Thursday, November 17, 2005

How On Earth Did Hammy Get Married?

N.B. I wrote this some time ago and thought that it would be better to host it here than with my ISP.

I guess that many of you are wondering how it came to be that Hammy got married. It is a bit of a story and here is the perfect place to tell it. Many of my school friends will recall the longing-for-love adolescent and the trials and tribulations that he put himself through without ever achieving anything. School was torture and it only since becoming engaged and then married that I have felt confident around women. Once I realised that a woman wanted me then I felt that other women may want me and that I shouldn't be afraid of them. Too late once that happened though.

Back to the story of how I became married.

My friend Wayne Karo asked me if I would like to travel with him to Japan and he would be my personal guide and interpreter (This story goes back a bit but bear with me). I quit my job that I had had wiring switchboards for crap money for 15 months after the owner wouldn't allow me to take time off without pay even though it had been approved by the project manager. Happy to leave.

Wayne and I travelled around for nine days in Japan before flying over to Seoul in Korea for four days. Korean women were more attractive than Japanese girls and seemed to have a better sense of fashion. This fact is more obvious the older I get. Anyway, we had a great time in Seoul and I was really pleased about how nice the people were. I bought a "World Cup Korea 2002" shirt while in Seoul. Remember, this was on the 23rd of July 1996 and this shirt was to come in quite handy.

We headed back to Japan and travelled to some wild places but that is a story for another time. Perhaps I will publish my diary from the whole trip one day. Must have arrived back in Perth in the early hours of 18th of August.

One of my friends that lived in the block of flats where I was living at the time, told me a few weeks later that three Korean girls had moved into one of the flats. About a week later, when I was coming home from work, I noticed that one of the girls had gone to the caretaker's office. I raced home as quickly as I could and put on my World Cup shirt and then proceeded to the office to act nonchalantly and to say something in Korean. The girl was quite short and had a piggy nose. Didn't do a lot for me. But then again, have I ever done a lot for any woman?

Fortunately, there was one other girl living with her, not two as my friend had thought, and I was about to meet her. Now, you all know that I was the quite and shy type around women. I did something that I had never done before. I noticed that there was some movement underneath the kitchen curtain and so made my move. Incredibly, I went to their flat and introduced myself to the other girl.

I knocked on her door. She said, "Who are you?"

I said, "I'm Mark. I live in one of the flats up the stairs."

"Do I know you?" she asked.

"No" I replied.

There was a pregnant pause. I thought that she wasn't going to answer the door and was just about to turn back up the stairs and regain my life of rejection and sorrow. Then she opened the door.

Her name was Mi-Kyoung, she was gorgeous and spoke English very well. In fact she was an English teacher and was studying English in Perth to further her opportunities. This was on the 23rd of October 1996. I am an old romantic. I remember the date because I had a term deposit due to mature at the bank on the 25th. We spoke for an hour, just standing in her doorway. It didn't occur to me that she didn't trust me and that she was afraid to ask me to come inside to talk. How much do you trust a complete stranger, although her flatmate had told her that there was an Australian in the flats who had been to Korea. Mi-Kyoung said that there was going to be a party at her house and more Koreans would be there and would I like to come. I said yes pretty damn quickly and wanted to know if I could bring a couple of friends from work. That is, Simon from England and John from Northern Ireland.

On the Friday, the evening of the party, The Beast buggered up. Don't remember if it was the clutch or accelerator cable or not but I had a long walk back home that night. Didn't miss the party though and talked with Mi-Kyoung very little in fact. All of the other Koreans wanted to talk to me and the others. John told Mi-Kyoung that she looked very beautiful and that he would like to see her again at another time. When we got back to my place I said that she was my girl and keep your hands off her.

After this we often went for walks along the river in the evening and I bored her to death with things that I thought were interesting.

I think that we became engaged on the 8th of May 1997. I knew that this was the girl for me. I even planned to do military service in Korea if I had to. We were married in Kings Park in Perth, on Grand Final day the 27th of September 1997, by Cyril Fenn in front of about 30 guests. Luckily Essendon wasn't playing in the final, it was between St Kilda and the Adelaide Crows. Our reception was at Chef Han's Cafe in Northbridge and one of my guests brought along a radio to listen to the footy. You know who you are, Leighton. Two of our guests were involved in a car accident on the way to reception, and being seven months pregnant, they spent the next six hours in hospital. No problems fortunately.

That evening, the younger folks went to Metropolis Nightclub in Fremantle. Not sure if I have been inside a nightclub in Australia before. Nick, my best man, bought a very expensive alcoholic drink and offered it to me because he knew that I didn't drink alcohol. So I drank it to spite him. Strangely, he hasn't bought me a drink in the five years since.

That night we stayed in the Honeymoon suite in the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle because our Colonial style place had had a guest come a day early and they had given our room away. King size bed and a spa. I proceeded to get the bathroom drenched to a depth of about 4 centimetres of water because of my ignorance in turning off the spa.

Mi-Kyoung and I went to Rottnest Island for a couple of nights for our honeymoon. She had to return to her studies and I had to go back to work.

We managed to have a second honeymoon in Korea a year later.


NewYorkMoments said...

Very romantic, Hammy.

megha said...

aww, i can see the standing in the doorway bit like a movie. sunlight falling on the walls behind her, your hands cold in your trouser pockets, she leaning a bit on the doorframe. maybe :)

tmz_99 said...

that's rather awesome.. :) As much as the idea of love and romance disgusts me stories like yours give me some hope that one day I may also be involved in something remotely similar..

Best of luck with the rest of it :)

Anonymous said...

If you remember properly, i think you'll find you got engaged not that long after you sister got married in february 1997. And by the way, i only remember you being really "love sick" over one girl in school!?!?!

Hammy said...

Someone from my past coming back to haunt me? True, true.

Anonymous said...

I think it's sweet you told your engagement story. In america there are so many guys into Japanese women and I don't find the appeal... my mother is korean and my dad's american. You better like kimchi!

Hammy said...

Thanks Anon. Love kimchi but not all forms. I even upset the wife if I use too much of it because it is quite time consuming and takes a great deal of effort to make in the first place. I reckon there is something going for mixed marriages too.