Whenever there is an out of town wedding, people always arrive at different times. Our wedding was no different as everyone made their way into town over the course of two weeks. The first person to arrive was my friend Mark from Los Angeles. For those long time blog readers, you may remember Mark from our adventures together at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in China in 2008. Between the enthralling ping pong matches, Mark and I dove head first into Chinese culture. One thing that we quickly became obsessed with were Chinese hot pots which I later learned are exponentially spicier than Vietnamese hot pots.
(PICTURE: Mark figuring out the enigma of Chinese hot pots in 2008. I was across from him sweating my face off do to the hundreds of chilies in the pot.)
It was great that Mark was the first person to arrive because he's extremely self sufficient and always up for absolutely anything in the name of cultural discovery. Mark was in and out of town for the first week but while he was here, we did a whole bunch of eating, a little suit shopping and some overall exploration of the city. At some point, I mentioned to Mark about the traditional massage calling "cupping" that I was eager to try. Well, the next day Mark went to a massage place and got cupped. Cupping basically involves having your skin sucked through a tube, sort of like a putting a high powered vacuum directly on your body. Supposedly it's good for circulation but more famously, it's known for leaving giant red rings on your flesh. Here's a picture of Mark's back three days after getting cupped:
Besides being "DFW" all the time, Mark is also an extremely talented director/shooter/editor/producer who has worked on many awesome projects. While traveling he shot some footage of his Vietnam adventure. You can check out some very cool videos on his website. Mark was quickly appointed by wedding videographer so hopefully in a few weeks or months I'll have some sweet wedding footage to post.
About a week after Mark arrived, people started to pour in...and many are still here as Huyen and I will more or less have someone in town until the middle of January!...which despite being exhausting, is pretty awesome.