Saturday, January 06, 2007

Shui shuo wo bu zai hu

My girlfriend's family have arranged a wedding ceremony for January, but before I'd left the UK I'd had to arrange to get a certificate of no impediment from my local registry office to prove I was eligible to marry. As things turned out, this meant getting a document that would give us an actual window of one month once it arrived, which it finally did at the end of October.

Now it's a fact that there were other problems in the meantime and the upshot of them all was that it was only by the second week of December that we were ready to submit the final paperwork, which we did, alone, in a dull local council office on a cold nondescript day. With little bureaucracy, and even less ceremony, it was done, and we were legally married in Korea. Then we went to the post office to send some Christmas presents back home, before returning to the apartment for an evening's trading. These are the legal necessities, but it was an incredibly empty experience and not what I ever expected for this day. For us though, it was the way things had to be done because the certificate of no impediment had a limited period of validity. With Korean couples, the norm is to go off on honeymoon and have the parents take care of the paperwork.

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