Congratulations Christina and Tristen!
This weekend my good friends Christina and Tristen had their wedding ceremony. It was totally unique in that almost everyone involved rode bicycles to the ceremony--a peaceful place near a temple about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from our starting point, in the deep suburbs of northwest beijing. Tristen in fact rode Christina (who is now about four months pregnant) all the way there! It was hilarious riding through the city, all the Chinese staring at us and smiling at our 20-strong bike parade, all of the bikes having ribbons and balloons attached to them. Tristen had a huge red bow strapped to his body while Christina was wearing a beautiful violet dress. Once there, we had a barbeque frenzy and played games like frisbee, badminton, and something similar to hackysack. And we happened to be near some beekeepers who sold me a whole hell of a lot of honey for cheap! And it is sooo good!
For Tristen, the ride was no problem, as he is a bicyclist par extreme, having ridden to Tibet and beyond with his best buds, as well as to many other rugged and extreme areas of China. Anyhow, he is a true gentlemen in every sense of the word and they are some of the kindest, most down to earth and purest people I have ever met. Christina and I met while I was teaching at Qinghua and we pretty much hit it off after we realized that we both served in Peace Corps; she served in Ghana. And I will be here to see their child when it's born! Can't wait!
I also learned about a couple of Chinese traditions during weddings, one being the groom, when he goes to pick up the bride, must first find her hidden shoes in her home before they leave together. And before that he is locked out and must slip some cash under the door in a red envelope as a sort of bribe to unlock the door! What a spot to be in! I wonder if the bride can bargain?