I really just wanted to make things interesting in my relationship with Ryan and marry an elderly man. It’s okay though…soon I will be widowed and all will be well between us.
Okay so our weekend getaway #2 didn’t quite start out this way, and I really had no intention of marriage happening at all…
We met up with the usual group; Jess, Zack, Jim and Sandra, in Seoul, South Korea this time! Ryan and I had already been there about 2 years ago when Lady Gaga and the Pope were there (not together though I’m sure…).
Our first day involved walking up Seoul Tower, which was a nice, super sweaty walk through memory lane for Ryan and I (2 years ago we had to walk up Seoul Tower in our dressy clothes to make it to our reservation on time). But for the rest of the group, I think it was a walk up torture lane. They had recently finished hiking up Mount Fuji, so their legs were probably wondering why they were STILL hiking. They made it up like champs, even though the humidity would have prevented most people from choosing the hike over the gondola ride. Look at these smiles!
We offered them a workout session at this lovely outdoor gym along the way:
But they refused. I can’t imagine why…
After our viewing of Seoul through the observatory of the Tower, we headed back outside and Ryan and I decided to buy a love lock.
There are SO many locks at this tower, which I think makes it a bit unique to most towers (although I don’t know for sure). They made metal structures with the purpose of people attaching their love locks.
But because Ryan and I aren’t your typical couple, we (mostly Ryan’s idea) decided to make it a bit more exciting: we wanted our lock to be at the highest point of one of the lock trees. So, I stood on Ryan’s shoulders so that we could reach! These trees were unbelievably tall…Ryan is about 6’1” and I’m around 5’9”, and even then it had a few more inches on us. I was trying really hard to find the best spot to attach the lock so that it didn’t fall off from wearing down years down the road.
But as I was doing this, a security guard came over and told me to get down. SMART MOVE BUDDY. Yeah, why don’t you distract me and tell me to get down while I am standing, unstably, might I add, on Ryan’s shoulders…It’s not like you have any signs saying “Do not climb shoulders to reach the top of the tree”…so I was following the rules perfectly. How else was I supposed to reach the top?? But good thing we kept perfect balance and I was A-OK. We did however attract a bit of an audience (other than our security friend); I’m sure some people got some nice pictures of my butt in the process of this happening…I mean it was sticking out towards the public, and wasn’t particularly lady-like. But hey…we were on a mission, and we completed it!! Although I’m sure it wasn’t my butt they wanted a picture of, just my actions I hope! Thanks to Ryan’s steadiness, and with Jim’s helping hand, I successfully got off Ryan’s back (I thought for sure I was going to hurt myself getting down).
I felt like one of those cats that needed to be rescued out of a tree: somehow I got up there, but I didn’t know how to get down.
After this exciting event, we took the gondola ride back down to save some people’s legs from more walking, and then split up for the afternoon to do our own shopping/walking around. Ryan and I were on a mission to find a GNC because we were sure there was one nearby.
Side note: It has been a challenge trying to good quality protein powder around China. Because Ryan and I enjoy working out, and often take supplemental protein, we’ve been relying on the goodness of family to bring it from home for us. But we knew we had to find another way to get the stuff we wanted without having to get family carry what could look like drugs in their suitcases. Protein doesn’t exist around where we are…and if it does, it’s impossible to know what’s actually in it, or if it’s good quality. Shipping from home is about an extra $100/$150, op top of the fee you have to pay when you physically get the package…and then China has rules about how much the package is allowed to weigh (so you can’t just get a bunch at once). So…we have jumped through quite a few hoops with trying to figure out how to get protein. After trying a website that said the package delivered March of last year, we finally found a decent place in Shanghai! Still overpriced, but it’s cheaper than paying for shipping! Now we’re all stocked up and good to go for quite a while.
Anyways…there was no GNC we could find in Seoul, so we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening….aka my marriage-to-be.
The night started out at a show called NANTA. I had never heard of it before, and I actually didn’t know what it was exactly, other than a show. We were sitting down in our seats and I saw cutting boards, big garbage bins, a sink, an oven…looked like a kitchen to me. It can’t be a cooking show….because how does that make it on Broadway? After asking Ryan, he clarified that he didn’t really know what it was about either except maybe that they made music with the tools they had.
The show began, and it started out with 4 people peacefully using chopsticks to make music. They used their plates, cups and bowls, as well as the sound of their own voices to make some really cool sounds! At first I thought for sure it was fake and thought maybe it would be boring. The sound was too intense for us to hear it as well as we did. But then I noticed the microphones strategically placed near where their ‘instruments’ were (I can be so smart sometimes..). Anyways, the show turned out to be an insane amount of fun! There was a fun story line behind the whole show, involving a whole lot of comedy and a bit of romance, and even some magic! Many times I could not stop crying (from laughing), possibly because of the extremely contagious laugh a friend of ours had, Sheriff. The way the performers were able to make music with the kitchen utensils was amazing. They even included the audience during many parts of the show, getting us to clap, shout, throw stuff back at them (that they had thrown at us), and, by getting people to come on stage!
I wish I had known that they would pick people out of the audience…I hate this sort of participation. It’s like when I would go to a resort and the entertainers would come out looking for people to dance with and bring on stage. HECK NO! If I can avoid these moments in my life, I certainly will. I don’t like it Why? Well it’s probably some deep seeded fear of being judged if you really want to know. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so God forbid if I do something wrong! It’s pretty funny actually. BUT I do notice as I get older I don’t care so much for my perfectionist issues. The audience doesn’t scare me as much as it used to.
So I got picked to go up on stage, and this is where I met my future, quiet, slightly emotionless husband. I’m smiling and laughing because “holy crap I’m on stage and they’re putting these hilarious clothes on me”, and I look over at him and he just looks confused. Then they bring a table over to us (I still don’t know his name), and we get to try some soup. So we try it…then they start making faces at him and fanning his…well his fanny, indicating that the soup is making him fart. I’m still laughing…and the poor man isn’t having a great time or is just clueless. Then they act out that a fly landed in my soup (I’m still laughing), so they turn him around and give him the bad soup, while I get his fly-free soup. Now THIS part I’m like…come on…you can’t just be confused any more (it was pretty obvious a fly landed in his soup)…why is this not funny? I mean maybe the actual content wasn’t THAT hilarious, but he would have to laugh just from feeling ridiculous on stage! That’s how I was feeling anyways. Oh well…just the serious, quiet type I suppose! I found out a lot about my future husband on the stage. I don’t think I could ever make him laugh, that’s for sure. At the end of this charade, we bowed towards each other (and I awkwardly held out my hand to give him a handshake…but I guess that’s not what I was supposed to do), then we bowed towards the audience and got rushed off the stage. At this point I STILL didn’t know that we just got married.
The whole point of the show was for the 4 chefs to cook up meals in time for a wedding, which we were told at the start of the show. So at the end, when the food was all ready, and they displayed their finished meals in front of the audience, I noticed that there was a picture of the elderly man and myself…we were married just like that! I can’t really describe he event much further than that, because for the majority of the time I was trying to figure out who’s picture they had up…oh HI THERE! It was me. I didn’t notice the décor or anything else…and darn it, I didn’t even get to try the food at my own wedding! How disappointing…
Anyways, the rest of the evening I had to explain to the Jarrell family my actions of that evening. They weren’t totally happy about my choice, and figured Ryan would have been the better option…but they were happy to be there for support. What gems. I’m happy to announce that Ryan and I are still happily dating! Although I feel quite rebellious that my husband doesn’t even know. Lucky for me he probably already forgets who I am.
Actually that night I tried to forget as well, by drinking more Bourbon than I care to admit (or know). I didn’t even know that I liked it! But desperate times call for a good glass of bourbon I think? I behaved myself very well, for anyone concerned. We met a pilot that evening in the bar who was telling us about his not-so-wonderful sounding marriage and relationship with his wife. And I was like “Tell me about it right?? My husband hasn’t talked to me since we got married”.
Okay what actually happened was Ryan, Jess, Zack, myself, and our friend Sheriff, were all hanging out enjoying ourselves. As it got later in the night, the lonely (but loud) guy at the bar that we had seen from the previous night, was still hanging around. He then wandered on over to our table, and brought his bottle of bourbon with him. And thus I provided some interesting entertainment by asking too many personal questions…where he also provided too many personal answers about his marriage. For the sake of our confidentiality agreement, I will refrain from telling you the personal details of his life…but he needs some serious work!
The following day we got a tour of the palace in Seoul, which turns out is the same layout at the Forbidden City in Beijing. Apparently they had to follow the same structural set-up back then.
We learned a lot of information about the King and Queen, and our tour guide was probably one of the best I’ve had so far, for that type of tour. She made things really fun, when that sort of information can be rather dull. A few things that we learned:
- Everything about the King was documented, including his pees and poops…
- They had to document every person he saw, including his concubines
- He pretty much had access (yes that kind of access…) to all the women that worked at the palace, but if the Queen spoke or touched another man she would be killed (not even the doctor could touch her)
- The Queen had to stay in her confined space, unless the King summoned her
- Most often, the King would only go visit her in her space 2 times a month
- To ease her loneliness, she had a garden to walk around
It’s like they said “To ease your life-time of loneliness, we will give you a large garden…this should suffice no?” I’m sure she knew what it felt like to be a caged animal…I would be more than happy NOT to be someone of royal blood back then that’s for sure.
Anyways, being back in Seoul was a blast! It’s great going back to places but being able to do different things. There’s always something new to see or do! Stay tuned for my next blog which includes our adventures of climbing the Great Wall of China 🙂