Nepal - Days 3 and 4
(these little fish featured in numerous ceremonies throughout the week)
Wednesday morning was the Buddhist ceremony, followed in the afternoon by the reception, for which we all received saris (and, fortunately, help tying them).
The next morning we headed out to Swayambhu (aka, the monkey temple)
(Buddha monkey is my favorite)
We spent the afternoon in Patan, where my sister-in-law grew up.
We had dinner Thursday night at my in-laws' place, in a more 'private' reception (this reception still featured somewhere between 50 and 100 (or more) friends and relatives...it was difficult to guess the size of the crowd since we westerners were kept somewhat segregated...not for any particular reason, it was just clear that we had no idea what was going on, so we were shown to the living room and offered tea and food while others more actively mingled). Dinner started with the traditional milk tea, then the requisite round of 'rice wine' (aka moonshine), and then more food than any of us could possibly consume (rice, nuts, sour seeds that one sucked and then spit out, buffalo brain (!), more fried fish, fried egg, pumpkin curry, yogurt, aloo gobi, mutton, and probably a dozen other things I'm forgetting). After round one of eating (we didn't know at the time it was round one) we were invited up to the roof to sit around the fire and drink more wine and whiskey. When they brought up that the multi-course meal had just begun, we all apologized profusely about our complete inability to continue eating much more. Fortunately, I don't think the family was offended. I really hope not. But round two of food was particularly tricky - if you professed fondness for any particular dish, one of the female members of the family would magically appear with another spoonful for you!