Last weekend was the third anniversary of my engagement to Kathryn. As a few of you may remember if you have following this blog long enough, it happened during our brief get-together vacation at Aruba.
It was a memorable occasion; we reunited again after a three months separation and we got rooms at this fantastic place called Bubali Studios, which I heartily recommend if you ever feel inclined to spend some time in Aruba.
I will always remember vividly the way we both dealt with Oranjestad’s convoluted traffic to reach downtown. At the moment, we had our minds set on acquiring an engagement ring, and since Aruba is one of the most romantic locations in the world, the notion of going downtown to find a decent jewelry shop was a number one priority.
We waited on a very sunny curbside for a few minutes, next to a huge sign that detailed all the necessary data to deal with the local bus grid. Kath was rather baffled by its tropical intricacies, while me, more accustomed to a more chaotic and dangerous way of transportation, was able to decipher the information with an almost scary easiness.
After some long minutes, an open-sided tourist bus stops in front of us. I urge Kath to hop in, a suggestion she took with a fleeting look of doubt in her eyes. The driver was a garrulous, dark-skinned woman who seemed unable to keep her eyes on the road, but in the end we managed to reach Oranjestad’s main hub.
If you are not aware of the fact, Downtown Oranjestad is to the engagement ring industry like Las Vegas is to the quick-marrying chapel business; you can find a jewelry store in almost every corner. After looking a while and casting doubtful blanching stares at what some shops offered as “tanzanite”, we settled for an opal ring studded in itsy, bitsy diamonds at a Kay store. Well, Kath did the shopping, for I have absolutely no clue about jewels.
We offhandedly commented to the saleslady that it was an engagement ring, which she joyously celebrated by joking that I ought to drop to my knees and do the proposal on the spot. We quietly agreed and paid, coughing inwardly at the idea of such public display.
Then we spent some more time downtown, and decided to have lunch at some “Iguana-something” restaurant. We found the name amusing and somewhat ironical, as we did enjoy most of our meals at the Iguana Café in Curacao the first time we met.
It was very close to noon, which meant traffic had eased up, but also the bus frequency at the stops, so to avoid wasting time, we walked back in our lodging direction while occasionally checking for a bus coming at our backs. Believe me, this is something you do a lot in the tropics. Finally, the happy coincidence of a bus stop and a bus approaching to it happened at last, and we returned to our rooms.
And of course, there, in privacy, I asked Kath to take off the ring and I did the knee drop thing in front of her. I’m a bit old fashioned, after all, you know.