Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Bind Part 2: Tortured Toes

23rd March 2006, Thursday

My lass needed to get home early to get prepared to go down to Z D'sign while rendenzvous withmy future mother-in-laws and brother-in-laws.Dad was up and started ironing clothes while Mom was nowhere to be sighted as the rift between them was much deeper than we had expected.The day's proceedings would be able to soothe that tension a bit.

After dropping my lass at her place and got to see my future father-in-laws getting dressed for the occasion and with his new moustache-less look; seriously he ain't the same guyI knew years back for sure..sigh

I then prodded my way to Novena to fetch our Japanese friends and I was trying to keep cool under that ruthless weather and was impossible not to have my sweat glands been triggered as the heat waseven higher than the day before.The persipiration is too vividly seen through my white G2000 shirt and for the rest of the day itwas very much the whole cycle of "sweating" and "hoping the sweat would be evaporated".

Beside the heat, I had to endure the agony of walking on the pair of new shoes with elevated heels.I was been advised to wear it more often and slowly get used to the feel of the elevation; but seriouslythis ain't a pair suitable for general walking or strolling.The elevation caused weight to act on the toes joint area of my feet and my toes were beenforcefully rammed onto the tip of the shoes as I continously walking.It was no surprised to have a large blister on my feet rear and my front ball of the feetbeen put under excruicating pain by the end of the day.

After a brief ride on the MRT down to Tanjong Pagar and checked on my lass been subjected to cosmetic make over by the éclat make-up artist of Z Wedding, Angela.A prompt cool down before I buzzed Vincent to check whether he was in his office just 5 minutes walk away at Wallich Street.I brought the duo as well as Gibson, my brother-in-laws who seems rather bored seeing his sisterbeen powdered up much like Zhang Ziyi in "Memoirs of the Geisha".At UHN, we were greeted with great hospitality by Vincent and Miyano who tried to rekindle theirmemories of Eriko whom they had last seen at the "wanko soba" competition 2 years back.We had a conversation on difference in social worker scene in both countries since Eriko is working asone at the moment while Sou aspired to be one as well.Then of course the usual complain on how hot Singapore can be as well as where theyhad been to so far and what food they fancied.After a quick "hi & bye" with Tay-chan and Matthew on the office beside, we returned to the bridal shop where my bride had donned in her pink number while the auntie started hustling me totry on my jacket as well as taking measurements for the "made-to-measure" pants agreed in our package.

It was around 2.30pm when we took off with the Registry of Marriage on Fort Canning our destination.On our 7th cab ride, I showed them how small Singapore really is, highlighting the minute distancebetween the bridal shop to Chinatown and Clarke Quay they had been yesterday and not another moment toponder, we had reached our destination.

My parents, sister & my lass' auntie cum godmother were already seen lingering around the car park area with my other brother-in-laws, Freddy parking his car after been a dutiful chauffeur of the day.My lass' cab arrived soon after and her father scaling up the steep slope and we were almost complete in the roll call before my sister started lambasting her beau on the phone for been late.

We took the waiting time to take some snapshots while I enlisted Sou's help to fix my tie in place nicely as Japanese's tie-binding skill is first-rate.Not long after, my dad was next in dire need to get his tie done despite my lass had did it up for him 2 nights back. It was definite a challenge as one had to measure correctly how much lengthto accomodate my old man's truncated physique.

Soon my entire brood was in the waiting area for the solemnization to begin. The number of couples awaiting their turns were not as many as I had anticipated and a comment passed by my sister later on by my sister that there hadn't been a bride on that afternoon close to challenge in terms of beauty as my lass had exuded.I tried to be modest but she might had hit the jackpot...

It wasn't too long a wait for our turn as I ushered my family and friends into the small solemnization roomwhere a solemn looking lady officer was there to get on with the proceedings.It virtually took like 15 minutes or less for her to check the details on the 4 identification cards (ours as wellas our witnesses); get us the duplicated copy to sign for the registry's record then the oathwhich my lass later confessed got her a bit worked up and choked while completing the "I do" part..I think it surely can be a bit sentimental as one envisioned the part of the oath with"even in dire situations, you will still love and cherish one another"; which was ironic as many before that had gone through such rituals did not held it dearly with them, resulting in such high divorcerate. I'm sure it might had hit my lass' parents as well.Finally the exchange of wedding bands, the sacred kiss (which the photographer of the day, my sister's boyfriendrequested us to do a slow motion one so that he could capture in the camera) and we were handedthe certificate, now came in a elegant golden folder and not in a canister form which my lass was at first was interested to buy a plastic one to hold such an important document in for $28 before my mom went ballistic over the fact that the cert could get crumpled with prolong stuffing within the canisterand felt the folder would be good enough to hold a laminated certificate with one of the overleaf cover been a make-shift photo frame.

Thus we had to take many nice photos to choose a fitting one to place in that photo frame as wellas to commemorate the occasions. The nearby spice garden and the vicinity surrounding Fort Canning Art Center will always be an ideal location for every couples to go trigger-happy with photo-taking. My sister and her beau had so many ideas to spice up some shots from the usual stand straight intothe lens and smile type.However the heat was getting to my parents and dark clouds accumulating, signalling a forthcoming shower; thereforeI called the restaurant to request an earlier entry at around 4 plus.

My 8th taxi ride was to bring us to Grand Central Hotel and I felt I had been overcharged by wretched driver.The accomodating restaurant staff ushered us to the segregated room with our enlarged table enough tohold 13 persons at present.I was glad to let Sou a chance to savor our local Tiger beer as he had seemed interested in drinkingas the free flow was charged within the final bill.My mom had requested an increased portion of food to appease the whole group of us who had not hadlunch in the afternoon, as she felt even with a need of additional fee, we shouldn't be stingyon such happy occasion.

So the 9 course meal was served with the cold dish which was followed by the shark's fin.Our Japanese mates was smitten by the great taste of authentic Chinese cuisine, which wouldnot be available back home and even went for a refill each for the shark's fin.They weren't shy off any of the dishes and was game for anything despite at times not knowing whatthey were actually consuming such as in the case of the sea cucumber.Then there was the roasted suckling pig which was too oily for our local taste but no problem for Sou.
Together with Gibson, he managed to finish most of the oily epidermis of the roasted pig. Meanwhile an unexpected new alliance was forged between Gibson and my lass' beau as they fooled around over the course of the dinner which was always great to take away the mundane waiting for the meal to be served.By the 8th dish which was the lotus wrapped rice, most of us were really filled to the brim of our digestivesystems and we requested some changes to our menu, espeically that roasted pig which might not be a crowd favorite on the actual banquet.

After the dinner we bidded our family goodbye and let our Japanese friends indulged in somelast minute shopping around Orchard Road.This is when they were enthralled by the amount of buying power they held in Singapore over backin Japan.
For Eriko, a one-piece sun dress from "Mango" was only $99 as the same design and quality would required at least 10000 yen ($140) back in Morioka.
For Sou, a pair of Converse sneakers (which seemed like his choice footwear) would cost him around 8000 yen (around $100) is barely $60 here retailing in the boutique.
We also showed them some of the Asian press for Japanese pop albums, each sellingat a fraction of the actual price in the Japan market and even a compilation of somehits from popular Sony Music recording artist which would never be found back home.
I was glad we made it back to Novena in time for them to get some Japanese dorama VCDs (another item only seen in Chinese-speaking Asian countries) at Poh Kim.
Even my lass got into some shopping act as she bought a pair of sandals so as to prevent any unintended scratching of her wedding stilettos.
Perhaps I should get a pair of comfy shoes to soothe my well-tortured feet by the end of the evening'saffair.
Just before we left Novena Square, we managed to persuade a money changer to reopen his account of the day to do some last minute changing of extra Singapore dollars they held back to Japanese yen.
And it was apparent that we had been fitful to our duties as host as I couldn't think ofanything they had requested and we had not been able to fulfilled.

After a brief check on their small hotel room as they had claimed and me giving Sou the instructionto use the Windows Media Player to read VCDs, we called it a night and reminded them to wait for us in the airport the morning after despite the unearthly hour of 5.
So the 9th ride on a cab took our exhausted minds and bodies and most importantly my crippled feet home for a short rest before waking up after a mere 3 hours sleep to prepareto hit Changi Airport Terminal 1 where they would be flying off via a morning flight on United Airlinesjet plane.
The 10th ride which cost another $21 from our place to the airport ensure we were even earlierthan their tour agency's bus had delivered them.
Some last minute photo-taking, our presentation of gifts to them and a fast breakfast at Kopitiam where we introduced a local traditional kopitiam breakfast set of toast with kaya and butter with coffee and half-boiled eggs (as they mentioned as "Onsen Tamago (Hot Spring Eggs)", it was time to bid them farewell.
And it never failed for Eriko to well her eyes with tears once more despite the fact that we assuredthem we would meet again, next year's autumn when we made our way to Iwate for our honeymoon.

After some more food at Burger King, we took our sleepy selves home on a bus (finally...) and laze the day away till the afternoon when Dad who was driving a company truck was able to fetch usto scout on the tiles we wanted for the toilets at the tiles distributors.
I had always wanted a blue ocean theme but the one blue ones there reminds me of those old pajamas textile I used to owned.
There were some nice ones but there had limited quantity to appease us, so finally we agreed on a wood style one which should be soothing for one to take a bath or do their "business" in.
The 3 days of festivities was marked to an end as I sent my lass who is now legally my wife home as we prepared for more wedding preparations in the coming months especially the massive renovationin store in April

To be concluded..The photos


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