Friday, June 12, 2009

Love and marriage



It is hard to imagine a more unassuming wedding day. Dom and I got up, showered, dressed and hopped on the bike to go to Khun Nulek's office (Khun Nulek, right in the picture, is our fixer). We sat around a while waiting for her to arrive and when she did she made a few copies and then we all got in her car and drove to the Sansai District Office.

There we took a number and waited.

People arrived and sat and took care of business (birth, marriage, death, divorce, family book registration, and ID card all in one crazy little world). There was no air-con, but ceiling fans whirred slowly so as not to disturb the paperwork. A kid sitting next to Dom drank a cartoon of milk and then puked on the floor and the ceiling fan obligingly stirred the smell into the air. Next to me an old lady slept - sprawled across the bench. Her business done, she left and we were able to shuffle right, away from the sick and wait some more.

Eventually it was our turn. We moved from bench to desk and Khun Nulek and the other lady pictured laboriously filled in our paperwork, first by hand, then on computer - which was printed, and then by hand again.

They gave up part of their lunch to marry us and joked about their pay rate O-free rather than OT (though I am sure the 2,000 baht I saw our fixer slip into an envelope in the car helped soothe the rumbling stomachs).

By 12.30 I was Mrs Dumais. My husband and I went for lunch, popped home to show Fon our pink lotus edged certificate and then we went to work.

It was, simply, one of the happiest days of my life.