Today a memory flashed up in my Facebook notifications informing me that it’s been three years to the day I flew home from a sibling holiday to Tokyo.
We’d planned that trip months before to coincide with cherry blossom season, spend some time together after living in separate locations for almost two years, hunt for anime treasures and soak in the everyday not-so-mundane of Japanese lifestyle.
And the end of that trip also goes hand in hand with how I ‘met’ my boyfriend, Harvey.
So I thought I’d open up my laptop and share an impromptu, after-work post all about how we met, our story if you like, because I’ve never done so before.
Harvey and I first met at college in 2008. On my first day, I nervously headed to my tutorial room, scanned the room and decided that a) I’d definitely have to strike up conversation with my best friend’s ex-girlfriend – we’re now BEST friends and I was recently her maid-of-honour! – and b) I really fancied that guy at the back of the room with the floppy hair and a cardigan.
True to form, I didn’t say a word to him.
I went home that night and said to at LEAST five of my friends – over MSN Messenger, naturally – that I was absolutely in love with this guy, added him on MySpace and never spoke to him throughout my entire college career.
Anyway, I digress! Fast forward a number of years and I’m in Tokyo, no WiFi or data for the fortnight because of a huge mix-up, getting lost in Shinjuku station, amusing locals with my British-accented Japanese, capturing cherry blossoms like a full-on Asian stereotype, and spending roughly a quarter of my holiday budget at the Pokémon shop. We’re out for our penultimate day to explore Mount Fuji and we missed our coach by 30 seconds so hilariously had to catch about 4 trains and bumble along the journey on our own.
Mount Fuji was absolutely breathtaking. I never blogged about our trip because it was solely a holiday and I didn’t note down the places we loved and would recommend. But it was blow-you-away incredible and totally unbelievable.
When we arrived home 28472037534857 hours later to our adorable Airbnb, there was a message on my Facebook Messenger app: “Um, it’s not my birthday, LOL.”
I was SO confused, not least because I never used Facebook but because we’d been out since 4am navigating Japan with no WiFi, getting lost around Mount Fuji. I replied (slightly sarcastically, I admit): “I never said it was?”
Apparently, I’d left a birthday message on his Facebook wall which I’ll spend the rest of my life defending that I didn’t. But it also turned out that he’d spotted I was in Japan, and that he was enjoying seeing my updates on Instagram (#doitforthegram) because he loved anime and had even planned to study Japanese at University. Plus, he’d ALSO been checking in on me from afar since our college days.
And we had so much in common. We both love anime and had a penchant for coffee (he was a barista at a local coffee shop I went to. Once I saw him in there and pointed him out to my sister, only for him in return to have spotted me and ran out the back. My sister thought I’d made him up!), we traded secrets and told each other about our dreams and helped each other choose what to have for breakfast/dinner.
We spent the rest of the evening racking up scores of a message rally until it was around 4am and I had to admit defeat.
The rest, as they say, is history.*
* It’s not, but I’m hungry and my dinner is finally ready so let’s continue this in another post.