torchwood: two hands in love

I got engaged in Istanbul

Truly, I do not envy my fiance the task of finding the perfect moment for a marriage proposal in the midst of a thirty-five day trip. Finding the right moment took three tries, and even then, there was an unfortunate incident with a street vendor.


The first aborted attempt took place at the top of Galata Tower. Looking down over the red roof tops of Istanbul was magical...but the people who kept bumping into us as they navigated the narrow walkway were not. He was afraid the ring would slip over the edge and tumble to the ground. He decided to wait until dinner.

"Let's find some place nice!" he suggested enthusiastically. But Istanbul is a working class city. We walked up and down endless streets, searching for a "nice" restaurant that did not cater exclusively to American and European tourists. Finally, we settled for a slightly-nicer-than-average Chechen restaurant. Once seated, we discovered that the air conditioner was broken and the twenty Russians inside were really, really obnoxious.

"Do you want a glass of wine?" he asked.

"Lemonade sounds better," I said.

"No, really, have a glass of wine," he said.

I refused on the grounds that I was so hot and dehydrated alcohol really might make me vomit.

We decided to order a meat pie, the dish for which the restaurant had been named. (Yes, really, the restaurant was called Chechen Meat Pie. That should have been a sign right away.) The meat pie was exactly that -- a pile of unseasoned ground beef in between some really thick pie crusts. Thank god no marriage proposal was attempted over the worst dish we ate on the whole trip. It doesn't deserve to be enshrined in our memories that way.

The next morning, we arrived at the Hagia Sophia before it opened. We sat alone under a tree, contemplating this ancient building, and he pulled out a little box. He started telling me how he would never have imagined going to Istanbul, or seeing one of his favorite artistic treasures, if I hadn't come into his life...

..and then a street vendor shoved a bottle of water in our face. "Two lira?" he asked. I death glared him and he slunk away.

Poor fiance! He hadn't planned or scripted anything, he was horribly nervous, and he never quite got back on track. We have a pretty hilarious story though, and the important thing is that we are getting married!
Wonderful story! And the ring is beautiful. May you have many happy years together. That is just awesome!
Congratulations! It's a beautiful ring and a sweet, funny story.
Thank you! I am still a little sad I never got to hear the rest of his proposal, but also kind of happy that we have such a unique story :)
Thank you! I'm still a little sad that I didn't get to hear his whole proposal, but I'm also secretly pleased that we have such a unique story :)
Ha! Congratulations! And look, if you can survive 35 days of traveling together, marriage should be a breeze ;)
Heh, people have been saying that to me a lot. In the past, when I've taken long trips, I've stayed in youth hostels where I've met tons and tons of other people. Even when I just stayed in normal hotels, other solo travelers would always find me. Traveling as a couple was totally different - we barely met anyone, so we were just talking to each other for 35 days. I think we did get on each other's nerves by the end, but we were still getting along, which is pretty impressive!
Congratulations!! What a great story--and I agree with velvetmouse. A 35-day trip means long-term compatibility to me!

Hubby and I had a similar proposal story, in that it happened while traveling and we definitely had a false start due to our campsite being flooded. But he persevered and I'm glad yours did, too! ♥
Haha, yeah, I hadn't really thought about how long we were going to be together when I planned the trip. In the past, I've always met tons of other people because I stayed in youth hostels or because solo travelers somehow always find each other. Traveling as a couple is totally different - nobody talked to us! We were definitely ready for some alone time by the end of the trip, but we were still totally getting along, which I think is impressive!
Congrats! There is too much pressure to find the right moment..silly street vendors.
Yeah, I was really shocked that vendor interrupted like that. I mean, my bf wasn't down on one knee or anything, but the ring was pretty obviously there in between us... It's not like we were actually going to buy the water right at that minute!
Yeah, I'm actually pretty pleased about the story even though I'm still a little bummed I didn't get to hear the whole proposal. At least our engagement story is unique!
Congratulations and best wishes for you two! This makes me so happy to hear, and what a gorgeous ring, too. :D
Hee. Congratulations and much love and laughter to you both!
I am so utterly happy for you! I love the story and the hiccups along the way-- it makes it wonderful and memorable! The problem with surprise proposals is that the proposee often does not follow the plan that the proposer has in mind! Were you completely surprised or did you kind of know it was coming? What a wonderful cherry on top of a fantastic trip! So were you two engaged for most of the trip or was this towards the end? Also, that meat pie sounded nasty. Poor Fiancé! Trying so hard and totally not having it go as smoothly as it probably played out in his head. :) so romantic and lovely. I am so delighted that you have so much joy! And your ring is stunning! Is it tanzanite or amethyst or what? I love that it's not your standard diamond ring. I really think that makes it so much more special. :) I'm all asquee over this. Congratulations, lovely. *massive hugs*
I did know it was coming, though the exact moment was a surprise. We had been talking about getting married for awhile, and I insisted on helping him pick out the ring. I knew I didn't want a diamond, and I was super uncomfortable with the idea of having a very expensive ring. Somehow I just couldn't get him to believe that though, and I was terrified that some pushy salesperson was going to convince him he needed to buy me a big, shiny, expensive diamond to prove that he loves me. I thought I wanted a sapphire, but I ended up falling in love with this amethyst instead. And yeah, this actually happened the first week of the trip. It was so hard to keep it a secret for so long, but I wanted to tell my family in person, and I wouldn't let myself tell anyone else before I told my family...

Thank you for the congratulations!
Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! and - I'm not a big fan of rings, but omg, yours is gorgeous!
Congratulations to the both of you!!! Always fantastic to have a great story, and to have a great engagement story is fun, makes it all the more memorable and points to your fiance for keeping trying *grins*. Beautiful ring, and wonderfully unique. (Not that there's anything wrong with a diamond ring, but I like seeing special jewellery that's special not because (or just because) of price but because it's something unique to a couple, has meaning, or has history, y'know?)

LOTS AND LOTS OF CONGRATULATIONS! And dare you to have meat pie on your wedding menu ;)
(Not that there's anything wrong with a diamond ring, but I like seeing special jewellery that's special not because (or just because) of price but because it's something unique to a couple, has meaning, or has history, y'know?)

Yes, this exactly! I wanted something that was special to US, not something that the diamond industry said we should have. And I wanted something that made financial sense for both of us, not something that would bankrupt my fiance to buy something of no practical value...