We’ve been trying to keep the wedding as non-wedding as possible (yes, yes, we understand the irony of then being married as part of a Catholic mass – but it was Dili after all), so it was not my intention to end up with a dress that looked so “wedding casual.” But I was shopping in Aceh, which has Sharia Law as I’ve mentioned before, so the pickings were slim. There’s one major shopping area in Banda Aceh called Pasar Aceh, which is one of those large sprawling, multi-building, partly open air and partly enclosed Asian bazaars that sell anything you could possibly want. There is a modern shopping center, Hermes, that has a Body Shop, etc, but it really had no fancy lady clothes, so Pasar Aceh was the place to go.

Being catered to the regional dress code, we (my wonderful coworkers, Kelly and Denisa) spent about five hours wading through shops and shops that all sold dresses like these:

The funny thing being I rarely see women wearing this stuff around town. Most women will tell you to wait to buy clothes in Medan, which is the Sumatran capital ten hours away by overnight bus or a quick one hour plane ride.

Considering the options, it was pretty miraculous to find this one at the eleventh hour when serious fatigue was settling in.

Though the shop I ended up getting the above dress also had this lovely number, which Denisa was pushing as a good beach style alternative. Perhaps - to me it seemed like the bottoms of a bunch of synthetic material slips cut off and sewn together.