exactly 4 years ago, 10 June 2005, I walked by this table of guys. YHA Hostel, Wellington, New Zealand. They were in this exact spot the day I met them. Probably even wearing the same Lion's jerseys. oh, how little i knew then....
my thought when i saw them? "Great, here is a table of cute boys and I have to walk by them COVERED IN WATER, looking like a fool" About 5 minutes before i spotted the boys, i had a bit of an issue with the tap in the hostel kitchen. and by bit of an issue, i mean that i turned on the tap and it sprayed ALL OVER ME. i did not look cool. and such was my predicament. stay in the kitchen forever, or suck it up and walk out into the dinning room, right past the guys, and hope no one noticed a thing.
it didn’t quite work that way.
one of the boys made a smart comment such as "oh, had a bit of trouble with the tap i see?" great, they noticed. But one thing led to another and soon American, New Zealand, World War One, and Rugby were all being discussed. and they invited me to hang out with them. i was in!
Since i was a single traveler any invite to hang out with people that seem cool was usually readily welcomed. But since these were cute boys, i tried to play it cool. "oh yeah, i may stop by and watch the match there...i have other plans but maybe I'll bring him along too." The him in that story was an Italian guy I met at breakfast. (seriously, my trip was NOT just full of meeting guys, although it is starting to sound like that....) He was nice, but barely spoke English. ok and he was pretty cute. We bonded because he too was doing research at the National Archives, the supposed purpose of my trip :)
so me and the Italian headed over to the Welsh bar down the road and watched the first half of the Lion's match. and the 3 boys from the dinning room? only one was really speaking to me. and it wasn’t the one that i thought was the cutest. so we left. agreed that later on we would meet up at the Wellington Sports Cafe after the game for some drinks and dancing. ok...fair enough, i thought. we'll see how that goes.
it went well. really well. the boys came, immediately won me over with their wit and charm, the Italian guy decided he was bored and left...and me? well, i decided to stay to see where the night would take us. It took us from the sports cafe to a dance club across the road. where the boys just happened to run into about 10 other Welsh and Irish that they knew who were also down watching the Lions Tour. we were now a giant group of boys and girls, and i was having a blast. after a few drinks the boy i thought was the cutest, who introduced himself as Will, finally started to open up and it turned out it was quite funny. Not only did i love his accent, but we seemed to have a lot in common. we got on the subject of running and even agreed to run together the next morning. i couldn’t have planned it any better. everything was going perfectly. Until Will said he was going to the bathroom and would grab us some drinks on the way back.
and he never came back. and, like a fool, i waited.
his friends kept asking me where Rhys was, but i didn’t know who that was. His name was Will right? So not only did i get ditched, but i got 'fake named' too!? He didnt even like me enough to tell me his real name?! Great, I am a loser. Oh well I thought, might as well enjoy the rest of the night. and i did. after a few more hours the group of us decided that we were hungry and went to a little kebab shop across the road. and there was Will. eating a kebab, all by himself. Turns out he had gotten kicked out the club for no valid reason (the bouncer thought he was someone else..) and figured we would all eventually find him. and we did. and it was great.
as it turns out since his last name was williams, and because he was traveling with another boy called rhys, everyone just called him Will. So i didnt get ditched or faked named. turned out to be a great night after all.
we ended up running the next day, and the following Monday when i had to go to the library to actually do some research? he remembered that I said I had to go there, walked 45 minutes from the hostel (in the rain might i add) to find the archives, then find me hidden away in the back corner and surprise me with lunch.
and, as they say, the rest is history.
4 years later from that cold, rainy, New Zealand winter day--10 June 2005--I am now married to that cute boy from the hostel table. even though the long distance was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, i wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything. becasue at the end of 2 years of New Zealand to America...then Wales to America...never living in the same country, $500 a month plus on phone bills, thousands of dollars on plane tickets, and months and months of missing each other. it has all been worth it.
we have gone from this......
so thanks to you, other Rhys and Gareth. Without you two....who knows what might have happened. Happy 10 June to you all!!