Despite all best intentions, I haven’t gotten around to captioning the photos from the wedding two Sundays ago. I’ll ago ahead and post one of the pictures just so I can enjoy some sense of accomplishment.
The father of the bride is a colonel (or something like that) in the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Department. As such, the honored guest at the wedding was the youthful governor of Bangkok, Apirak Kosayodhin. Khun Apirak is an up-and-comer in Thai politics, notably winning the Bangkok governor’s race in 2004 as the opposition candidate to the very powerful (nearly ubiquitous at this point) Thai Rak Thai party that is headed by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Only 58 years old but looking a decade younger, Khun Apirak stayed more about 90 minutes at the banquet, spending time visiting with the wedding party and guests, making a brief speech in both Thai and English, and tosting the newlyweds. He gracefully posed for photographs with nearly every guest, including Tawn and myself, and throughout the evening whenever he was greeted or thanked by someone, his wai (the prayer-like position of your hands, used by Thais in greetings) was higher (e.g., more respectful) than the person wai-ing him: a good sign of humility in a politician with loftier goals!
The pace of learning at Union Language School has picked up considerably – acquisition of Thai characters is increasing at a nearly exponential rate. The first day we learned seven consonants (out of 44). The second day we learned five vowels. The third day we learned seven more consonants and four more vowels. And today we learned another ten consontants, all of which have the same sounds as vowels we’ve already used including one that is not actively used but we have to learn it nonetheless.
Sunday evening we attended the SE Asia premier of Richard Wagner’s “Das Rhinegeld”, the first of four operas in the Ring cycle. It was my first experience with a Wagner opera and it definitely didn’t have the “catchy” arias of a Puccini. Talking with our friend Albert Moore, a regular opera-goer, he was surprised to learn that the Bangkok production of Das Rhinegeld had no intermission. The four act opera lasted the better part of three hours and the audience was definitely restless near the end. Perhaps some advance announcement of the lack of intermission would have made it easier to enjoy, without constantly thinking, “this does arrive at some sort of a stopping point soon, doesn’t it?”