Sunday, November 18, 2012

I typed "y"... I am now suddenly, geekily and happily engaged :)

...or "How to propose to a geek girl".

The rumor spreads and everyone keeps asking - how was it? what did he say? Since it was very unexpected, geeky and with so many details, I thought it would be best to write down here and share my happiness with the world.

It was an ordinary Wednesday (November 7). The only 2 things that could be counted as "not ordinary" were the facts that a) I was sick and bedridden on Monday and Tuesday and b) my (now) fiancé was on a business trip in Stepanakert, Artsakh (or so I thought).

The card

On Tuesday evening, while tracking his journey on latitude, I asked him to call and wake me up on Wednesday morning and so he did. I promised I'd get up soon. But since my tummy was till aching, I decided to cuddle in bed a few more minutes and eventually fell asleep again. I woke up a couple hours later to find his messages like "Asleep again?". I started to slowly dress up and get ready to go to work. My friend Lia called to ask me if I was still at home and could take the pocket books I had promised to pass to her. It was around 1pm already. Then it turned out I had to buy my dad's newspapers. So I went out, bought the papers, brought them home and headed to work. (see the bullet points below the post to find out why I described these details)

On my way to work, next to the Charents monument pathway, a teenage boy handed me something. I asked "what's this?", in order to avoid the religious pictures that kids give on streets and ask for money. The boy eagerly replied - "vizitka!" (business card). I took it and saw a nicely designed business card (pictured below).
the QR code reads "Will"
I went on a few more steps and checked the QR code on a side of the card, which read "Will". "Hm.. Interesting", I thought and entered my office.
I told about the card to Azar, my boss. My guess was, that this is some promotion or maybe a puzzle, a quest..

The Facebook tag

In about half an hour I am being tagged on a picture on Facebook. It was in a closed group of AIESEC alumni. See below:
I was tagged together with a bunch of other people.. It had the same logo as on the business card.. and a QR code reading "You". The description was "Cool initiative, guys i am sure you will like this! Detail coming soon!". I started to suspect that it had something to do with AIESEC - some kind of a new project and I was lucky to get the card on the street! The comments on the post didn't shed any light to what it was.

The hack

At 6pm I had an appointment with Kristine, Gohar and Lia (TEDxYerevan organizing team) at The Green Bean Coffeeshop. Kristine had written us a week ago asking to get prepared for a dinner with the US Ambassador John Heffern (who attended TEDxYerevan 2012). We had to discuss our possible cooperation. Kristine asked us to dress nicely, no jeans or suits -- just a cute dress. She also asked me to bring my netbook, since we had to discuss things in Green Bean, before going for the dinner. I didn't suspect anything yet :D
I got there and we started to discuss our stuff. The waiter approached, and I ordered a bagel and no drink. Gohar ordered tea and Kristine insisted that they bring another cup for me to drink too, since i was recovering from cold. I got the Green Bean mug... and it had the "liveit" logo and again a QR code!
I got surprised and started telling them about the card and the picture from facebook... and then finally got to scan the code. Guess what? It read "Marry me?" ..... I blushed and smiled... and then immediately got a call from Azar (my boss), who told me that supposedly was hacked and I should check it quickly and call him back, since he was outside, far from a computer. I turned on my netbook and opened I got this console screen instead (click to view bigger):
I typed "y"...

The waiter, in a white elephant t-shirt, was looking at me and smiling. She led me to the other hall of the cafe to find my Areg. With white lilies and a ring. On his knees.

We were surrounded by friends - who were involved in all this - cheering, applauding ... By that time i was blushing with my full capacity :).. shocked to find Areg to be in Yerevan and to have a ring on my finger...

The story didn't end here.
We sat at a big table with this company and everyone was telling details of the "QRաջարկություն" operation.. Something that was being planned around me for the past few weeks.
Areg's masterplan for THE day :)

It turned out that:
  • Areg had created a secret group in Facebook for communicating the stuff for organizing matters. Sharing mindmaps, coordinating everyone's actions for the day. 
  • Areg didn't have a business trip that week. It was just to enhance the "effect".. and also have a free Tuesday for arranging the stuff. 
  • Areg was near my building since early morning when he called me. He was waiting for me to go out for several hours! Standing! Tracking me on the latitude if I was still there... until his phone drained out... (yep, I feel very very bad about this :()
  • Speaking on the latitude.. he did arrange somebody to login with his account on latitude on the trip to Artsakh. That's why I was seeing him there...
  • Lia called me to ask if I was at home to take the books with Areg's desperate request. 
  • He asked his friend to follow me on my way to work. When i went to buy the papers, I could accidentally see them. They were hiding behind a car :D
  • They arranged someone to wait for me near Charents monument, to hand the card. She was available only till 1:30 pm. Afterwards, they were trying to find someone else and in the end approached a school boy having a lunch nearby. The idea was to suggest him some "bribe" for giving me the card. The boy politely refused the money, and after some convincing ("heeey, it's our friend's birthday, we need to give her this card, blabla") he agreed to stand there and wait, only until their teacher (who was almost near) could notice him.
  • Areg followed me on my way to work until he was ensured that I read the QR code on the card. 
  • Lia had been thinking that I saw her trying to hide near the cafe at Charents monument, but in fact, I didn't. 
  • Azar reported in the FB group, that I had told him about the card. He also called Areg when I went out of the office, saying "Объект вышел".
  • Kristine had made up the story about the Ambassador and asked us to dress up, because she knew that on that important day for me, I would feel upset if I wouldn't be dressed :)
  • Areg had prepared beautiful flower compositions for the Green Bean (partly seen on the picture with the QR code mug). They are still there, decorating the tables in the cafe.
  • The hack was created by our friend Tiko and was "enabled" on by Azar (CEO of PanARMENIAN.Net). It was targeted specifically for the IPs of Green Bean (Areg and Tiko have been tracking cafe's IP address for few days, to ensure it was a static one). While installing the hack on the website, Azar was testing it in our office's IPs, and as a result, the whole editorial was frustrated, unable to work while the testing and installing took place. 
  • When I just got to Green Bean, I didn't order any drink, which was a little out of the plan, but thankfully Kristine managed to convince me to ask for another cup for me to drink the tea. That's when I got the mug with the QR.
  • There were actually 2 t-shirts with a pixelated white elephant - one for the waitress and one for me.
  • Areg had prepared special "Thank you" cards signed by both of us (i did it right there) for all the participants of the "operation". 

So.. this is the story :) I want to thank all of my friends (and the Green Bean staff) who were involved in the organization of this beautiful day.. it's really something that me and Areg will remember forever :)

At the end, there are a few pics...
giving out the thank you card