Rome adventure leads to love
CHERIE LUI, 26
Public-relations consultant at Fleishman-Hillard
PAUL TAN, 28
FX trader at a Japanese bank
THEY met in 2008, when they were on a university exchange trip at Bocconi University in Milan. She was from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, while he was from Nanyang Technological University.
During the exchange trip, they planned to meet in Rome after going on separate trips. At the last minute, Mr Tan, then in Naples, said he couldn't make it.
Yet, the next day, when Ms Lui was walking along the streets of Rome, she ran into Mr Tan.
He had made a journey of 14 hours and conspired with her friends in order to surprise her.
"I was extremely upset when he said he couldn't meet me in Rome. When I saw him, I was floored. It is one of my fondest memories," said Ms Lui.
The grand gesture was worth it. In 2009, she moved to Singapore and the two have been together ever since.
The couple love going on dates here, and they share a love for that great Singaporean pastime - shopping.
Ms Lui is especially excited about the Great Singapore Sale (GSS).
"When GSS comes around, there's excitement in the air. It feels like a holiday season," she said.
Mr Tan added that "there are great things to buy that are stylish and offer value for money".
Mr Tan's best buys are a Club 21 bow tie and a pair of Regal Japanese dress shoes, which he wore on the day My Paper photographed the couple.
"I bought the bow tie during last year's GSS at Tanglin Mall for $60, down from $220. As for the shoes, they were bought during the GSS the year before and I saved $70 off the original price of $420."
The Zara top that Ms Lui is seen in here was a great buy as well, from a year-end sale last year.
" At $40, it was really reasonable, and down from the original price of $60," she said.
This GSS, Mr Tan will be looking to fulfil his practical needs. He is hoping for discounts on a pair of brown brogues from Ed Et Al, and also has his eye on a Philips steamer for "fuss-free clothes".
Conversely, Ms Lui is throwing caution to the wind.
"I would be spending on something that is more of a splurge item, like a party dress that I see myself wearing only once or twice. Hey, it's on sale," she said playfully.
She's also planning on snagging a piece of luggage for Mr Tan this GSS.
It will serve to "remind him that we should go on a vacation soon", she said.
If Mr Tan isn't sure about a GSS gift for Ms Lui, we have a suggestion: plane tickets for two. Destination: Rome.