Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our French Wedding (2)

In my last post about the French wedding I mentioned that my mother wanted me to get out of the house from the main door, but instead I got out from the second door (for concubine in the Chinese culture) since I was wearing extremely high pair of shoes. The result, I forgot to bring my own luggages to the rental property (a farm house) for our wedding, which would have been seen if I got out through the main door. With no choice, hubby went back to the house and picked up what was forgotten, and by the time he arrived in the place where the wedding dinner was held, our guests had been waiting for more than an hour. Lesson: listen to your mother, sometimes they could be right.

Luckily the guests had lots of activities to keep them busy in the farm house, one of them being watching the drooling roasted pork, a famous dish from this farm house.

While waiting for the dinner to start, some of the guests setting up their tents. Basically our friends brought their own tent and camp outside while our family guests sleep in the rooms. Our friends and hubby set up the tents for some of my family member, but due to some miss understanding and the cold weather, we didn't make use of the tents. :-(

People started dancing while waiting for hubby to come back.

We started the evening program immediately once hubby arrived. We had a fabulous violin performance and poem by this little girl and her brother.

Fabien telling a joke.

The dinner setting was very simple and friendly with some decorations from Malaysia.

The menu: fois gras with anion; langoustin; apple ice cream with alcohol; roasted pork with vegetables; salad and cheese & strawberry cake. The small red bag is from Malaysia, with some Malaysian candies, junk foods and peanut biscuit.

The fois gras was so good but I couldn't find any photo of it. Here is the langoustin, one kind of shrimp from Brittany region.

We open the ball and people join in.

We had the Brittany/Celtic dance and everybody, young and old joined in. Our guests just love to dance!

Fabien's parents prepared him a drama show. The dad was imitating Fabien when he was teenager and when he was going to the scout camp. It was hilarious!

Finally it was time to taste the roasted pork. Everybody said it was good. For me, I was awaiting roasted pork plus roasted skin, but it just not the way it is here. All the skin were thrown away, and we only eat the meat. The taste just wasn't the same without the skin. My nephew asked why roasted the pork until "chao ta" (burned).

There were several games going on during the dinner. For this game, I selected 6 girls and Fabien selected 6 guys. For each round one of the contestants will be eliminated. They were assigned tasks like finding a lipstick, a kid, car key, and they need to rush back to find a seat, which would always be one person less. People who couldn't find a seat loses, and they would need to do something for us in the month they got. For example, someone had to host our first wedding anniversary September next year.

Our friends prepared another game for us. In this game, we had to reply their questions, like who does the housework, who stays longer in the bathroom, who spends more money...with answer all lead to "me or him/her". Our friends were considered enough to have one person translated the questions into English for my family members.

Our good friends from Nantes presented us a song in French, English, Chinese, Spanish and Breton (a regional language spoken in Brittany). Million thanks to the efforts they put into this.

Revenge time. My BIL was forced to eat Chinese jelly/pudding during our wedding in Malaysia. Now he wanted my sister to try the stinky French cheese. :-)

Champagne time: No celebration will go without champagne in my in-laws family. This huge bottle of champagne was specially ordered for this occasion. I think it costs a fortune.

Time to cut some cakes. These strawberry cake was just awesome. I was so full with other dishes but still manage to finish my share of it.

People went dancing from time to time and most of the guests went to sleep around 2am. Hubby and his friends stayed up dancing until 6am.

Overall, my family especially my mother was very impressed by the French wedding. It was an eyes opening ceremony, with guests participate in games and dances and everyone was happy. My mother actually drunk white, rose, red wine plus champagne in one night, which was something never happened in her life.

French wedding usually last for two days. Stay tunned for the episode of "retour de noce", the day after the wedding.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

When you are not fluent in the language

,then you tend to create jokes out of yourself.

Example A:
I have friends (A & V) were getting married and A's family flew in from South America (She is South American). I saw her father once. On the day of the wedding, an old man accompanied her outside the Town Hall for the wedding registration. I approached him but was not sure whether he was A's father.
Me: Vous êtes le beau père de V? (Are you V's father in laws?)
Him: Oui. (Yes)
Since he admitted that he is V's father in laws, that means he is A's father, who was supposed to be a South American who doesn't speak French.
Me: Wow vous parlez bien français! (Wow you speak good French!)
Him: Bien sûr, je suis Français! (of course, I'm French!)
Then I heard hubby laughing heavily. It's just so stupid to compliment a French speaking good French. Apparently that guy is le beau père of V , but beau père has two meaning in French, it could be FIL or step father. So he is the step father of V, not FIL. How confusing!

Example 2:
During the class, I was chatting with my guys classmates.
Guy 1: How long had you married?
me: About a year ago we had our civil wedding, but just recently we had our church wedding.
Guy2: Do you have children?
me: Non, mais on est en train de faire. (no but we are making it)
Then I saw them all trying to hold their laugh, something must be wrong. I didn't dare to ask so wait until home I asked hubby.
Hubby: Of course they laugh lah, you were telling them you were in the process of fucking!
Gosh I swear this was not my intention, I wanted to say we are trying, not fucking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Our French Wedding (1)

I finally managed to gather some photos for our wedding held more than two weeks ago. Thanks everyone who took time to upload the photos for us.

Unlike the tradition where bride and groom have to sleep in the different house the night before the wedding, we actually slept in the same house and depart from the same house the second morning. While Fabien was busying with the booklets and other organizations for the wedding, I went in the morning for my hair and makeup. When I got home, everybody was busy putting all the luggages (we will go directly to the party place), the champagne glasses, the decor... At this moment, my mother wanted me to get out from the main door, as going out from the side door means you are the second wife or concubine to the guy, in the Chinese tradition. I didn't follow her instruction and later regretted from it.

Our friends decorated their car for us.

Me wearing these shoes, welcoming and face kissing over 100 guests. I thought it would be annoying but I actually had fun doing it.

Waiting to enter the chapel. Unlike what I saw in the American movie, me and my father were in the middle while Fabien and his mother were the one entering the last.

There were some presentations during the ceremony. My family members were singing a Chinese song which broke the serious ambiance when they sang out of tone. :-)

My nephew, brought us the rings during the ring exchange ceremony. The rings were nicely tied to a handmade pillow, made by Fabien's god mother, a tradition in the region.

The singing ceremony. The priest was impressed that my parents signed in Chinese. He thought that Chinese was a language that is not practice anymore, like Latin.

A song sang by friends who used to be scout.

The ceremony lasted like about 35 minutes, we are finally husband and wife, according to both our traditions.

We had photo session with different groups: siblings, friends, cousin... then a group one. I like the background, this place is awesome to take photo.

Right after photo session, we had a cocktail party beside the chapel. The feast started from now!

I tried to talk to people but stay close to my family who couldn't communicate with the guests. The guests were simply fantastic, they didn't want my family to be left out from the party, so they kept talking to my family even though they didn't understand each other. The French are just too friendly! My mother said I'm lucky bcos everyone seems to be so nice to me.

We managed to gather everyone in a circle, and did the Malaysian toast: Yammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sheng!

The wedding ceremony started at around 2.30pm and the cocktail lasted around 6.30pm. Some of the guests left, whereas those who got invited to dinner, follow us to the rental house.

Stay tunned for the dinner part.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Speak the French English

For the first semester, my classes are in English. So, I have professors speaking the French-English the whole day. Basically for the French, "h" doesn't exist and "s"= "z" if "s" is not the first letter in a word. So, imagine everyday I'm hearing:

Thiz iz a bazic buziness concept.
(H)ere is an example of (h)ow you can implement IT solutionz.
Thiz can (h)elp you understand w(h)o uzez thiz model.

I got so confused whether I was pronouncing English correctly, and realized I did a lot of mistakes. So I actually learn from the French about the correct way in pronouncing certain English words. But, now my problem is, do we pronounce all the plural "s" as "z" like what the French do?

Customerz, imagez, clientz, technologiez....

I need help!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Malaysians always eat the same thing

The Malaysians love their foods and are proud of them. This can really be seen in my family who missed their foods miserably when they were in France. My nephew already had a list of foods he wanted to eat when he was in Malaysia even before he left France: bah kut teh, nasi lemak, dim sum, cha kuey teoh, roti canai....

This led to a discussion that my family is very closed minded in terms of food. They only eat Chinese Malaysian food at home, not wanting to try other cuisines. That was why they couldn't gotten used to the French food when they were in France. Besides, since they always eat the same kind of foods, they are not used to other ingredients.

According to hubby, in France you can cook different dishes for 365 days. In Malaysia we always eat rice and noodles. My explanation, nasi lemak and nasi kandar is different; curry mee is different than cha kuey teow. But it could be seen as the same for a foreigners.

What do you think? Do we always eat the same kind of foods? How many among you actually go to Malay and Indian restaurants regularly, eat something besides nasi lemak and roti canai? Are we less open minded in accepting different kind of foods?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Do you check your junk mail?

I just found out that I need to do an assignment that is due: Yesterday.

Yes. How nice to kick start a week.

If not bcos my classmates were discussing about that assignment, I wouldn't have known. Well, I have never had an assignment that was due even before we see the professor.

He sent out an email describing his coming up classes with us, plus one assignment. An weirdly, I didn't receive it. I asked my classmate to forward it to me, then I waited and waited, nothing. At this point, bing, I told myself I should just check out the junk mail.

Yes, it's sitting within hundreds of junk mails. I think the title was too long or yahoo just simply didn't recognize the sender, it decided to put it in the junk folder.

So, tonight, I need to work out that assignment, I'm not sure the professor will still accept it. And yes, my printer is not working and that document has 23 pages.

Good luck to me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Is Switzerland a racist country?

Imagine we arrived in the Geneva train station and saw this ads immediately. The message: If you are not Swiss (not white skin), please get out of this country. We thought this must be from a minority political party just like the far right wings in France. We were wrong, this is actually from the most popular party, holding around 26% of the vote.

We all imagine that the western countries have less racist issues but this is the living proof that the "white sheeps who want to kick the black one out" is everywhere in the world.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weird combination

I couldn't resist but to share with you one funny photo I took during my family visit. This Malaysian simply was not prepared with the unpredictable weather in the Brittany region. It was the only shoes she brought so she ended with this weird combination of green socks and white shoes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Culture difference: French food or Maggi Mee

My family had a fabulous time in France and during our trip to Italy and Switzerland. However, I got known to quite some cultural differences that I would like to share with you guys or get your opinions.

When my family first arrived in Paris, they ate whatever they wanted, basically we bought the local foods and cooked them our way. They had one meal in the restaurant and was not tempted after. As for the kids, they had maggi mee whenever they couldn't stand the local food.

Thing changed when they arrived in my in laws place. My in laws had put a lot of efforts in creating menu for them. Each meal had been decided before hand. I didn't realize my in laws have so much dining and house rules at home until my family arrived. One of the examples is that everybody has to sit down and eat whatever the host offered and if you reject any serving that would be considered impolite.

So it was ok the first day they were there, but after a while they really couldn't appreciate every dishes, especially my parents who don't take cheese at all. The kids ate little during the meal and got hungry after.

In this situation, my family cooked the children maggi mee and it was found offensive. What about you guys? Would you prepare something for your kids or you leave them starve as they should have eaten whatever was offered?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's over

Everything is over now. My family has gone back to Malaysia, the wedding went well, and I will go back to school tomorrow.

It was very hard to see my family going. We traveled together for 25 days. When the train left, I felt like part of me went with them, I wish so much that I was among them and going home with them, and join their plans of food hunting program as soon as they arrive in Malaysia!

The wedding went well, we had beautiful weather the day of the wedding and the day after. As expected, I didn't get the hair style and the make up I like, even thought I showed both the hair stylist and aesthetician photos of the way I wanted. Well, I had the wedding I wanted in Malaysia, so I was not a big deal.

As for the school, not very excited about it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Would you do that?

It takes 4 hours and 30 minutes to go up and see these views, plus around 3 hours and 30 minutes to go down the mountain. I did that in Interlaken.

Would you guys do that?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I'm in heaven!

We finally arrived in Interlaken Switzerland, after all the disappointments in Italy. We felt that we have finally found a place that pleases us. These two photos were taken from the balcony where we stay.

The weather is just perfect. I had a cheese raclette in a restaurant with a bunch of Swiss singing in French. It was just awesome.

In contrast to the heat, dirtiness and stress to get robed in Italy, we are in heaven!