I can't quite believe that I've been married for 10 years. Or, to be more accurate:
I can't quite believe that Horyon has put up with me for 10 years.
We celebrated by going to Hello Sushi. We both agreed that it sounds too much like "Hello Kitty." However, the place was very tastefully decorated, without a trace of pink, smiling kitty faces with empty eyes that promise oblivion to those who follow her dainty tracks.
Since it's been a while since I reviewed a meal (I think the last time was also while we were living in Korea!), I will do so now:
Oh wait, I almost forgot: it has been a wonderful trip, these ten years. Ten years and eleven months ago I was walking home from a date with Horyon. I was on a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, it was dark and quiet (for the city), and I was overjoyed by the presence of this person in my life. A few days later, on March 14th (White Day), we were at a nice restaurant (Charlie's, in the top floor of Lotte Department Store) and I had just given Horyon chocolates, flowers and perfume. (She never wears perfume, the flowers have returned to dust, and she didn't share the chocolates with me.) I suddenly experienced a moment of clarity, in which it became obvious to me that I needed to be married to her. I had, of course, thought about being married to her, but hadn't considered asking. After all, I had only known her for about 45 days. But in that moment I knew it more surely than any fact I had ever learned: I belonged with Horyon, and she belonged with me. So I asked her to marry me.
Her response was the classic: "I beg your pardon?"
After repeating myself, she said yes. I think we both surprised ourselves that day, but in the almost eleven years since we have never looked back.
Somewhere I read that deja-vu is just your brain remembering things that haven't happened yet, that the impulses that create memories get sort of mixed up at the quantum level and go the wrong way in time. I sort of like this idea, because maybe that's what happened to me eleven years ago:
Through the course of our marriage, what has gone by, and what is yet to come, I have thought back on that quiet night above the railroad tracks and the day I proposed many, many times, and never with regret. Even though a very small fraction of memory impulses travel backwards in time, I relive these moments often enough that they add up. On the bridge and in the restaurant I was feeling a backwash of future emotions, a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
And who knows: if I hadn't asked her to marry me that night, maybe I would never have gotten around to it. Maybe she would have had enough time to figure out how forgetful I am, and how messy I can be, and all the other annoying things about me. Maybe we only got married because we will be married for so long, and quantum entanglement has dictated that it be so.
Or maybe it's just a miracle.
Or maybe both.
Anyway, back to our tenth anniversary at "Hello Sushi!" (the exclamation point is mine, feels like it needs it.)
As I mentioned, the decor was subdued, classic, with American antiques here and there and lighting that revealed without glaring. They started by bringing us each a glass of wine, included with the meal. I don't know much about wines, but I liked this red. Very drinkable, and had me feeling a bit light-headed, as I have not had much alcohol in the past few years. I started with the table of non-sushi items, including shrimp in cream sauce, spaghetti carbonara, and some salads. For my second plate I hit the sushi line.
I didn't count, but there must have been a dozen chefs preparing sushi up and down the line. Little slices of raw fish on top of clumps of rice that would fit on a spoon, prepared with a variety of sauces and garnishes. Some brought me back for seconds, a very few didn't work for me at all. I also had some crab soup, but passed on the udong soup.
I finished with fresh pineapple chunks, grapefruit slices, and lychees! Then coffee, with cookies and cream ice cream that wasn't really that tasty.
Cost: 30,000 won each, about $27, according to Google. (Did you know that if you type in "30000 Korean won" the first result is the US Dollar equivalent? How cool is that?) And we felt that it was worth it.
Of course, we will not eat there again for some time. It is just too expensive to do more than once a year. In spite of the price it is still quite popular. Even though it was lunch time on Wednesday, they first told us it would be an hour wait. A few minutes later they told us we could have a table, but had to clear out within the next hour and 20 minutes. (We made it with 10 minutes to spare.)
It was a great meal, the perfect bookmark for our first ten years.