and a wedding...

Lahad Datu Travel Blog

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Friday morning I woke up to…you guessed it- rain!  It was nice to not be in a rush and be able to hang out until the rain cleared.  Then I found a mini van and headed up to Lahad Datu.  Ben walked up right as I was waiting to get picked up by Ken (Elaine’s brother).  The timing couldn’t have been better.  We walked to the hotel and I got settled.  Everyone else was already there.  We had some time to relax before getting picked up to go to Elaine’s for dinner.  There was tons of food- pig and lamb on the BBQ as well as rice, curry, sweet and sour fish, tofu, and lots of other things.  We all hung out and enjoyed each others company.

  Saturday morning we were up pretty early to head to the church for the wedding.  It was a traditional Chinese wedding- Elaine is half Chinese half Malay.  The wedding was a little religious for my taste, but was still very nice.  After the wedding there were lots of pictures, tea, and some snacks to hold us over.  Then we headed back to Elaine’s for the traditional tea ceremony.  The ceremony allows Ben to be accepted into the family as well as the family to give their gifts- typically gold and cash.  After the tea ceremony there was a nice lunch and some down time.

Around 4:00, Martin, Ben, Jessica, and I went to play a game of basketball with some of Elaine’s family and friends.  We played a nice game of 5 on 5.  It has been forever since I have played ball, but it was a lot of fun and nice to get a little exercise in.

  Once we finished our basketball game, we headed back to the hotel to clean up and get ready for dinner.  Dinner was held at a Chinese restaurant. Elaine’s family is pretty wealthy and well known in the area- hence the 500 people at the reception!  Luckily the restaurant was two stories and it was more Chinese style than American style.  I mean that we had a family style dinner, with a toast, the cake cutting, and a dance by the bride and groom.  Dinner was really good for the most part.  The first course was lobster and seafood in all kinds of ways.  Second was shark fin soup, which most of us didn’t eat considering we don’t approve of it.  (They cut off the fin of sharks then throw them back into the water to die.)  Next was grilled chicken in sweet chili sauce.
  Then we had fried rice and a pork dish.  After that was vegetables and then dessert which I’m not a fan off.  It is so funny, because as soon as people are done with the last course they leave.  We hung out for awhile so people could enjoy the free beer and wine as well as have a little time to visit with Ben.  It was a nice evening and a blast to be all together.  I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a really long time.

Sunday morning we were up super early to head to the airport in Sandakan.  We made it back to Bangkok around 5pm and I was home by 6.  After a frustrating beginning of the week, the trip was an overall success!  Things were a little crazy in Bangkok while we were gone, but I don’t feel in danger at all and I know what areas to stay away from.  I was ready to come home and am excited to be back at school.  There aren’t many teaching days left, but I’m hoping they will all be fun (most at least!)

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Lahad Datu
photo by: Riz7