After a morning out with Tien walking around Saigon in the hot sun, after I asked her to marry me, we did what most people do during the mid day heat and napped it away in a cool place. We talked and were happy with all that had happened and the new direction things were going with the two of us. We talked about traveling to America.
At dinner we found ourselves on a side-street with many english speakers and restaurants that had Asian and western cuisine. We shared a ham and cheese crepe along with a VN dish, and I had a Saigon Red. It was very satisfying to taste a bit of home and to drink that cold beer on that hot day with my new fiancé. I thought about asking the other English speakers about traveling to Cambodia, but decided not to since my plans were not set.
We went back to the hotel room and took a short nap, checked out of the comfort of the hotel and instead chose to (try to) sleep on the bus on the way to Binh Hoa where we would tell her parents about our decision. I got just about no sleep, and was hardly comfortable until we got to Long Xuyen where other passengers got out. This was like 2 miles from her house. It was 1am.
I'm not sure what all was said because Tien is the only english speaker in her family, but later she told me that she had told them and they are happy with our decision and give us their blessing. I wasn't sure when she was going to tell them and having learned that they already knew I felt a little weird being past what would've been a moment in the spotlight for me to ask for their permission and thank them for their blessing. I really have no idea how this works in Vietnam, and I doubt I'd be much good at it even in American culture. I guess I'm just used to doing things my own way so when it comes to doing things the way of tradition I'm lost.
We had a delicious breakfast at the market and talked things over. We decided that she would stay here to finish a class she is taking, get her passport and her visa to come to America, and that I would continue traveling as I had planned. This tears me a little because I had so hoped that she would be able to come with me, but it's just not possible. It will be good to continue to travel though, but it would be good in a slightly different narrative as well.
I spent the evening on skype and on chat with friends and family, telling them about how our engagement came about, and everybody was very happy and congratulated me as I knew they would. I had at one point thought about calling a close friend to ask his advice on the situation, but thought better of it knowing exactly what he'd say. I was right, and it was great to have the support and excitement of my friends and family.
Several people told me before I left to come to Asia that I was "living the dream." I never really thought about it like that, I just thought I was doing what I wanted to do. Now though I am having dreams and making them come true and so I do feel like I am doing as they said, I am living the dream.