It’s the day before the wedding, and we have a full day planned. It starts off early with some traditional prayers at the local temple. SuSu herself isn’t entirely sure about the many traditions, but her family helps her and Dan out, pointing the way and telling them which candles to light. Afterwards, we head back to the hotel for a quick breakfast, and before we know it, we’re heading over to the Quanzhou Maritime museum. Being a coastal city, it obviously has a rich history on the seas.
Afterwards, we scoot back on the bus, and get a surprise from SuSu’s dad… a shopping spree at “Peak”, which is the Chinese version of Nike. The two clerks working that day must have freaked out seeing a busload of Americans pull up to their little store and start rummaging thru everything! After getting all team-Peak’ed out (thanks Papa SuSu!), the group split up. The Brothers Dan headed out to take care of some wedding details, which got sidetracked when SuSu’s dad diverted their driver to a suit factory and had them get fitted. Meanwhile, SuSu and the rest of the gang went to the “China – Taiwan Kinship Museum”, which was our first exposure to news crews. “Someone” clued the media to our itinerary, and upon our arrival, we were met with TV crews who followed us around the museum, mostly asking SuSu a zillion questions. They even went so far as to close the museum to the public, and then have SuSu pretend to be giving us, the Americans, the museum tour. Off camera, the real tour guide would tell SuSu what to say (in Mandarin), and she would translate it into English for us. We were told to be mesmerized. As I’m mesmerized by anyone who can speak both Mandarin and English, that was no problem. Nonetheless, SuSu did an excellent job being an instant bilingual international star. And we rocked as extras.
After dinner that night, there were just a few more things for the brothers to grab, per the traditional Chinese wedding cheat-sheet: red umbrella, dried persimmons, lotus seeds, magnolia petals, even number of canned pork trotters, and a red serving tray. Pretty typical wedding fair, really.
Long day. We crashed at about 2am, giving us about 5 hours before we were up for the big big big big day.