One of the most rewarding consequences of writing a blog for the longer term is the interaction with readers who feel connected in some way to what I’ve expressed here. I’ve met up with several readers on the road, like Alberto from Rome, who took me ruin-hopping during my brief time there in the fall or Casey, who brought me on a tapas tour of La Latina in Madrid. Many others have left insightful comments or emailed to share a story or travel memory of their own. However, the technology that enables this kind of interaction sometimes affords an even greater connection, which was the case with Azita who emailed me this week about her wonderful love story.
In my Memories of Montevideo post, I wrote about my somewhat melancholy return to a city I used to call home, and in it I featured the Fountain of Love in downtown Montevideo. With its rusted iron fence and tiny plaque, the fountain is crammed with locks of couples wanting to commemorate their love with an eternal tribute. In writing about the fountain, I posted a photo of the lock that most caught my eye, a deep purple one gleaming in the afternoon sun.
Azita and Jeff’s purple lock in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The inscription on the fountain reads “The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked”. Azita excitedly emailed to let me know that the lock was hers, having found it in a Google images search. I sent her the picture and asked her for her story. This is what she had to say:
I worked at a hospital and every day on the parking shuttle there was this lady who I would talk to. She was very kind and we always got to work at the same time, so we chatted a lot. She had knee problems and was seeing a physical therapist (more specifically a Sports Medicine Specialist) for it. She would always talk about how kind, sweet, smart, and just amazing this man is, and how she thinks that we would get along. Finally, after one bad date too many, I decided to give this blind date thing a shot. I gave her my email to give to him. We ended up emailing/talking on the phone for 2 weeks. We decided to meet at Disneyland (public place because I wasn’t convinced that he wasn’t a killer – this was my first blind date!) and from that moment on we have been in the most amazing relationship. Going on 1.5 yrs, we have traveled the world together and are more in love than ever. Why we put the lock on the fountain… Honestly I don’t have a good reason: we were silly people in love and we totally fell in love with the phrase “to be forever locked”. It’s our relationship’s motto now. Interestingly enough, I never saw my shuttle buddy again, and he never saw her as a patient again. Can someone say cupid?