The Dakhla Diaries (3): Wedding Invitation

Place: Dakhla Sports and Social club

Time: 10pm to 3am

Dress Code: What’ever

Setting and Behaviour: A rectangular green space with a small platform in the North-Eastern corner. Six, long cables dotted with small light bulbs (that go on and off in some sort of coordinated medley of colours) radiate from a central, wooden mother-pole to daughter-poles at the periphery of the green space. You will find several rows of wooden benches arranged in two piles; if you are a woman please occupy the left, otherwise bear right. Remember that early on in the night, many of the benches on the left side will already be occupied by large groups of women. Boys may clamour around the edge of the wedding space and wait for events to unfold. Men, of course, will be dressed in unassuming, unpretentious clothes, but women may make some effort: the obligatory veil of course, but with a tighter waist, a sized down dress, a slightly smaller skirt than the usual (you get the point: a subtle increase in bodily definition). Teenage boys are allowed, as long as they limit their participation to sustained visual ogling of the arriving females, hungry eyes optional.

Entertainment: A band will arrive by 11pm. They will jam for what seems an indefinite amount of time, and there will be a perpetually lengthening singer-is-arriving-moment, for him to actually arrive when you no longer care he does. Massive speakers will dominate each corner and deliver extremely loud music. The band will consist of two tablas, a dof, re2, keyboard, and an unbelievably camp compere who will address you, dear attendees, and urge the women to deliver some zaghareet. We assure you that the band will be more sophisticated than any you’ve heard at other weddings, a fact that may pass unnoticed in the infinite reverberations of the sound system.

Preparation: Unless you are one of the seven V.I.P.s (small-town, insignificant – in the bigger picture – local politicians) who will be sitting at the back and served tea, no drinks or anything will be on offer. You are advised to bring your own cigarettes. If you think that Beer or Hashish will be going around then you are seriously lost: this is Dakhla not ‘Ard El-Lewa you idiot. Notwithstanding the absence of drugs, you will notice five teenagers hanging at the back of the wedding looking seriously wasted. Do not rejoice, this will not be the effect of Hashish; look around for empty pill-blisters. We advise either that you leave any sense of music appreciation at home or wear extremely effective ear-plugs: the band will play continuously for several hours and with such frenzy that – preparations bypassed – we guarantee absolute manic-excitement to infect everyone at the wedding.

Key Moment: Just after 11pm two cars will arrive, yes two (it’s a double wedding), bedecked with flowers and colourful ribbons and preceding them will be a gang of motorcycles, all vehicles honking their horns rhythmically. The couples will slowly descend and will be immediately surrounded by numerous individuals. A man will take charge of an extremely unusual small box – perhaps the size of a Nokia-6600-Phone Box – that emits a tiny firework with each shake. The necessity of shaking the box means that the firing trajectory will correspond to the movement-range of the shoulder joint thus increasing the risk of a firework launching horizontally with potential loss of eyes and other facial bits. Be careful.

Warning: We hope you enjoy today’s wedding and entertainment. Please remember that the groom must not be compromised on his entry-night; any person seen shaking the groom’s hand will have his palms examined for suspicious traces of Musk, Saffron, and – God forbid -Deer’s Blood.


One thought on “The Dakhla Diaries (3): Wedding Invitation

  1. Pingback: More Things in Heaven and Earth | Kan Zaman...

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