It seems in China you must travel to the brides birth city (or a city nearby her birthplace where they keep the documents) to be officially married. 3pm Sunday afternoon we were on our way!
We had to travel 5 hours by bus from ZhongShan to XingNing to get my step sons passport. The bus had beds for the long trip which was great for small Chinese and children. Not so good for a 135Kg Aussie!
To fit 60 bunks in a normal sized bus requires 30 double bunks in 3 rows. The beds and the isles were all about 50cm (20 inch) wide. My shoulders are a lot wider than that. The length of the beds was from my head to my knees.
So I spent 5 hours lying on the floor at the back of the bus where the floor was raised enough to be level with the bottom bunks. Bumpy roads and almost no suspension made sleep impossible. We arrived at the hotel in XingNing about 8:30pm. Had a feed and an early night.
Monday I got to lounge about in a comfortable hotel room while Li Si applied for Shi Sen's passport. Then we meet her Uncle and Aunt for lunch and did a little shopping for home made plum wine to finish up the day. The Chinese plum wine is sweet, fruity and reasonably strong. Great for cool weather!
Tuesday morning we got a private car to drive us to nearby MaiZhou to be married. We went to the magistrate office but (as I knew they would) they wanted my official, notorized single status certificate translated. Off we went to another office who accepted our documents but it was almost lunch an Chinese government officials need their sleep. We had to wait 3 hours while they had lunch and a midday snooze.
But eventually all the documents were translated, filled out, signed etc. We were officially married at 4:32pm (GMT+8). Next month when we have more money we will have a typical reception party with all the friends and family.
The Chinese tradition seems to be that the bride and groom pay for the party but then all the guest give them red envelopes full of money rather than wedding presents. In theory we should make a profit. The Chinese remind me of Ferengi in many ways.
Oh well, this should make my next Visa application interesting as now I am entitled to a family visa.
In response to ChuckCrunches "live long and prosper". Li Si attempts to get her fingers to co-operate.
Fri - 23 - 2011
We finally got around to doing wedding photos. Unlike Western countries, Chinese weddings tend to be done in installments. The photos belows were taken a few days ago. Starting with a close up of my beautiful wife.
This photo was taken on the coast of ZhuHai
The photo below is from an old fortress that had been re-vamped. The round shape allowed for a better view of the enemy. Now it is a restaurant where we had lunch.