up late and decided to eat and then do some shopping. My friend told me a few times to do shopping in Karaman because things were much cheaper there than in Istanbul. Actually, even if she didn’t suggest I do it, I’d do it.
As I walked out of the hotel before mid-day, I immediately got distracted by the shops. I went into one or two or three (or four 😬) with my empty stomach and then finally when I got into the last one (before brunch) I decided to eat because my stomach was rumbling.
I chose one Italian cum Turkish restaurant. Of course, I didn’t order any Italian food. 😀 I ordered from the Turkish menu: chicken döner, salad, two other side dishes and Turkish fermented milk which had a very interesting taste and I liked it (some people don’t). I was so full! My stomach and tummy were so satisfied. Satisfecho! 😜 The waiters there were very nice too. I didn’t order any tea but the owner offered me one for free. He said ‘welcome!’ 😊. People were definitely friendlier than those in Istanbul. And guess how much I paid for this meal? 8 liras! My goodness! 😱
With my full stomach, I had more energy to shop after lunch! The point was, I couldn’t find any right sizes because I was too petit and thin but not too tall compared to the locals. In the end, I had to buy an XL kid’s dress (20 liras). 😀 And I bought a bag too. After negotiation, the bag still cost 30 liras. Extremely expensive compared to the meal I had this afternoon. But the design was like Desigual kind of design.
Time was running out so I headed back to the hotel. As usual, I got lost even in such a small town. I asked two girls who were walking towards me for directions. They both were very happy to assist me. One of them said, ‘I live in this town. I can show you where the hotel is. We can take you there.’ We started chatting and she told me she was studying in Wuhan in China. As we walked, she was a bit confused about the directions. Lucky that her friend was with us. 😀 She probably had left her own town for too long. 😀
I got changed quickly and rushed to the ‘headquarters’. That was a term my friend used to describe her parents-in-law’s flat because everything either happened there or started from there. All the groom’s relatives were there and my friend was now wearing a white wedding dress. After a while, the ceremony started – the Imam said something as if my friend was leaving her home going to get married. The bride was supposed to cry again, whatever. We knew she couldn’t do it. 😛 Unlike last night, I didn’t give her any tissue to pretend this time. 😀
After the ceremony, we left the house and headed to the banquet place. It was just like any wedding banquets. I expected a feast tonight. But it wasn’t really the case because in Turkey, eating is not the important part. Something else is. 😉
My friend and her husband were worried that I’d be bored so they asked me to join them in the bride’s room and we all ate there. Looking at the food served in the bride’s room, the bride asked me, ‘is it the same as the food in the banquet hall?’ – salad which was the core part of the meal, some cheese spring rolls, dessert, rice (beef) and lentil soup. That was all. ‘Yes’ I said. She gave me a tired smile and said, ‘it’s so different from our culture.’ I know. 😀
The organiser requested my friend to sign a consent paper to allow them to use their photos. I found it quite strange but I was also glad that they asked. It could be because this was their first time to organise this kind of intercultural marriage event, that’s why they wanted to use the photos for promotional purposes. My friend didn’t like to see her face being displayed everywhere so the couple decided not to give their consent.
After we ate something, I was introduced to the groom’s cousin and his beautiful wife. I always say, my eyes like to travel and they like to look at pretty things. 😛 I think it’s not just me. I do believe that everyone is. (‘The Eye Has to Travel’ is the name of a film about Diana Vreeland, a legend in the world of fashion.)
So, what do Turkish people do at the wedding banquet if they don’t have a feast?
And they dance a lot!
It’s not a wedding banquet. It’s a party.
At the Henna party, the bride was taught how to dance the spoon dance. That was to prepare her for her wedding day. Other than the couple’s first dance, they needed to do the traditional dance. Fortunately, some performers were hired so that the couple didn’t need to dance for the whole night.
When the party was finally over, the couple received gifts from the guests. Gifts included money (similar to the Asian culture), pots and plates (similar to the western culture). My friend told me that was the best part of her wedding day. 😀
It was indeed a very interesting experience for me. 😊
That’s not the end of the story.
Stay tuned. 😊
10 August 2018