About 4 hours ago, with a long empty Sunday evening stretched out in front of me, I thought I'd write a post about Vietnamese parties. Then, as I went downstairs to make some tea (you can take the girl out of England, but.....) I found myself on the back of a motorbike being whisked away to the beach for a.... family party.
A feast for 27
Having grown up in the Otto/Stephenson clan (both families being renowned breeders), some aspects of these gatherings are very familiar. We also enjoy large rowdy meals; with 30 or so family members ranging in age (and behavioural age) from 0 - 93, laughing, teasing, shouting, children dangling off chairs / trees / hammocks / roofs, lots of food and drink, someone sleeping on the floor etc....
There are subtle differences though. Things I'm less familiar with including;
- throwing all scraps and bottles onto the floor
- scrawny dogs eating said scraps from around your feet
- people pissing off the edge of the restaurant platform
- being given the chicken's head as a prize delicacy
- having whatever watery iced drink I have in front of me topped up with whatever someone else has at hand....beer, coke, or green tea, or worst of all, 'sting' (the local version of red bull)
- hookers sitting at the next table eyeing up the younger guys
- the lady who's drunk the most (apart from grandma) telling me she's due at work in a couple of hours. At the hospital.
- grandma vomiting from her hammock after one-too-many glasses of said watery-iced-beers (granny, don't get any ideas!)
So, I'm back at the guesthouse, feeling a bit bewildered by the last few hours, a bit tipsy, and glad to have been to another party instead of just sitting here typing about them :o)