Seeing the world, one country at the time

We’re engaged!

Shortly after sunset on January 31st, 2007 we sat at our favorite table on our hostel’s terrace café in Jodhpur, India, as the imams chanted and the bird fanciers trained their flocks. The city’s unconquerable stone fortress loomed above us, the floodlights floating it in the sky, just above the blue city that had faded to black. Lars chose that moment to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him – in Norwegian. Good thing it’s close enough to Swedish that I understood him. I said yes.
Engagment rings

Then he handed me a beige box, the one he’s been dragging around for eight months. He said he’s known all along and he’s been waiting so long to ask me. I asked why now and he said that he kept looking for the right moment, but then realized that every moment is right. His perfect moment had passed him by, 14 months earlier. It was atop Machu Picchu at sunset, once the crowds had left, with a double rainbow and a storm approaching. But he had had no rings, and so he waited. And then another moment like that never came. The date marked three years that we had been dating and Jodhpur was our favorite city in Rajasthan. It has a romantic air of times gone by.

Inside the box were two rings, which we exchanged. Yes, exchanged. In Sweden and Norway the man and woman BOTH wear rings when they are engaged. Only the woman gets another ring on her wedding day. Alternatively, they wear the rings on the right hand and then change it to the left (or vice versa) on the wedding day. In Norway wedding rings are worn on the right hand. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we had both lost weight since Lars ordered the rings, so we couldn’t wear them on the right fingers, as they would have fallen right off.

The story of the rings is a long one. They hold a lot of sentimental value and can boast a rich and international background. Lars asked my cousin before our world trip to help him get gold from a mine in Skelleftea, my mother’s hometown and the city where my house is. It got tied up at customs, but finally arrived just before our trip. He ordered the rings from Claudia Lira, in Peru over Christmas 2005. He knew that I wanted a ring designed by Claudia, who is a jeweler in Lima and my oldest friend. They arrived DHL the day we left on the second leg of our trip! That’s when he asked my Dad last minute for my hand and Dad gave his and Mom’s blessing.

Now that he actually popped the question, Lars is eager to take the next step. But organizing a wedding from halfway across the world is too complicated and after 17 months on the road, there is no more money. Besides, I want friends to show up, so I’d better give them time to collect themselves from all corners of the globe. So we are taking our rings back where they started and getting married next summer, during the longest days of the year, under the midnight sun in a little town called Yttervik, in Sweden.

Jodphur - engagement city