Thankfully after a quiet night last night getting up and finishing packing wasn't too hard.
I was trying to lightn my load and after Nikki telling me she wouldn't drnk my duty free vodka I decided to offer it to Jemma to take home with her. Tony overheard me give it to her and asked Nikki why I didn't give it to them. She hadn't thought that his family may enjoy it (ie enjoy the novelty of something diffrent). So I did an indian give and it wasback in the pile of things to take to the country side (bad choice should have left it behind...)
After some good old fashioned bartering and walking away we convinced a taxi driver to take us out for what was now our standard price of 50 yuan and we were off for three days of family time.
When we arrived Tonys mum and brother were waiting to spirit our bags away and so I had to follow this tiny little woman struggling with my bags while I just walked behind. Nikki, Tony and his mum needed to go to the graveyard to see the ancestors as is tradition on the third day after the wedding and so I was going to be left at his uncles house where they would come back to for lunch.
I was positioned in the room Nikki normally sits waiting for things to happen and Tony set up his computer for me. Tonys cousin and aunty also sat with me while I watched an episode of Prisonbreak. There were subtitles but I stll don't really think they knew what ws going on.
Then it was time for lunch, and if I'd thought there was lots of food at other meals we had hese three days were really going to stretch my eating abilities. Some dishes had been ordered in from the restaurant and so I knew I would like them. There was also some "showpiece dishes" like quails (complete with heads and feet) which Nikki and I both stayed clear of.
As well, there was of course the drinking, and the accompanying 'fights' over who pours whose drinks and in what order. Then once I was pretty muh full to bursting, out comes "lunch" it seems theres about 10 dishes that you just pick through and then after about 45minutes the main stuff comes out, steaming hot chicken dishes, fish and bread. And everyone keeps telling you to eat...
After lunch we walked home and had some relaxing time, then went for a nother walk to buy some sprite to go with the cranberry vodka and some fireworks for tony and Nikki to play with. By fireworks, they are more like firecrackers (noise makers) altough we got some cherry bombs that are like sparklers then explode into little fireworks on the ground.
For dinner we moved up to Tonys parents room off the side of the shop where they also eat their meals and again I was given the seat the facing the door, as honoured guest. We poured some vodka and lemonade for everyone and everyone had a smell of this flavoured vodka. Tonys dad was less than impressed and switched back to his liquor after one glass and then proceeded to have 6 toasts with me (only half a glass at a time for me though). By this point the writing was on the wall as to what sort of night it would be and I managed to make sure when my vodka was refreshed it was only one finger rather than the normal two we would have at home as I would stil have to follow the tradition of skulling where requested.
Tonys mum, when she sat down between preparing dishes really enjoyed her sweet vodka and had quite a few glasses and that was then the toasting started. A bit like when Dad gets to gether with his friends and elaborate stories are told or toasted, we were all pulling out some ripsnorting hallmark moment toast and poor old Tony got stuck translating back and forth.
Suffice it to say that there is very little vodka left in the bottle and I don't really plan to drink vodka (particularly cranberry flavoured finlandia) for quite some time... Note to self, when the custom is to eat and drink copious amounts at every meal, it's not a good idea to write yourself off on the first night as hangovers are no excuse for not drinking at the next meal.
Oh yeah and the other high (low?)light for the day is that I could no longer delay the inevitable and had to use the squatting toilet... no dramas though, in the long run its better than the old squat on the side of the road when travelling as there's actually a hole in the gorund so very little chance of splashback. Anyway, enough about that, we're off to BEijing now (30 Jan) I will try and update the 28/29 as soon as I can.