I showed up at the reception early so I have time to setup my camera and test the lighting of the room. It wasn’t too great, comparable to that of a dancesport competition. My focus this day was on people’s reaction since there’s already another photographer with a 10MP camera for the official pictures. (He has 5 of these cameras) My Kodak P850 feels so wimpy beside his. We had a great chat and he let me use his camera for a while to try out the feel of higher end models. I was practically drooling by the end of the night. So smooth, so sweet, and the shutter has no delays. One of those, would improve my pictures dramatically. However, I am still your poor SOB from yesterday and cannot afford one. Unless of course, someone drops it from the sky as a gift.
Both Mark and Rui share a trait that I think is the reason that drew me to them in the first place. A hidden wild side beneath their casual conservative appearance. I think the meet outside feeling is created by the underlying maddening attempt at perfectionism. I arrived at this conclusion through their actions, especially on the nights when I took them dancing.
Mark is like me in some ways. When I challenged him to ask three girls for dances he started without hesitation. A feat most newbies chicken out on on their first dance party. His outward appearance of an everyday working white collar is only due to his commitment towards a long term goal. In reality, he only need an excuse before changing into your Indiana Jones. This, I can relate to and even though our friendship is fairly new and there are still some uncomfortable moment when we hang out, I believe the short lived discomfort are caused by the collision of different worlds and expectations. Rui definitely helped ease him into some of the Asian quirks that comes with growing up in such a society.
“Rui is special.” that I agree with. I didn’t believe it in the first place thinking she’s just another meek Chinese, but I believe it now after seeing her dance. By this time, I think some of you must feel incredulous at how I always evaluate a person based on their dancing abilities. I’ve asked myself that same question, but gave up when I realized that any model that is used to judge people will have flaws. I use “the way people dance” because it is the way I have the most experience with. The same mock authority you’d give a person who’ve had sex with hundreds of woman or a middle manager who’ve been working at the same place for 30 years. I have danced with hundreds of woman and believe me when I say I can tell a person’s character from their dance. Certain type of people dance in a certain way, that is just accumulated statistics.
I’ve met Mark’s friends a few times before, Adrian and Dave mostly. Later on, Frankman and Matt. It’s a good group of people who’ve known each other since childhood, been through all the crazes and embarrassments together. It makes me feel like an outsider sometimes and completely miss some of the jokes that they tell each other, but lately, as we meet more and more often, I feel that I am slowly integrating into the group. What they’d do for each other, the comfort in the way they interact together is quite amazing. It feels as though, anything you do is ok. No judgment, no accusations. Just a kind and heart warming feeling of support. I am jealous that I never had this.
The wedding took place at Restaurant du Vieux Port located in the tourist part of the old port. Pretty fancy and upper class. Mark booked the room and we had an open bar. I held back a lot because both my manager and the big boss was present at the wedding. Nope, no smashed up Peter for everyone to see. I did, however drank enough to warm up to the idea of dancing in front of all my co-workers of course. I believed that I danced to a Rumba, a Hustle, a Merengue and a Swing for everyone to see. Which made me really self conscious of the fact that I finally did it which in turn made me feel like running away from all the attention. I ended up leaving early around 10:30PM because of that. I don’t like the fact that this made me self conscious and actually didn’t know that this is really, not such a big deal as I made it out to be. Discussing this with Mark has alleviated some of that, but still not enough to make me stay longer. That and the fact that I got a huge headache.