I was accompanying Che, a Fookien-speaking officemate, to search for hotels to reserve a room for visiting mom last Friday, the same day I couldn’t take not buying a new AF (AutoFocus) lens anymore.
So, sleep-deprived and feet-tired, we were off to the last stop for the day: HuanLong Mall. I also had a camera bag, and a better camera strap in mind, but I had to get a Canon 50mm F1.8 lens (I know, I’ve been an advocate for M42 lens use on Digital EOS’s, but it’s not very practical for street photography; the lenses a lot more useful in a controlled environment).
We stopped at the place where I bought my Rebel first, and the attendant told me that she’d look for one around the other stores, since they didn’t have one in stock. Five minutes later, she came back, empty-handed.
Despite the bad news, I persisted at some other stores. One didn’t have the lens in stock, but they can make a few calls and get one in thirty minutes. Cool, I’ll get one. 750RMB without warranty, 850RMB with warranty. Great, the one with warranty please. Since I decided not to purchase the other items on my want-list, I went for an eyepiecce extender, and a display protector that worked.
All this time, I was dependent on Che to negotiate with the attendants. At this store though, it went beyond that. We ended up watching the wedding video of the store owners, who were weeks-old newlyweds. It looked like the wait will be longer than promised, so we sat through something wondrous: it was a week-long traditional wedding celebration, with varying locations. Mandarin or Shanghainese isn’t even their native language. Albeit the cheesy video prodcution, this was a page off of the I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening book. This was easily something that would be standard fare on TV for Discovery or National Geographic, but I was actually being shown this video by the blushing bride herself -who I honestly commented was very beautiful at the ceremonies- at her store computer, and I had a direct interpreter.
The mall was closing at 6PM, and no lens yet. No matter, we were also being entertained by the bride’s nephew, who wasn’t very camera shy. Several phone calls were made to check on the status of where the lens was already. We had to vacate the mall, since a building supervisor was prodding us to leave. Three minutes later, the just-arrived husband handed me the small white-and-red Canon lens box, and I promptly attached it to my Rebel XT.
Obviously, I determined the focus wrongly, but I was then majorly distracted, since I had the issue of work in mind. Point is: it looks like its working. It was nearing seven in the evening, and home was less than an hour away, I was hungry, stinky, and needed to go to work at 9PM. I did the awfully-glad handshakes, and I got their English names: Coco and Jimmy.
Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the couple.