My Valentine’s Day Story – When East Meets West

Even though Valentine’s Day has somewhat become overly commercialized, there is always a place for love and appreciation. With the onset of my story, I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional love and support for me and my relatives who always showed their care and concern to me. I would like to dedicate ‘Friends will be Friends’ by Queen to my BFFs and close friends who have been chatting to me and keeping me company despite the distance. Not forgetting the lovely people I have met here, thank you for making me feel at home. May this Valentine be as loving for you as it is for me.


Girl was all stressed up at the job and needed a break. She was on the phone when the acquaintance mentioned that she was heading to Seoul, Korea for a short five days trip. The acquaintance told Girl that she was free to join her in the trip. Girl loved the idea of an adventure and decided to go for it.

Girl was all packed and excited about her trip to Seoul. Shopping, food and chilling out; nothing more than a relaxing getaway. As the plane touched down at Incheon International Airport, things started to go wrong. The chemistry between Girl and the acquaintance did not work out. After two night in the same hotel room, Girl decided that it would be best to go separate ways to avoid further conflicts. Girl went to the hotel’s reception to borrow the phone to ring for an available hostel. Most hostels did not have private rooms left, just bunk beds. Out of desperation, Girl went with the recommended hostel by one of her BFFs in Singapore.  With an unidentifiable mix of emotions, Girl hopped on the taxi with her heavy luggage and she was off to the second part of her adventure.

Girl was at the doorstep of the hostel ( She looked at the intimidating house and took a deep breath before going through the door. A warm gentleman greeted her with a friendly smile. Girl asked if the females’ dormitory was available. Unfortunately, it was fully booked unless the two guests who were supposed to arrive that afternoon decide not to come. Girl was disappointed and worried. Would she be safe staying in the mixed dormitory? At that moment, Boy appeared in the main area and was introduced to Girl. Girl felt the rate of her heart beat increasing and she realised that she was attracted to Boy. Going with the instinct, Girl decided to stick to the mix room …

Just two days spent together and Boy had to leave for Japan. Girl bought Boy a small gift and wrote a small note to him. The time spent together was intense and Girl fell in love with this stranger who had a strong yet loving character. They exchanged facebook contacts but both sides never thought they would hear from each other again.

A few days later, Girl receives email from Boy, thanking her for the present. A formal exchange slowly transformed into long love letters with the addition of video conferencing. Emotions intensified. Both parties could not comprehend what was going on and wondered if what was happening was real. Girl decided that she wanted to know if this relationship would work out. She left her job and jumped onto the plane to Kochi, the capital city of Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku Island, Japan, to be with Boy for three weeks (Boy was teaching English in a small town there). They ate, they laughed, they talked, they cried, they planned and they wanted something more. Boy ended his teaching contract and flew back with Girl to Singapore. Boy met Girl’s parents and asked for their permission to bring Girl back to Montreal with him.

Two months apart was excruciatingly painful. The 12 hours time difference did not help. Girl and Boy continued to speak through electronic mails and weekly video calls. Loneliness filled the hearts but the time apart also gave both of them the chance to deliberate on their decision to be together.

With well wishes from her worried family and friends, Girl took a 27 hours flight to a brand new city. It was her first time going so far away from home. The plane was late but Boy waited patiently at the airport. As Girl walked out of the gates, Boy gave her a reassuring hug and planted a soft kiss on her forehead.

On the faithful day of 30th January 2012, Daniel sprung a surprise on me. He invited me to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner, giving me the reason that it was late and he was too hungry to wait for me to be home to cook. He was talking about learning a new trick at the job and he wanted to show it to me. I thought I was going to be the ‘victim’ of his trick again and totally resisted the idea. When we headed home, he wanted me to open the door. I asked him, “Is there a monster or something?”

He shrugged. I pushed open the door and there were post sticks lining the walls of the stairways. I read each post sticks with the thought that he was trying to play a trick on me. Finally when we reached the door of our bedroom, the post stick read ‘Future…’. I gently pushed open the door and in front of me laid my stuffed bear and a fresh bouquet of flowers. In my mind, I thought it was too early for a Valentine’s Day surprise. I leaned forward and when I saw the ring, I took a step back. I was not expecting it; I was shell shocked. I asked him why? Why now? Was he ready for it? Did he know what that meant? His answer was simple, ‘I just wanted to you to know my intention right from the start.’

I said ‘yes’ but I hesitated. My mind was in a whirl. I could not think straight. I could not believe what had just happened. I needed time to digest reality. I needed a day to think, to ‘double confirm’ (a Singaporean joke). Daniel respected my decision.

So many questions flashed through my head. My future loomed in front of me. Am I ready for it? Am I ready to settle with this guy for the rest of my life? Can I trust him to take care of me? Would I want to be there for him through thick and thin? The next day, I ‘double confirmed’. However, my emotions were still going through a roller coaster ride and it took me two weeks to calm down. Today, as I pen down my story, I know my heart and my mind are aligned as one. The decision is clear. I am officially engaged to the man of my life.








Signing off with love,



6 thoughts on “My Valentine’s Day Story – When East Meets West

  1. Congrats Esther ….u had make the right decision.
    Your cousin, Janice is looking forward to attend your “BIG DAY” in Montreal

    Love: Margaret & family

    • Thank you Aunt Margaret. It seemed like a crazy decision but I guess I just followed my heart and glad everything turned out well.
      Yup, a great reason to pop by Montreal for a holiday. It will be a good one. =)

  2. Pingback: Remembering the Cause | Dream well. Live well. Be well.

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