Monday, October 5, 2009

Wedding in Acambay

On Saturday we went to Acambay, Queretaro, about 2 ½ hours northwest of Mexico City, for Jose’s great-cousin’s wedding. The bride is a daughter of Jose’s great aunt who visited us at the Mexico City airport during our layover to Ciudad Juarez in August. She is a 29 year old dentist, and the groom is also a dentist. They both live in Mexico City, but he is originally from Acambay. It was a nice enough town, but not somewhere we wanted to spend much time.

When we arrived at the Acambay bus station, we were supposed to call Jose’s great aunt so she could pick us up. Unfortunately, there was no cell phone reception, so we couldn’t get in touch with Jose’s aunt. We had no other phone numbers or names, so we were pretty sure we had spent 6 hours on a bus for nothing.

Luckily, the groom drove by the bus station and saw an American and Mexican together. He knew we were coming, and that I was American, so he circled the block and came to see if it was us. By the time he pulled into the station, however, Jose had gone to a pay phone, and I was sitting in front of the bus station alone. I tried to avoid eye contact with the tiny, beat up, bright yellow Volkswagon that pulled in the station with all three men in the car staring at me. When the men in the car got out a few feet away from me, still staring, I started thinking about my plan of action. Then the driver, who ended up being the groom, made me feel much better when he asked if I was Jose’s wife. I know Jose is a common name, but I figured a stranger wouldn’t just guess that I was married to a Jose. He then went to find Jose at the pay phone, and ten minutes later we were at his parent’s house, being treated like royalty. It was an hour before his wedding, but he introduced us to everyone, served us a full meal, and told us about the hotel room he had reserved for us (and that we were welcome at his uncle‘s house if the hotel didn‘t meet our standards.)

The wedding took place in the town’s Catholic church. We had never been to a Catholic wedding, and we were surprised by the praying and preaching that took place before they were actually married. Then they were married, and we kept waiting and waiting for them to kiss, but they never did. Later, at the reception, they had their civil marriage, where they did kiss at the end. They also signed their papers then, which included fingerprints and signatures from all four parents and their siblings.

There were about 200 people at the reception. We sat at a table with the bride’s two sisters, and her aunt and cousin from her father’s side. They were from Houston, Texas and said ya’ll frequently. Jose’s aunt was sitting at the table next to us with the bride and groom, and kept an eye on us the whole time.

We were extremely impressed with the groom. He was so kind to us, and didn’t seem rushed at all when speaking with us before the wedding. At the reception, he gave his full attention to his wife, and kept her laughing the whole night. We only said congratulations to the bride, but she also seemed nice. They are clearly in love and very happy together.

Twenty- five hours after we left Mexico City for the wedding, we arrived again this morning. We had learned of our invitation to the wedding two days before it happened, and had to do a lot of traveling to get there, but it was definitely worth going. We were the only family from Jose’s side to attend, and it obviously meant a lot to Jose’s aunt that we were there. We got to see a Mexican wedding, another area, and be a part of Jose’s family. Hopefully we will get to know everyone better when we spend time with Jose’s aunt when we visit Mexico City in a few weeks.

We are now in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, and again making our way over to the Yucatan.


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