I am a coward.
Well, perhaps it is cowardice or perhaps a acute fear of rejection or perhaps just being lazy (my personal choice for most likely) or perhaps just simply contentedly solitary, but regardless, I undoubtedly chickened out in the last few days. And it was far from the first time during my itinerancy of the past few years.
I don’t like to ask people if I can take their picture.
Some blogging friends of mine have written about how rude and insensitive it is to just snap pictures of people furtively, without asking permission, and at the heart of it I do agree. The proper way to take someone’s picture is clearly to ask. I just fear, somewhat irrationally, of being told no.
It isn’t as if no is a concept that I have not run across frequently in my life. I was having this discussion with my sailing friend Wiley yesterday afternoon and he equated it to asking a woman out on a date. As I told him, being that I have been unmarried for my entire lifetime, I actually have absolutely no fear of rejection in that arena at all – in fact, that particular rejection has graced my doorstep so many times that I couldn’t come close to a accurate estimation of its frequency.
It bothers me not at all if a woman I am attracted to doesn’t want to have dinner or drinks with me, and oddly in that all too-common situation, I’d just as soon have the straight “not interested” rejection much more than the more typical beating around the bush of excuse making, which just goes to prolong the annoyance for both parties for a few more invitations, until I reach the normally accepted mark of three and quit. Just bang out “no” and we can move along nicely.
There is something distinctly unique, for me at least, about asking someone if I may take their picture and have the answer be “no.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always just sneak photos (though I do continue to do that and likely will for the foreseeable future). I got much better on my RTW trip about asking people much more frequently than ever before, though the butterfly sensation I get before asking has yet to diminish in any appreciable way. This is that case, except for children, who always seem to want to have their pictures taken.
As is my wont, and is quite poor form I have learned for proper blogging, I have managed to go this far without getting to the point I was going to make with this post.
This week, I chickened out again on the photography front.
As you know, I have been staying on one of the charter sailboats that my friend Wiley oversees down here on the island of Grenada for the past few weeks. So, I have basically been living in St. George’s main marina, and it is a very nice one. It is one of the few anchorages that is rated resistant up to a category 2 hurricane, because it is so sheltered. It is the southernmost stop on the typical Caribbean cruise and the marina can handle some massive boats.
One of them showed up late last week, Party Girl. It is 146 feet long, which is far from the top of the line of superyachts, but still pretty massive in my book. Here is the write up in Power and Motor Yacht Magazine when it was launched.
I sat at the marina bar for a couple afternoons and told Wiley that I needed to just walk up and see if I could get aboard and take photos. Perhaps talk to some of the crew and make a post out of it. “Backpacker gets a glimpse of the high life” type material.
The weekly base rate for a charter is $185,000, with a maximum of 12 guests (and 10 crew to cater to your needs). Six staterooms. A wall that comes down with the push of a button so you can see your chef cook the food for you. Multiple interior and exterior areas to party, as the name of the boat indicates. Hot tub. You get the point.
$185,000 a week. Who the hell has that kind of money? In any case, it seemed like a good opportunity for photos and a post for little ‘ole me.
The talk never made it to action. I had geared myself up to walk over Sunday morning to see if I could take some pictures and as I walked over for my morning coffee, I noticed that the lines were being cast off and it was leaving. Once again, my photography cowardice got the best of me.
So here are a couple photos that I took from the magazine article. It is the closest I got to getting aboard my first megayacht. Damn it.