My Brother's Wedding

Pias after the third and final ceremony

Pias after the third and final ceremony

My Brother, Trevor, Trevor the Trashman, Philosopher Stone, T-Man, Burbik is now married. Pias, my new sister-in-law, is very kind, thoughtful and beautiful. The more time I spend with her, the more I like her which is a great way to feel about a new member of the family.

It has now been a little over two years since this all began but I think we were all a bit skeptical when Trevor came back from a three week long journey saying that he was going to get married to a Thai woman he met on the net. I think Trevor was also filled with doubt and possibly fear over his choice but he soldiered on. They got a 90-day engagement visa that took seven months to pull through. At the end of 90 days after seven months of being apart, they had to be married or Pias would have to leave the country to return home. Once Pias arrived, we all started falling in love. These two have been quite the team on the Warung Roadside food truck that has been killin’ it in Brooklyn which is a testament to a romantic relationship. Can you make it through the sludge of a relationship; disagreements, hard work together, ups and downs of running a business and emerge on the other side with deep appreciation and continuing love and in-love feels? Often times not, but in this case, I see that it is so. It seems like Trevor’s relationship with Pias has deepened but then also our (family and friends) relationship with the two of them as a couple has deepened. This was exemplified in our journey to Thailand to see Pias’ side of the world, to meet her family and to experience the beginnings of the relationship through our own eyes…and stomachs (hands down best wedding food experienced to date).

I arrived in Thailand early so I could become acclimated to the time change, figure out a couple of outfits to wear during the ceremonies and do some SCUBA diving which was amazing aside from the sickness compounded with jet lag and being on a boat as I talked about in my previous article, “It Isn’t All Rainbows and Unicorns”. After Phuket, I traveled up to Chiang Mai for a five day massage course that was amazing (see “Beauoootiful Chiang Mai”). Back in Bangkok, I was excited to see family and Trevor’s friends who made the trek overseas as well as my awesome friend Rajeev who promised to be a perfect wedding date.

Pickles at Bo Lan

Pickles at Bo Lan

Bo Lan’s take on Som Tam (papaya) Salad

Bo Lan’s take on Som Tam (papaya) Salad

Appetizers at Bo Lan

Appetizers at Bo Lan

First off was a family and close friends dinner at Bo Lan (featured on Chef’s Table). Rajeev and I specified vegan and the team did an awesome job! The multi course meal was bursting with flavor and freshness and some of the deep traditional Thai preparations. Our food definitely looked, and likely was, more spectacular than the regular menu. Yay for awesome vegan food!!

Buddha Bowl at Veganerie in Bangkok

Buddha Bowl at Veganerie in Bangkok

In the meantime of celebrations, Rajeev and I found some awesome vegan food around town. It’s too bad, as anywhere, there is such a separateness to vegan food generally speaking. Delicious as it is, it also costs far more than other food you can get around. It doesn’t have to be that way. Chiang Mai was a perfect example. This wonderful street food stand with an enthusiastic chef who kept things clean, fresh and organized made no distinction in prices but made really good food that happened to be vegan.

Trevor And Pias

Trevor And Pias

My Mom, a new aunt and me before the cermony

My Mom, a new aunt and me before the cermony

On to the traditional Thai ceremony. It happened at the Jim Thompson House so it was a swanky affair and also pretty western-ized as far as I could tell. Aside from the ceremonial aspects, the banquet and dinner etc. were no different from typical American weddings. My favorite part of the ceremony was the nine monks who chanted for a little over an hour as guests arrived to the venue. Absolutely beautiful way to start things off. Each was presented with a gift basket and blessings were exchanged. We were taken through many of the traditions surrounding a Thai marriage that I think typically happen over the course of months or sometimes years within a couple of hours, a symbolic whirlwind. Another highlight was the coy pond on the premises.

I was really surprised about this but once the ceremony happened, I felt a deep sense of comfort, relief and satisfaction. I am sure it ties in to feelings of worry over my little bro being lifted and love and joy that he has found in another person. Let me examine this a little bit more though. I have a strong sense of independence and satisfaction within myself and my life as an individual and am not sure if I want to get married or I haven’t found a person that I have wanted to make that commitment with. But the feeling I had once this marriage happened makes me think that it is something I want. To have a connection with someone who I build a life with.

There are people who I love or have loved but for some reason or other the connection on the level of growing together hasn’t been there. Complacency develops and growth stops. The person is a prisoner of their own freedom. There is a deep connection of souls but in the material world, this human experience, the person drags me down rather than contributing to growth. I am not really looking for anyone because there is still so much within myself to explore. Connection and freedom of expression are key elements and so often a challenge due to the things that get in the way. And sometimes that is within me. What version of me do they see? Do I like that and feel like it is a true reflection of me? It’s all very complicated.

I like resolutions. Sure, they are often broken almost immediately but it’s trying and hope to be a better version of yourself that is neat about making them in the first place. I do it with the idea that it is a goal, it is different from what I was doing before, and that nobody’s perfect so don’t get too attached to perfection. Last year my resolution was to carry a water bottle and thermos around with me to reduce waste of disposable cups. It felt awesome to do this and I discovered that I hate the feeling of disposable material on my lips: plastic, wax coated paper cups, plastic coffee lids, straws. Nothing more beautiful than a hand made ceramic mug or a thermos that keeps the liquid hot throughout a day of restaurant work.

This year, my resolution is to continue to focus on eliminating disposable materials by bringing a collapsable bowl, silverware, cup and straw with me where I go in my travels to India. I also resolve to be a more advanced communicator, to get to the bottom of connection with the people I meet rather than making assumptions.

My brother’s marriage has been an inspiration; not to get married but to continue assertively placing one foot in front of the other on my path as he has done in the face of uncertainty and doubt within himself and from those around him. The underlying factor is that each foot placement feels right especially when you cannot see the ground.

Radical Larder