Fabricated love stories

Keeping with my promise in previous articles, since we’ve already heard proof from several examples that the soul of women can be reached and won over the internet, let’s hear from a representative of the gender that does the hunting.  I did not chose the story of Sanyi accidentally from among the boys who wrote.  It seems that all the things the others wrote about happened to this one person:-)

If I look back, my meeting on the net was completely by accident.  I was looking for a CD-ROM drive and while surfing I came across a personal ads section that was free of charge.  I became enthused immediately when I saw that there were some 25 girls looking for a partner.  Automatically clicked on the “In Search of Females” button without ever suspecting what a misunderstanding this will lead to….and that is what it lead to!

I filled out all the blanks giving the minimum of general information (blond, tall, blue eyes, etc.)  I thought I needed a winner of a nick to grab the attention of the readers who are looking at the list of other ads.   That’s how I ended up with “Snail on Sandpaper” and if that weren’t enough, my ad was accidentally placed in Female Seeks Female section of the personals.  You can imagine the kind of responses I received.  Probably the most interesting thing in that was that the first respondent was a male by the name of Laszlo.  None of the females that wrote were willing to believe, however, that I was a male and that this was a mistake in the categories.  For the sake of the experience, I waited patiently until the ad expired.  I received a stack of letters but unfortunately not one of the met the qualifications I was seeking.

After this experience I was more interested and began searching the personal on the various boards.  After I’ve sown the seeds of expectation on them I sat back and waited for the nibbles like some spider in his web.  I made an increasing number of acquaintances most of them surface contacts feeling out the possibilities according to some unwritten rules of etiquette.  I enjoyed tremendously because until then I only considered the usual social gathering places as a place to find a person I enjoyed spending time with.  Since the past ten years of my life were spent in ‘Saturday night fever’ and none of the relationships stemming from it endured over the long term it occurred to me that the method significant of our century may be more effective than the traditional method that emphasizes the exterior.
My guess appeared to be proving true as I met girls whose attitude was very close to mine, we had a lot in common and they had many of the qualities that I was looking for.  I made it a priority to respond to those girls whose overwhelming numbers daily sent  me charming, witty and cheerful masterpieces.  I figured those not needing days to prepare a response stood far above the average gray masses.  I was pleased to encounter conversation partners that I thought existed only in my dreams.  It was comforting to me that it was the intellect that had a chance to gain notice rather than be overwhelmed by hormones or desire as could happen in a personal meeting.

I think in some respect this method of meeting people limits the potential terrain to that minimal segment who is on somewhat higher intellectual level from the average, is in the field of computers or is a student who has access to the internet at school or works in the field of computer sciences.  As time passed it became clear that I could not maintain contact with all of the individuals who met my criteria.  I had two reasons to justify my point of view: someone who divides his love too many ways has little to devote to each and the other was that I noticed how much I’ve changed.  Waiting for the letters and responding to them became too much of a focus for which I was willing to stay late at the office or arrive early in order to have the opportunity to surf the net.

It was sad, but the time arrived when I had to say good-bye and turn my attention to those only who to me for some reason appeared outstanding.  The circle became smaller and smaller and I was anxiously waiting to see who will be the person who will make be believe that the internet offers a real opportunity to find a partner.

Finally there remained six women among whom I had to make a choice.  As a next move I showed myself in the form of a digital picture to these women and in exchange received an image of the ladies.  In cases of mutual attraction we set up a date to meet.  It was then that the first disappointments surfaced as some people did not appear the same in real life as they did in a posed, perhaps in some cases, touched up photo.  There was one who sent me a picture of her high school graduation, and there was one who appeared incapable of carrying on a one-on-one conversation.  The whole process made me wonder if these were really the women who were able to write those wonderful letters that I looked forward to reading.  Never mind the idiotic boys who wrote under women’s names.  Surprisingly there are those who make a sport of doing this and then sit behind their monitor laughing at the fact that they fooled some poor slob.

It was terrific to meet the few that actually turned out as they were expected based on the letters.  Naturally there were those who turned out to surpass expectations, their appearance and beauty justified what came across from their letters.  There were two individuals who themselves were not aware of the fact, had equal chances for the highest grade from me.  They were complete opposites, one is a deep feeling, imaginative, romantic soul and the other a more realistic, stable and a bit shy.  I am still in touch with both today except that one became the love of my life and the other the most important friend I have.

I believed in success all along and the results have proven me right.  I remember the very beginning of our relationship when I couldn’t wait to get my letters, even had my e-mail account sent over to my mobile so that I would know immediately when a letter arrived.  There were days when I’ve read the arriving confessions of love for the fortieth time then race to be the first to respond in kind.  It developed into a healthy competition between us where we both attempted to out complement the other with kind words, the expressions of emotions.  I began pouting my heart in the form of poetry, finding more and more opportunities to publish the fact that Her and Her alone was the most important for me now.  I’ve made it a point to surprise her with virtual greeting cards, old fashioned hand written notes, placed messages for her on bulletin boards all over the internet and even found an opportunity to make an announcement on the radio that I am here and can hardly wait to see her again.  Our meetings were more and more frequent, not an easy feat considering the distance between us as she is a citizen of another country.  The internet is a different world, there is no boundary, no time difference and no distance!  We were in touch daily, knew of each others schedules, the momentary feelings and there was an occasion that I’ve sent pictures of myself every few minutes with the help of a digital camera on the net.

Then I noticed that I was not the only one that existed for her, that there were others who received mail from her.  There were all kinds of strange thoughts in my head.  I suspected that she may still have active personal ads running but I did not know what other nicknames she may be using.  I put on my virtual combat fatigues and began my personal crusade.  I placed traps throughout the system, registered in a variety of bulletin boards and placed ads while trying to sort through the responses that resulted from them.  I’ve attempted to guess which one she may be.  My hunch played out when I received her photo from a new nick.  She had no idea that she was corresponding with me and to make it more believable I ‘borrowed’ the image of a strange man in order to further the situation.  In this way I was able to get her address from her server and had easily accessed her archived letters and among those I’ve found those parts where she wrote to others about me.

After this point I revealed myself and attempted to convince her that meeting on the internet may not be a completely safe thing to do.  One might share feelings and thoughts with a person who does not exist since the mail system is a very vulnerable tool although most people think their thoughts are safe within.  It is a good idea to be careful what they write about and spend a little effort checking out exactly who one is writing to.  There may be evil thoughts and intentions hiding behind flattering words and even with a picture one can’t be sure that we are talking to a ‘real’ person or a created identity.  With a decent search engine it may be possible to find the same picture file on several other sites.

There are people who spend entire days on the various personal ad sections and they change identities almost weekly without bothering so much as attaching a real scanned in picture to their ad.  Instead they place a link in their text that connects the reader to an ad that may be placed on a number of strange boards throughout the world.  It should not be neglected that in their ads most people describe themselves as the ‘Marlboro man’ or a seductive ‘Miss Universe’ with all the positive traits to go along with the image yet these things may have as much in common with reality as the Rubik cube to a helicopter blade.

The bottom line is that curiosity prompts one to act and those actions are not always performed in the most decent manner.  What was the result of my expedition?  Both of us lost our faith in each other for a while playing games of hide and seek on the various bulletin boards hoping to discover before being discovered.  We had to recognize that in this form our constant suspicion would be damaging to our relationship.  The basis of every relationship is trust and the seed of trust is honesty.  Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to be afraid of.  Eventually we both had to agree that nothing was more important that to love someone, to belong to someone in the real world.

Sanyi and CsillaIn summary I must mention that personally I feel that meeting on the internet is a positive step.  We, who with unbelievable luck have found the love of our lives have perhaps laid the foundation of a new method available for future generations.  We would like to encourage newness by our positive example, to be brave.

I recommend to all lonely seekers who have the opportunity, to look for their love on the internet.  If they succeed, they should remember to return to the real world where they can not only read about love but experience it with passion.

Jeny

Romantic dating moment

Dear Andrea!
I’ve read the internet love stories both in the Internet Kalauz magazine and on the web.  They prompted me to want to write and share our own story which – don’t be surprised – but it began no less than 5 years ago, and is still going strong, and then some….  But I’m saving the best news last, now let me begin in the beginning, with our meeting.

In those days I worked at the JATE University in Szeged in the Department of English and had access to the internet.  I’ve used the IRC before but at that time someone had unexpectedly greeted me and his first sentence was:  ‘Hello you dear girl!”  To which I responded: “How do you know that I’m a dear girl?”

Anyway, I met a boy right there on the Internet.  He was from Budapest and studied at the mathematical department of the University of Science (ELTE). Somehow he was different from the other boys on the net.  I was pretty much getting tired of the fact that I could not carry on a decent conversation with any of them.  We talked a lot and it became obvious that we had a lot in common.  We became more and more impressed with each other as the days and weeks went by.  We ‘met’ almost on a daily basis in the chat and if that didn’t work, then we wrote e-mails.  It often happened that we thought of the same thing, we felt the common tie and that we are important to one another.

Naturally, after a while we’ve exchanged pictures also and both of us liked the looks of the other.  We’ve talked on the phone a few times and as a next step the situation had ripened to where we began to think we should meet in person.  A month after our virtual meeting I traveled to Budapest where he waited for me at the Western train station.  This was the first personal meeting which, although caused both of us plenty of anxiety, was not a disappointment to either of us, on the contrary.  I really liked him and he seemed to like me.  It was terribly cold that day, so much so that the rose he gave me froze in my hand, but we couldn’t really tell we were so involved with each other.  All day we’ve wondered around, on Margaret Island and the museum grounds.  We had a wonderful time together, so much so that by evening I’ve almost missed my train.

There was no doubt in either of our minds that there will be a continuation.  The following week there was more than the usual amount of communication between us and a week later he came to see me in Szeged.  From then on we met on every week-end.  Our love grew each day and it wasn’t too long before we were planning a future together.

Viki & GezaSix months later we became engaged and the following year in 1996 we were married.  I moved to Budapest and we’ve lived here since and we are crazy about each other.

We’ve not regretted anything.  Our first child is due in March.  I wish to all Internet couples the same joy that we have and are still experiencing.

Romantic dating moment

Dear Andrea!
First of all I would like to ask that if you should publish my letter neither my name or address be listed.  I would not want to hurt anyone’s feelings by what I’m about to write.  Thank you!

So many people have taken to the keyboard before me, but perhaps I can add something new.  The Internet Love Story – I know it too – both extremes.

I should probably start with the fact that as with many others, my life has changed entirely with the Internet, as probably I have also changed.  Until I tried it myself, I could not understand what could be so good that my friend was willing to spend hours in front of (or is it behind) the green monitor screen, and then I logged on.  At that time it was somewhat unusual that a female wondered into a chat room so I received a warm welcome and quickly became the favorite of the channel.  When I was able to log on once a week they were waiting for me, were glad to have me there and helped with everything.  It was wonderful, a great change for me.  All my life I’ve been a somewhat introverted person and unless someone talked to me I did not initiate conversations.  It was this that changed entirely!  On the Internet you do not have a face nor does anyone else and you are free to address any topics with anyone, you can argue, dream, shed your prejudices and talk about anything you want to – it is an entirely free arena!  I must admit that in the beginning I’ve gone overboard a bit and my virtual friends and relationships became more important than my immediate surroundings – but what can I do?  It was more interesting.

This is where the problems began.  My initial account was through my then friend and he began to get jealous when in a short time I became more popular than he, who’s been doing this sort of thing for years.  Then of course there were other things, I mean another person, who’s been in the chat room from the first time and helped.  We talked a lot and I felt that we were getting closer to each other all the time.  I sensed that this virtual someone whom I’ve never seen or talked with live, is beginning to be more important then my friend.  Now I know that this was merely the ‘last straw’ that allowed me to recognize that my present relationship would never be a real love and that we should probably let each other go.  I was able to ‘terminate’ that relationship and then I did not care that the other party was not able to accept it, didn’t understand it and didn’t want it, all I was interested in that it’d be over and soon.  My (ex-boyfriend knew about my virtual friend and it was especially difficult for him for that reason because it is difficult to win against a nickname.

Although he is Hungarian, my virtual friend lived in a neighboring country, but the 350 km distance was not a problem.  We’ve exchanged photos, dreamed, missed each other and eventually confessed our love to each other.  It was fantastic.  If someone else told me this story I would not have believed that such thing is possible.  At that time nothing mattered, not the distance not the lack of personal contact, nor what the person looks like in real life.  I thought I could overcome my prejudices.  Now I know that I can’t.

The story is not so simple, however, there came another virtual ‘relationship’ which began differently from the first.  The first time we talked I hated him, after the second I thought he was interesting and after the third I fell in love  J  We exchanged real letters on paper, and that is a lot more personal than staring at the uniform keys of the PC.  We exchanged photos and both of us were bowled over by the other.  The dream boat that I want!!  He wrote poetry, I liked his thoughts, I liked his soul, I liked him inside and out.  What else do you need?  BUT there was the “1st” virtual friend with whom the meeting date was drawing near.

We were to meet at a larger Internet gathering.  I was anxious and at the same time feared it.  Even in the last minute I thought it would be best not to go, but my curiosity got the best of me.  We didn’t agree to anything, we would recognize each other.  This did not happen at first, when I first saw him, I debated that I should go home instead, or something like that, but realized that it would not be fair.  We finally met in person …. and .. . I didn’t like anything about him.  I didn’t like his appearance, not even a little, or his gestures, nothing!  It is pretty difficult to overcome one’s prejudices in a situation like this.  I’ve had strange feelings about it. In a virtual setting the whole thing seems covered over with pink, but I couldn’t be neutral about him, I loved him, up until now, that is.

By evening things loosened a bit, and we looked as though we were a little more then friends, but the evening passed and we headed in opposite directions.  The virtual will remain.  I was so mixed up, didn’t know what I should fee, whether there was any reason to feel anything.  Retreat, the IRC again, e-mail and there were a couple of calls…..

About a week later my “2nd” virtual friend visited me and with him everything was perfect.  I liked him in all his reality the only problem was that actually neither one of us was available.  (As we later agreed, Anything could have happened if we didn’t care about anybody else!)  Later we met again at a birthday party where initially I didn’t want to go because I didn’t know anybody, but he convinced me that he doesn’t get here very often.  Weave spent the entire day together until the party and we had a great time.  We even thought about not going to the party, but we did, and I now know it was the right thing to do!

It was at that party that I met my current friend, more accurately that is where I saw him first.  Basically we never spoke, but his cute, little boy face and the lovely smile touched me.  There were pictures … and then the next party came where I saw him again.  I was glad when he appeared, looked at the pictures and we spoke some, said farewell, exchanged pecks on the cheek – and I was completely charmed.  As we later discovered, we both felt that something right then and there happened between the two of us.

About a month later I saw his address on a list but I was not certain it was him.  I wrote and he responded.  We corresponded rather intensively and after a week of letters he decided to visit me – no specific reason, he had nothing else to do.  We walked, talked, went to a place where they had music and dancing…..we were on track.

The reason I told the story was that this happened over a year ago.  We are together ever since even though in the beginning no one predicted any kind of a future for the two of us saying that Internet relationships end quickly.  In our case it was different, our love is still strong and the number of kilometers still don’t matter.  I’ve not seen my former friend in person since then.  We do see each other on the net occasionally and he was insulted.  I know I’ve hurt him, he is mad at me and it was difficult for him to get over what happened;  I’ve also not seen my 1st virtual friend since then; and with the 2nd virtual friend we’ve met several times since and continue to correspond, we talk and he became my best friend.  It would be difficult to accurately describe our situation, we are very important to each other.
Another interesting thing – for some time now the Internet is not as important to me, I don’t miss hanging on the line all day – and my friend feels the same way.  I still feel that it is a fantastic opportunity and it is a great place to argue or simply state one’s opinion.

The reason I sat down to the keyboard was that most of the stories I read talked about relationships that are ‘already’ 2 months old.  Here is another example where after a year it is still working.  Of course I saw and experienced the contrary where the perfectly aligned virtual relationship merely lost its mystique with the personal meeting.  My favorite quote is: “It is not to get what you want, but to want it still once you get it.”

Many people say that the Internet and the world of computers generally tends to isolate people and after a while we think only in bytes, not able to step out of their own little world.  I too had a period where I did nothing but write e-mails all day, but realized that the real relationships are more important.  In my case, the computers not only didn’t isolate me, but made me more outgoing.  I have an easier time making friends in the real world, I have many friends, I’m more open and my life is more colorful.
Thank you for listening to me. Maybe others thought it interesting or useful.

Fabricated love stories

Hello Andrea,
I’m a 21 years old female who works in Budapest as a project assistant.  I read the Internet Love Story column regularly and especially since I had a couple of experiences that could be written about.  If I think about it, I never would have believed that a French boy from whom I’ve ‘met’ only two months ago in a chat room would come to Budapest for a week just to meet me!  A lot of time has passed since and our paths have parted.

Recently I spend many nights on the IRC (during the night) and I work during the day so cumulatively it is tiresome.  It is some consolation that I am not the only nut doing the same thing.  I thought about writing to you earlier but it was your November article that actually prompted me to do so.

I met a number of people on the IRC over the past six months, naturally the majority of the boys.  Those who are on during the night are either those who log on from home or those who stay at dormitories.  Luckily my case is the former, I have a computer at home and log on from there.  I agree with the girl who wrote that the IRC can be a dangerous place if one is not careful, although I would have to add some differing opinions also.  First of all in the beginning I also thought that all the boys there were emotional wrecks.  It turns out that it is not the norm although there are some.  On the that where I normally go I know almost everyone personally by now.  We are a good group most of them boys but there are a number of girls too.  I love the company of boys and I guess I’m of the same opinion in this as the  rest of the girls on the IRC at night.

In such a situation it is almost unavoidable for something more to happen than just become friends.  I do feel that relationships that form on the web are deeper and more permanent than those in reality (I had an opportunity to observe several couples who met on the IRC).  Mainly because they came to know each others inner selves, thoughts first then perhaps they see a picture of the person, but I think the important point is that neither feels any sense of obligation to the other.  This is different than if you meet someone at a disco, let’s say, you go on a date and if it doesn’t work out you can’t just leave the person, you feel you have to explain or make something up.

Initially I too felt a temptation to mother some of the boys, the same way the article mentioned.  I think it’s in our genes but fortunately I’ve learned how to handle those boys who tend to run me down and tell me they are in love.  I have to admit there were several people who professed to be in love and went on and on about me once they’ve seen my home page, but slowly I realize that one can be pleasant without being provocative.  I do believe since I practice self analysis often I realized why I do this.  In a way this is a form of self justification for me aside from the fact that I do like to meet people whether they’d be male or female, as long as they are communicative and original.  I like to catch on to people’s wavelength much the same way as was mentioned in a former interview.  The other point is that when I go into the chat room, people are glad to see me, or we go out together to a party and I feel that I belong somewhere and that is a very important point.  I think the most important sense for everyone is to feel they belong somewhere to someone.

If it is not yet obvious, I’m not looking for a partner and especially a love on the internet as I’ve been going steady with the same fellow for close to 5 years.  It is a long time and we still love each other very much.  Unfortunately, there were times when my passing emotional affairs from the net spilled into the relationship and caused problems but we overcame them.  That too proves that we have a strong relationship and despite of problems we are still together.  Luckily he is not jealous and doesn’t mind that I have my own programs as with this group, for instance.  He is very understanding and that is something very important to me as I love my independence.

That’s what I wanted to share or rather add to previous comments.

Greetings,
Jeny

Happy dating experience

By the time this article is printed in the Hungarian Internet Kalauz, Robi will have left the country and began a new life with his love in the far away Canada.  The story you are about to read is expected to be fulfilled around this time.  This is a big event in the lives of Robi and Krisztina, whom kept their relationship on a virtual level for a marathon length of close to one year.  Finally, this summer they met for the first time face to face and were able to hold each other in reality.

After one month of blissful togetherness they were forced to separate when Krisztina had to fly back across the ocean and for a while they were once more forced to use the internet and the telephone cables to maintain their relationship.  With the help of the cables they were able to spend time together, to share their every days while both were working on establishing a joint future for themselves.

Robi had commented earlier on the stories that appeared in the love story column, but the surprise came when I received the following e-mail from him:

“Many interesting things happened to me since my last e-mail to you.  Actually it was your article that prompted me to tell my story, the one that is still going on.  Unfortunately it would be next to impossible to do it in writing so I would like to ask if it may be possible to either meet or to talk on the phone.  I’m not maniac or anything like that, its simply that I’ve found someone on the net who to me represents joy and the future.  To give you an idea, my current phone bill is 117,853HUF – but I don’t care!”

When I first met Robi what surprised me was the determination with which he speaks of his relationship with Krisztina.  At that time he never actually met her, yet he knew without a doubt and was willing to say, that he met the ONE.  “She thinks of something – and I can say it.”  He was talking about perfect harmony and a deep rooted love.  Later events have proven him right, but for now let me quote from a conversation that sheds light on how the net brought so close two people who were at such distance from each other.

Tell me how you’ve found each other?
It was just about that time that I was finished with a 4 year relationship and was living alone for a while.  Although everything was OK around me I felt a lack of someone in my life.  I’ve decided ‘why not’ and out of curiosity I’ve placed an ad through the Datanet personals.  I didn’t have any specific ideas, basically I was curious to see who would respond to an ad like that since I’ve never met anyone before that on the Internet.  Just for the sake of security I did put the sentence ‘maniacs spare me’.  The first message I received simply asked ‘Where do you live?’  Since I was able to determine from the writer’s address that she is in Canada and I was interested in finding out about the country and the people who live there, I thought why not exchange letters with a Canadian girl?  That is how it began.  My nick was Leon and to Krisztina the name meant the same thing as was my reason for choosing it.  We continued to find many things in common as the e-mails went back and forth we were tasting each other, getting to know one another and getting closer to each other.  So much so that when I once jokingly mentioned that I was living with someone (I meant it as a joke because I meant the spiders living in my place), her feelings became hurt.  She thought I was just playing her along and she wanted to break off our correspondence, that is, she was asking for time to think.  By the time I won her back, I realized that this was serious.

Were there other misunderstandings between you?
Yes, but that is almost unavoidable.  In written communications this can happen quite frequently.  It is enough for one to read a sentence with a different accent than intended and the message will be decoded to mean something different from what had been intended.  The most misunderstandings occurred while we were on the ICQ chat.  That was the main reason, of course there were others, that we’ve changed over to regularly talking on the telephone, which of course, became a financial hardship for both of us.  Still, we could not resist, we needed to hear each other’s voice, at least that.  It was wonderful to be together, at times just being quiet.  We could also read each other’s thoughts.

Did you completely change over to telephone or did you also still correspond by e-mail?
Yes of course, we wrote lots of letters.  Common sense would have dictated that we put all our thoughts into e-mail and on-line chat since that was less expensive and more effective but love has a different point of view.  Naturally we continued to write volumes.  I opened may mailbox like a man possessed.  There were days when I came home during the day from work, much to the joy of my boss, to check if I had any new mail.  We tried out ICQ, VoxPhone and the Internet Phone because we wanted to find a solution so we could spend more and more time ‘together.’

What kind of communications records did you set?
There were days when we sent between 4-8 e-mails and the record telephone call lasted 14 hours.  That, of course, was not the only time because from November 1, 1997 to the day she arrived we talked anywhere between 2-9 hours daily.  Practically we ‘virtually’ lived together.  Because of the time difference, we’ve had situations when I went to bed when she was waking, we talked and when I was getting up she was getting ready for sleep, we were still on the line.  To this day she’s the one who wakes me, who tucks me in takes care of me and helps me with everything from the distance.

The danger of internet relationships, especially those that last this length is that the individuals completely break away from reality and they create a removed, illusion like image of themselves and of the other that generally shatters upon the first meeting.  How were you two able to avoid this?
We tried to give as much as possible of our real selves and a taste of our real existence.  We exchanged traditional letters written on paper also to see each other’s handwriting.  On the phone we could hear each other’s voice and I’ve sent her a video of me so that she could see my motions, how I move and how I talk.  I received lots o photos of her and I was able to see her face and smile frequently.  In one of the packages she once sent me a sample of her hair.  To reciprocate I sent her my favorite garbo shirt that is still with her.  My first gift to her I remember arrived for Christmas.  It was a big surprise the first of many others to come.  I sent her CD’s and cassettes and after a while she too began to spoil me with her love.  The best gift was when she sent me her diary that was written during a 40 day fast.

A 40 day fast?  What does that mean?
We offered up a fast for the two of us and the agreement was that for 40 days we would exchange only snail mail as a form of communication.  It was extremely difficult to adhere to it and as we’ve confessed to each other later, this was a big test and sacrifice for both of us.
You met in the fall and by the winter love was in full blossom yet you had to wait until the middle of summer before you could meet.

How did you do it?
That became more and more difficult with the passage of time.  At the beginning of summer I began to have physical pains just from missing her, that I could not touch and hold her.  Still, there was so much I received from her even at this distance that I felt happy and knew that it is worth waiting for.  She gave me something important, she gave me back my faith/religion that I thought Id lost.  She became the balm of my soul, wonderful, lovely, understanding being with whom I could share all my thoughts of joy and sorrow.  I met her family and best friend since her parents lived here in Hungary and they welcomed me to the family.

Tell us what was the much awaited meeting like?
Rationality would have required that I meet her at the airport but I had something more memorable in mind according to my own script and I am very glad that it worked out that way.  The moment of our meeting will forever be etched in our mind.  Through her father I did send a yellow rose and a message to greet her at the airport which succeeded in getting a tear from her eye.  Our intimate meeting was planned for along the prettiest part of the Danube.  Since we did not want either one of us to awkwardly stand around waiting for the other, we agreed that at a given time Krisztina would begin walking from Batthyany ter and me from the Chain Brigde and somewhere mid-way we would meet.

Were you very nervous?
No, I was calm because I knew it would be her.  The days and hours prior to the meeting were excruciating.  Time just did not want to pass and I had a difficult time concentrating on work and sleeping.  The impatient wait wore me out and I suffered physically and emotionally.  Finally 5 p.m. arrived and through a mobile phone we signaled each other that we were ready to leave.  We could have been in conversation but at that time we did not want to, just a walk in solitude.  I felt some indescribable feelings when I saw Krisztina approach.  She was smiling from a distance.  Her smile was beautiful and when we reached each other we stood in an embrace for a long time.  We’ve pressed the air out of each other grinning from ear-to-ear from happiness and I was filled with a wonderful sense of calm.

Where did you go first?
After we had another couple that walked by take our photograph at that blissful moment, we had to get refreshments to our dried out throats.  Very soon it felt as though we’ve been together for a long time.  The useless things were left off since we’ve already knew each other and it felt more like a reunion than a meeting.  Our first joint outing was to go to the Holy Family Church where we took part in a six hour service.  Both of us accepted communion and lit candles.  It was an intimate time for us and being in a church was the most suitable place to express our gratitude for what has happened to us.

How did the three weeks you’ve spent together go?
Naturally, we’ve spent as much time together as possible.  It was as thought I’ve had a lost piece of my soul restored to me.  We went to a famous Croatian pilgrimage in Medjugorje where I proposed to her.  It was dusk and we stood on top of a hill at the foot of the cross.  In a moment, I removed my necklace and asked: “my dearest Krisztina, will you be my wife?”  She blushed and simply said: “I’ll be your wife Robi.”  I put the necklace around her neck and she’s been wearing it ever since.  We hugged and were tremendously happy.  (The photo was taken at that moment.)  Later, for the sake of formality, I’ve asked her father for his daughter’s hand.  This caused a surprise in the family.  At first they had their doubts about our relationship, perhaps because of the unnusual age difference (I’m 21 and Krisztina is 28), but soon our surrounding accepted us as a couple.  They looked at us with love because they could see how much we loved each other.  Wherever we went, Szentendre, Visegrad or a concert at St. Martin, there was a serene, loving peace that surrounded us.  When we were in a restaurant it was not the food, but each other that we paid attention to.  She is a fantastic person and woman and I ask myself if I deserve her?  Her happiness is the most important thing to me and it is only with her that I can find my own.  Parting was excruciatingly painful, but four weeks had passed and I had to let her go.  We agreed that in December I will visit her.  My immigration proceeding is going well and we are both working hard to make our start together easier.

What was it like after being together to go back to the virtual form of communication?
I hat the e-mail the chat.  I want her, to feel, see and hear.  After the real dimension it is a tremendous step back to return to the virtual.  It doesn’t matter that technology had made so many methods of communication available, I suffer from this and I know it is not easy for her either.  It is a difficult chore for me to get her to understand that I love her and to comfort her when she gets discouraged.  We are making an attempt at cutting down on the telephone use but it is not easy.  We continually dream about how wonderful it will be together again and although it is slow in coming, the countdown has begun.

Don’t you regret leaving the country, family and friends?
I’m sorry about my mother most of all, because I know how much she will miss me.  But one thing makes it easier, knowing that she is not alone any more.  Would you believe that after I introduced her to the mysteries of ICQ and e-mail she too found a partner in Sweden.  The man came to visit her in Hungary and my Mother visited him up North.  They love each other and although neither wants to permanently leave their country they do organize occasional meetings and the rest of the time spend a lot of time talking on the net, e-mail and generally filling the void in each other’s lives.  I am happy that it worked for them also.  I remember with a smile the time when we were pushing each other out of the way to get to the ICQ first to see if my Krisztina or her Henrik were in line.

How are you planning your lives in Canada?  Aren’t you worried that you’ll want to return, or that you won’t find yourself in a strange country?
In Toronto, where we plan to live there are a lot of Hungarians and it won’t be difficult to find friends and community.  Krisztina has lived there for years and through her I should quickly succeed in becoming familiar with local customs, the language, although I already speak English fairly well.  I have a specialized job and I believe I can realistically expect to succeed in getting a well paying job that will allow me to provide a secure future for my family.  We are planning our wedding for the turn of the century, followed by a dream trip then children and family.  I know Krisztina will be a wonderful mother and wife.  Among the short term goals I have an important chore.  My better half already planned that I would be this years Santa Claus at the local nursery school.

Accordingly, Robi is proving himself as Santa Claus in the Toronto winter as we speak.  With his usual confidence he said as we parted: “let’s see each other at the wedding in 2000!”