What are some great real-life love stories that you have heard?
Answer by Frank Yuan:
True story, told by a one-time colleague, and connected through three miracles.
His name is Adrian Von Ulrich. By name you probably guessed, a German. True. There is a twist though. He is a Russian of German descent, and somehow I remembered him as Jewish. Maybe I was wrong.
We met as I was working on an architectural project ( Shanghai Science Museum) in year 2000 and he came to do the graphics/signs for the lower floors there, all the way from Canada.
He told me his family was actually living in Shanghai till 1950s. Then they went to Brazil and later Canada. We went out and found the house the family used to live in, using the address given by his aunt, who now was living in England. Right in the centre of Shanghai on Nanjing West Road ( or Bubbling Well Road as before 1949 it was called ) across a modern Shopping Mall stood the house in red bricks, intact. He was so excited that he told me a story of his Grand Parents.
His Grand-dad was living in Harbin/ Manchuria, possibly a result of fleeing from the Russian Revolution. Grandma was still a young girl living in Tokyo. From time to time, he would go visit his girlfriend/fiance by train once he landed in Japan.
He was always puntual. For some strange reason, on September 1 1923, he missed his train. And that was the one that went off rail during the Tokyo earthquake.
Having survived , he went to look for his girlfriend. The place was destroyed. The whole city was in a mess. He refused to leave and kept on searching. But many days had gone by and the quest was not answered.
Until one day, he saw some posters with cats drawn on it. With an address.
Now here is the catch – his girl friend had a very special way of drawing cats. No other people would do that. So she drew up all these cats on posters and put them up on poles and buildings.
Surely he found her. They got married.
“What’s the moral of the story ?” I said to my son Tutu, the love of my life.
“Cats have nine lives, and sometimes cats use them to keep love alive. ”
“Or, grow your artistic talents, because you never know when you will need them.”