I spent my first Monday in Osan, South Korea very lazily. After making Dan breakfast before work, I laid back down in true vacation fashion, rather than walking around Pyeongtaek with my backpack and laptop, doing homework in a coffee shop, and bartering with various street vendors, as I did the rest of my trip.
I knew Daniel wanted to take me to Seoul that night. Seoul is a pretty metropolitan area, so I asked what to wear. He told me to wear a dress. So I played dress up 🙂
But I could tell he was exhausted when he got home from work.
Another night is fine. You’re tired.
But he was insistent we go that night.
So we got ready and walked a few blocks to the local hot spot. They called it the SED, the Songtan Entertainment District.
We grabbed sushi at his favorite local spot then caught a cab to the metro station. There, we grabbed the train for the hour trip to Seoul.
From the train… a cab. The cab dropped us off at a bus stop. Turns out the place Dan was taking me can only be accessed by bus.
So on our, hopefully, final mode of transportation to our destination, we met a local girl. She was taking g selfie with her friend, who apparently hated selfies… haha. I had offered to take a picture of them. She misunderstood and took a selfie… with me. Naturally, I too wanted one.
It’s not a pertinent part of this story, but one that puts a smile on my face, nonetheless.
We were dropped off at the stop, where the local girl tells me I look beautiful and wishes me well on my visit to the country. (See, smiles!)
The next mode of transportation? Our feet. Up and up and up…. First a long pavement hill then endless flights of stairs…
It’s was neat when we had arrived to top pavilion, though. I had heard about that bridge in France where couples attach padlocks to the fence. It was like that. They called them “love locks” and couples had written what I assumed were their names on them. I had never seen so many pad locks!
Daniel had taken me to Seoul Tower, the highest point in the city. From the pavilion, we could see the various skylines of Seoul. After we checked out a few different views, I heard Dan say my name. As I looked over, I could see this look on his face… a combination of “don’t screw this up” and “nervous”and “shit, what’s my next line.”
As he began to quickly say what he had memorized, I noticed that everything he was saying reminded me of The Beatles. I wasn’t following what he was saying because I was too busy, in my head, trying to figure out why everything was reminding me of The Beatles.
Daniel had carefully strung together titles of songs from the Beatles… all to end on the one sentence without a Beatles reference: “Will you marry me?”
While I had suspected this was happening based on his insistence earlier in the evening, I decided to respond with the following:
“You made me go through all of that, walk up all those stairs in heels?! I’ve got boo-boos on my toes from tonight!”
As he is holding out a ring in his hand and down on one knee, he replies, “Is that a ‘no’?”
“I’m just fucking with you, of course I will!”
It wouldn’t be a proposal to Sammy Bundo without some sort of ball-busting.
The rest of the night was a race against the clock to get back to base on time (they have a curfew). It turns out the metro shuts down at midnight. We wound up catching a taxi at the last stop of the metro.
This taxi was like a roller coaster. I swear, I will never drive in South Korea! Move over Tokyo Drift, because Korean taxi drivers could teach you a lesson!
The GPS in the taxi kept announcing every speed bump, to the point where its annoyance actually became humorous (or maybe I was just deliriously tired). I laid down in the back seat because, like I said, it was a roller coaster, and I was getting car sick.
The second we entered Dan’s apartment, I threw off my dress and threw on a hoodie. Before I could stumble my dazed self into bed, Daniel called me into the kitchen, where I spotted his prized bottle of triple distilled 12-year old single malt, “only touched on special occasions” Yellow Spot whiskey (I know, that’s a mouthful) open on the counter and two shot glasses next to it. “Just a little cheers before bed,” he says.
Initially, I couldn’t believe that, a night that was supposed to be the most wonderful in my life, turned so hectic. (Actually, we never once had good luck with the metro my whole trip, time-wise. I blame Dan. When he used the metro after I left, he said it was the same way. Other than that, the Korean metro system was the most efficient mode of transportation I had ever been on. So yeah, I blame Dan. What a jinx!)
We laugh about that night, now. I remember the adorable girl on the bus, enjoying sushi (and rice!) with Dan, how nervous he looked when he was saying his speech… It makes me smile.
So, was it worth blisters? And the panic of the clock? And the taxi money and roller coaster queasy feeling?
Hell yeah! I ate some banging sushi!
Oh yeah, and I gained a fiance in a man who could not have been more perfectly made by God for me.