It rained in Seoul on Monday for the first time since you left. Actually, I think it might be the first time this year. I really really needed to get out of my room so I forced myself outside anyway (also driven by need to get dancing shoes fixed in advance of [Captain America]’ farewell drinks – I’ll capture ‘fly on the wall’ details for you in my next email, for certain 😉 ). I dragged my little umbrella with me – it did not fare well in the wind. It’s looking very sad and lopsided actually, but I can’t bring myself to put it out of its misery and throw it away. It’s the one I bought during that freak rainstorm on our second date. We were headed for some bar where some friends of yours (was it Ethan?) were waiting, but the downpour forced us to dive into a convenience store and I was fleeced for this little purse-sized rain shield. We never did find your buddies that night… but I’m getting ahead 🙂 More on the second date umbrella later.
I’m hoping you are settled in at the final base now. I’m not going to ask questions or make comments, because I know you haven’t got a lot of time and it really seems pointless with how little you can tell me over text, and I’m thinking that emailing isn’t going to be any easier to schedule than a phone call. I hope soon you’ll be in more of a routine and we can actually talk. I miss talking to you. I don’t have you to share all my eye-rolling on the crazy US Army crap at work, or whinge about the crap air pollution here at the moment that makes me cough up a lung, or share all my planning for what happens in 6 weeks when I jump on a plane out of Korea. I haven’t been able to tell you about taking [Cambridge grad LT] and [Nice Girlfriend] to the British Embassy bar and the crazy Aussie and Brit Colonel’s who got on a mission to get us all rolling drunk. I didn’t get to tell you about the pandemonium the next morning at the Korean wedding, where potentially it was also some sort of cattle auction with all the pushing and shouting and handing over of envelopes of money. (I don’t recommend ever attending a 300-guest Korean wedding with a pounding hangover!).
So, in the meantime while you are super busy, you’ve got to read more of my reminiscing and reminding you that there’s a kick ass girlfriend you kinda like over here 😉 It is also an excuse for me to go through all my photos while you’re away, and remind myself of all the fun times we had. That’s the crazy thing with camera phones, right? A million photos but I never look through them. Changing that, as of now.
I don’t have any photos from our first days together though, so this email is just flicking back through memory ‘photos’. Like how traveller-tanned and stubbly hot this Gladiator [You] fullah was when I first met him after a loooong two weeks of texting. I am still really flattered that you literally landed from Bangkok, showered and then took me out for our first date. I’d already texted drunkenly that I kinda liked you. Guess you must have kinda like me too? 😉 And I was thinking that you must have kinda liked me after lunch turned into a walk, turned into a drink, turned into dinner, turned into standing at the Galloper saying goodbye 9 hours later. And then – the urban legend that has become The No First Fate Kiss! Forever my embarrassment, but also a really cute story now I know you were asking your friends if you messed up. (Whereas I was asking SGT Vicarious if maybe you might be gay – there’s my ‘healthy’ ego for you! I mean – what red-blooded straight man would spend 9 whole hours with me and not want to kiss me?!? Right??). But you restored my ego, and got a very very good beginning back on solid track, with your cute texting from your car while I was still walking home. I still smile at your cute texting now (no small achievement with ‘she-who-does-not-enjoy-the-texting’!). (But I’m still missing talking to you).
I definitely must have enjoyed the texts way back then, to be out in a rainstorm with you (and a tiny umbrella) in Itaewon on our second date, rushing towards the nearest bar where we could find some cover. You know, I still have no idea where that bar is or what it’s called. I remember there were people playing crazy ball throwing games, and there was some sort of photoshoot going on… or maybe it was just really intense selfie-taking by some half dressed girls and their boyfriends?? My memory ‘photos’ are a bit fuzzy from that part of the night – in some part due to the Singapore Slings I made us order (which were probably horrible, but I thought I was being sophisticated). But probably mostly because everything else that night faded into insignificance after our first kiss. Now that is a very nice memory ‘photo’. Singapore slings, a tiny umbrella in a monsoon downpour – and kissing you J
Hopefully that’s a memory to make you smile in all your busyness. Stay safe over there, you. I miss you X
P.S. Random fact to keep you entertained (as promised!): The oldest reference to a collapsible umbrella dates to the year 21 AD, when some fullah in ancient China had one designed for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage. Not to be confused with a parasol (non-collapsible), which goes waaaayy back to Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times. The use of the parasol and umbrella in France and England was adopted, probably from China, about the middle of the seventeenth century. (There, now you know!).