Today is our ten-year wedding anniversary.

A decade ago, during winter break from a teaching job in South Korea, I was taking some private Chinese language courses at Xiamen University–partly to take advantage of the relatively inexpensive boarding rates in Xiamen–and the future Mrs. was working in Xiamen for an international trading company.

On the morning of the 24th, we met at the Xiamen University main gate, took a taxi to the marriage bureau office (after previously completing all the bureaucratic paperwork, medical exams, background security checks and so on), waited our turn, signed the final paperwork, and there, beneath of picture of Chairman Mao, officially became husband and wife.

Fast-forward ten years to this morning.

We woke up at 4 A.M. in our hotel room at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo after some days sightseeing, got ourselves and daughters, ages 2 and 4, ready, and caught a taxi to Narita International Airport. Unfortunately, we had to set out earlier than the airport limousine buses were in operation, and so the taxi fare was, well, astronomical.

Ten years ago today, a taxi in Xiamen to take us to get married cost us just under $2 U.S. dollars.

This morning, a taxi in Tokyo to take us to the airport to return to Xiamen to begin our extended visit back in China set me back over $200 U.S. dollars.

A decade can bring lots of changes and differences, but here’s hoping they won’t all be quite this expensive.