Tea time!

Tea I
The thing about the Chinese wedding tea ceremony in Singapore, is that it happens so infrequently in most families that once someone indicates that it's about to start, everyone gets very solemn and shuffles around the room intently, creating the air of a religious observance, when really, it's all about welcoming new blood into the family (Hi, Pete!).

Today's tea ceremony was distinctive in that the bride and groom had no qualms about wearing black and white (the most funerary colours in the Chinese palette, don't you know), and also the bride's family was sufficiently laidback to let the bride's brother skip the ceremony in favour of playing basketball. To be fair to him, he thought the tea ceremony was going to start after lunch and he got home from the game in time for lunch, so... But my aunt and uncle were also truly unfazed by his absence.

Lunch was deceptively "light-lunch-looking" bento sets. Dessert was solid chocolate masquerading as wedding cake (airflown from the wedding last week in New Zealand) --- homemade kueh lapis, by the aunt who graciously chose to exercise her well-honed but rarely used kueh lapis baking skills for this special occasion --- and then an orange chiffon cake that appeared out of nowhere. They should've started with the chiffon because it was clearly the lightest choice; alas, poor chiffon, by the time you were trotted out, most of us already had chocolate weighing down on our Japanese bento lunches and our stomaches had no room for more.

However, the bride assured me there would be no wedding cake at the wedding dinner next week. I'm happy that I won't be overeating on that occasion, but my sweet tooth is a little disappointed.

(Note for Sterrah: This is not turning into a food blog like yours. But I was quite overwhelmed by the triple dessert.)

(Note to self: Use italics more sparingly, dammit!)

Tea [for] II
Speaking of Sterrah, that's who I had tea with, following the Chinese tea ceremony (at which I did not in fact drink any tea, since in most Chinese traditions, the bridal couple does not offer tea of the marrying variety to a fellow cousin). Although downtown was still in the throes of post-Xmas shopping madness (a darker, deadlier variety of the pre-Xmas kind), Seah Street Deli was mercifully empty and quiet, and we had a deeelightful conversation. about blogs and boys and books. We also had a weird waitress who couldn't recommend a dessert and asked us to pay the bill like an hour before we were ready to leave, not that it made us leave till we were ready to.

Dinner didn't specifically involve tea for me, just for T and the friends we were dinnering with. We had unspectacular ramen at Ajisen, followed by drinks at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I returned to tea-drinking (okay, chai), while we four discussed the pet peeves you learn about your spouse after marriage (T: I flail around and box him in my sleep. Me: He leaves clothes all over the place.).

Epilogue (tea-free)
I'm actually drinking water right now, to make up for all the non-water-drinking I did today, and caught up, post-dinner, with three folks I rarely speak to:

(i) One of the first Singaporean friends I made on the Internet, who, unlike what conventional "wisdom" would predict, turned out to be completely a non-stalker. We fell out of touch round about the time I got married, but I ran into him at the show we saw last week and I emailed him tonight. The thing is, I had to actually think (yes, think, perish the thought!) to come up with a subject line that I hope won't get intercepted by spam filters. I ended up with the highly original, and not very spam-filter-proof, "Hi from ".

(ii) An old church friend, back from when I, erm, used to go to church. She's now married with a kid. I sent her an Xmas card in a burst of nostalgia last weekend and she called me right back tonight. We still don't have very much to say to each other --- mostly because religiously and familially and philosophically our lives have diverged in paths that will probably never cross again --- but it was such a neat surprise to get a call from her.

(iii) An ex-student, with whom I gushed over ICQ on the relative cuteness of the Lord of the Rings actors. Behold, an extract:
Ex-student: Ahahahaha. How about Aragorn!!! The...dangerous scruffy look haha. It was a funny article, they were asked "do you think the hobbits are sexy" and one said "yeah we're as sexy as Orlando" and another said "no the hobbits are meant to be young and child-like, they're only sexy if you're a pedophile".
Me: Oh, I totally go for Aragorn. He is the hottest guy in the whole series (in the book and also in the person of Viggo Mortensen). And OMG Viggo Mortensen? Such a Renaissance man. My head and heart are equally in lust :)
Ex-student: But Viggo Mortensen in real life just doesn't do it for me without the shaggy hair and all!!
Me: I also say. That's why I never noticed him before. So I would like to place an order for one Viggo Mortensen, in permanent Aragorn costume (dirt and all), with permanent Viggo artistic sensibilities, please, thankyouverymuch.

On that note, I realise I've dithered 1½ hours over this post, so mayhaps it is time to actually post it. Goodnight!


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