Charm 1: Every Time Was A Charm

08/10/2014

They say the 3rd time is a charm. Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I married my now husband 3 times and each time was a dream come true. I suppose the first time wasn’t a marriage but it felt like one- the marriage of two old souls <3.The first time, was in Yungshuo, China. Sounds crazy, I know. How did it happen? We were both grad students in business school studying International Business. We traveled to China for a semester and during a break from classes in Shanghai, we decided to take a weekend trip outside of the city. We backpacked our way to the top of a tea terrace in Yungshuo where there was a bamboo hotel with all glass walls. It was as beautiful as it sounds. At this point, we were only “dating” for about 6 months. Me, coming from very strict moral beliefs and being raised in a Muslim family, dating was not typical neither was traveling with a guy. Thankfully, my husband was very cautious and respectful of my beliefs. Ironically, after talking until the wee hours of the morning, we came to realize we had the same core values, the same moral understanding, and the same sense of humor. Brilliant! This was the first time we ever discussed marriage seriously. So serious that we found ourselves shopping for two silver wedding bands in the rural village of Yungshuo in order to seal our vow to one day marry each other no matter how difficult our journey may become. We managed to find 2 silver bands in a road side shack-like store. They were sold to us by an elderly Chinese man who smiled like a cheshire cat when we tried to explain to him with exaggerated hand gestures that we wanted to marry each other. We even managed to get the rings engraved with the date, our initials, with my husbands ring reading “Forever” and mine reading “Yours.” Making sure the rings were engraved correctly was a challenge on its own as the rings had to sawed open, hand engraved with a pick, then soldered shut. After watching the rings go through the transformation of a pair of rings to our rings, we looked at each other with a sad smirk as we placed the rings on each others fingers. We knew wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other, we just didn’t know how to make that happen. We knew that were perfect for each other, but we didn’t know how to illustrate that to our families. Being brought up in two different worlds, we had a huge mountain to climb ahead of us. Once our Shangahi semester was over, I would be moving to London to complete the last leg of grad school and he would be staying back in Shanghai to finish off his studies. How were we going to stay together? How would tell our families that we met someone from a different country, with a different language, and a different religious upbringing? Read my next posts to see how we cultivated our relationship from a distance and managed to get our families on board with our choice. :o)