Catholic wedding and smoking pot

I had the chance to attend the wedding of Sarah's brother-in-law's brother. The wedding consisted of 1 hour long ceremony in a catholic church and a small reception later. Now this was my first time participating in a catholic mass and ceremony - and it was a spooky one. Catholic rituals seemed no less weird and intimidating to me than what I observed about Islamic rituals like praying, call to the prayer etc (when I saw them for the first time). Everybody chanting the same words together, praying together etc - it reminded me of horror movies with secret religious cults. I was almost expecting to see a virgin being sacrificed.

Among many peculiar things what I thought was especially weird was that during the wedding ceremony the church made a sales pitch and advertising the upcoming events in their church. To the people who don't even live in the surrounding community! What was even more weird was that the church collected money (donations) from the guests. During the wedding ceremony!! Using butterfly nets! How ridiculous and atmosphere killing is that! I couldn't imagine that during one of the most important days of my life, during the ceremony where I get married some dude starts advertising something and then collect money from the guest!

The following reception was rather modest. Guests had to pay for their own drinks(!), the room was very tiny for the amount of guests and no particular program seemed to be in place. The thing I liked the most was the Mexican mariachi band that was there, all dressed up.

My second cool experience meanwhile was attending a local raggae festival. As I learned this is an event with a history and is among other things a mean to communicate a political stance. This is typical to Austin, which is very different from other parts of Texas in terms of values of people and the culture. The people who attended the festival could be described as hippies, people against corporate monsters, capitalist policies and pro peace, sustainability and eco-living. Austinites. Probably noone of them vote for republicans. The event itself was really, really cool. Live music, booths selling cool hippy and raggae stuff (pipes, shishas, clothing, incense, necklaces, bumper stickers and what not). You could get tattoos done. Naturally you could get beer and food. It had somewhat resemblance to Viljandi Folk Festival in Estonia.

Now the thing that I saw for the very first time (and I was told this is common and characteristic to Austin) is that large majority (event was attended by thousands) was smoking pot - in public. This was jaw-dropping to me. Smoking weed is not legal here, but the local culture is so that police closes their eyes during such events. As I hadn't seen so many people smoking up ever before, I found myself being surprised every time I saw somebody with a joint (at that was nearly all the time). People selling their stuff were smoking up at the same time. This place could be a paradise for many;)

Another cool experience was visiting a real cowboy shop. Cowboy boots, hats, belts and all other necessary stuff. I'm now a proud owner of my own cowboy hat. Yeehow!


Anonymous said...

Tee kauboikaabuga pilti ka ja pane ├╝les!

Anonymous said...

I'm Catholic and I smoke weed. I emailed Pope Benedict and told him that I like to smoke grass.