The Wedding Chronicles : 10 days to go - 12 May 2008

Chapter 1/4: how to spend ten days with your family in South Africa.
Keep them busy.

Meet the family

I'm finally finding some time to write the reports that all your friends who couldn't make it want to read.

Olaf and EugenioYes, I got finally married and yes, me and Lindsey came back from the honey moon still together, and we are now started this new exciting (and somehow scaring) chapter of our lives, this time together.

I spent 3 beautiful and really unforgettable weeks. With my family and guests first, then with Lindsey in the Mauritius. Believe me when I say that is quite difficult to remember all the things that happened, and to even try to write something about them, unfortunately this is the usual case of "I wish you were all here to see".

My dad and my poolBut I know, and I understand. South Africa is a far away place, far far (far) away from the usual Meister's world (Europe and USA), and far for all the friends that Lindsey and I met in our years in London (Australia!).

Olga and SaraI remember when I was younger and wanted to get married in Las Vegas dressed as a cowboy, approaching my hot future wife dressed as a Hooter Girl, but only now I realize how stupid (or full of raging hormones) I was. Never in that picture were my friends and family around me. It was always me, the hooter girl and Elvis blessing our vows for 50 dollars, and a buffet with plenty of spicy chicken wings and Lynchburg lemonades.

Olaf Olga and SaraOnly now I realize how important it to have people that saw you become what you are today, that witnessed the most embarrassing moments of your life (and are not shy of sharing it with everyone else), and shared the best, probably on a football field (ask Beppe, or Max, or Ian) or in bar.
You don't want to get married alone.
Yes, a marriage is a door to a completely different future, with so many variables that can make it or break it, but your past is what has built the path that now leads to that door. Thousand of regrets, but millions of nice memories.

So, let's set the clock back some days and go back to the 18th of March, the date of arrival of my first guests: my dad, my sister Olga, my older cousin Renato and Olga's friend, Sara.

My family has never properly being introduced to Lindsey's family (the last time Lindsey met my family was quickly in the autumn of 2004! ) but I was sure that they would click without any problems. And this was the case.

Olaf, Eugenio and RenatoThe team arrived on time with the help of Lindsey's father (you can't even imagine how helpful was Lindsey's family over those weeks!) I could split them easily in our cars to drive them back home.

Arriving home was a great moment. None of them has seen the house that I bought with Lindsey, and even if the darkness was already hiding the best feature (i.e.: the swimming pool), they were more than happy to finally enjoy some rest in our Palazzo.

Renato opted to sleep on the sofa (a small model that only 2 days later got replaced by our massive l shaped sofa, making my cousin even happier), while Sara and Olga decided to sleep in the main room. With Lindsey still living at her parents' house, my option was to share the other bedroom (the one with an annoying clicking generator for the electric fence) with my dad. I'm almost died for suffocation, but at least I woke up alive and ready to face the week with the family.
The next day I borrowed another bed from one of Jennifer (Lindsey's mother) friends, which was probably my salvation.

Everyone soon settled in, Olga and Sara spent most of the time at the pool tanning for the wedding, while Renato was taking pictures of pretty much everything that moves or that doesn't. My dad decided to fix the house and that was his main activity for the days preceding the wedding.

Dad working at nightUnimpressed by my first shy attempts at fixing the house
, and horrified but what the previous owners have done (and the lack of tools by my side), he started his quest of sanding, fixing, varnishing, buying tools in the shop and painting inside the house, with the help of David when he was around (not too sure which language they used, but they managed to understand each other - or at least I hope!).
He managed to cut his head few times against the small entrance of the windy house, but, as a true soldier, he just ignored the missing skin and blood that left his body, just to focus his energy on finishing his work.

Easter!My mum decided to arrive only later, with her companion, and to avoid embarrassing situations; I decided to organize the whole trip so she could meet my dad only at the wedding. Divorce, what a pain in the bum.
The next day me and Lindsey drove to the airport to get my mum and Germano (that's his name) to drive them straight to the bus station, where they were supposed to get a coach to Cape Town around two o clock. Usual South African disaster and what was supposed to be a short connection became quickly a nightmare, with the bus getting delayed and then cancelled, just to magically appear only 6 hours later at the station, for the relief of too many angry tourists.

In the meanwhile, the giant sofa and the sexy two doors American fridge finally arrived in our house. Two of the things we most wanted. Besides each other, obviously (and a decent internet connection).

My sister and Sara left 2 days later to go to Cape Town , to stay at Kirsten and Andy's (Kirsten is Lindsey's younger sister and Andy her fiancée) and visit the west coast.

I don't know much of the trip to Cape Town, but you can see the pictures that my sister took. In such a short amount of time she managed to see probably more than I did my first (and only, so far) time there, in January 2005 : the penguins, Robben Island , Table Mountain and the nightlife.

Olga and Sara in Cape TownOlga and Sara in Cape TownOlga and Sara in Cape Town

Luckily it was the Easter weekend so I didn't have the "distraction" of work from London and I could spend as much time as possible with them. We enjoyed a relax weekend, waiting for my sister to come back from Cape Town, and we had a classic South African braai at Jill's house.

With my sister back it was time to celebrate Easter at the Thomson's house, and then get ready for the final preparation for the wedding.
But first of all, I had to make one of my dad's life wished true.

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