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Sylvie & Pon

A rolling story

  • From here, it began...
  • It was a terribly planned trip in June 2009 when I was supposed to go to Co To island with my sister and best friends. However, at the last minutes, all my friends withdrew, there were only me, my sister, my friend's guy friend (who I didn't know) and his cousin (who I happened to know a bit). It was such an awkward situation as we barely knew each other, however, we decided to just go with it. My friend's guy friend was Pon. It was the first time we met each other, 26 June 2009, at My Dinh bus station.
  • On the boat from Van Don to Co To, it took me 10 minutes to collect enough courage to ask Sylvie to lean on my shoulder to sleep. She was having serious motion sickness issue at the time.
  • Apparently it was his first attempt to flirt with me.
  • All of us had a lot of fun in Co To. This trip was what my sister and I had been dreaming about for so long. We got along very well. I didn't know that Pon got a crush on me during the trip already, even though I kind of suspected it when he attempted to get close B-)
  • The most memorable moment was when we was walking, the night was pitch black with no electricity on the island. Suddenly a couple of dogs started barking and then all the dogs from the surrounding houses followed fiercely. Unintentionally (or not?) Sylvie jumped and held my arm real tight. That's when I knew I had a chance.

    For a detailed report of the trip (in Vietnamese) click here.
  • Cô Tô 2009

  • Pon insisted that this was the movie we were watching when we had our first kiss. I don't remember anything about the movie as I was feeling horrible after dealing with an issue regarding ex-boyfriend. However, nothing ever felt as right as that kiss.
  • After a month, it was time for me to go back to Perth. Before I left, he said he loved me and gave me a set of five cards to open whenever I felt down. I didn't say I loved him back because I wasn't convinced we could overcome our own issues AND the long distance. But at the same time, we were magically connected on so many levels. So during my transit in Singapore, I thought: "To hell with it, let's do this relationship and deal with whatever comes after", and sent him an email admitting my love for him. In other words, we were already apart at the very first moment of our relationship.
  • This is the first of the five cards he gave me. It made me cry so much because I was already so far away. I tried my best to open one card a month for the remaining four months before I would see him again.
  • We were so crazy about each other that we posted silly stuff on Facebook all the time.
C6 - Mỹ Đình 1 / 2009-08-13
  • After a few weeks I was getting crazy. The long distance thing was so hard, I could do everything only to see him right then. One day I thought, since he can't go to Australia because of visa problem, and me going home is too far, why don't we just meet somewhere in the middle, let's say, Singapore? To make the connection more scary, he also had the exact same idea. Over a month later, I was in Singapore, seeing my "boyfriend" for the first time. That was a trip that none of us could ever forget.
  • This is also my first time going abroad. Sylvie literally broadened my world.
  • He was explaining about an MS Word feature to me over Yahoo! Messenger, but as I was so low-tech, he made a picture to explain it more clearly. Totally cute and unexpected!
  • Yeah, we missed each other. A lot.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Này, Sylvie Truong, mềnh ngáp nghiện nãy giờ :(

  • Open a heart with Paint. That's exactly what he did to me. And if you don't already know, one of his online nicknames is MrPaint.
  • When I (finally) went home for holiday, we went to Thien duong Bao Son theme park with my sister and cousins.
  • Trust is one of the hardest things to have in a long distance relationship. But we give it to each other, just because that's how love is.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Gió nhiều mà chơi diều thì có liều hem?

  • Believe it or not, he started planning to go to Perth just a week after we first met in Co To, even before he admitted his true feelings for me. He told me the idea but I just thought it was too crazy to be true. He started saving and looking at visa policy. And somehow he made it. The plan was I came home for holiday, and we would go back to Perth together when I finished my vacation. We were supposed to fly to Singapore together, then I'd go to Perth first and he would stay for 2 days in Singapore to catch a cheaper flight. Crazy as he was, he surprised me when appearing at my door step just one day later because he secretly changed the flight at the last minute. Needless to say the 10 days he was with me in Australia was wonderful. Another secret trip that we will remember forever.
  • When I arrived at her door it was Lunar New Year's Eve, and the next day was Valentine's Day. It can't be more special!
  • I saw this sign in a shop and instantly bought it because it is so him. Took the picture when we were Skyping.
  • It was March 8 2010, I went out and saw a beautiful bouquet at the door delivered to me from Vietnam. I was absolutely speechless and tearful.
  • Sylvie Truong: Cái này làm mình khóc nè! Nhìn thấy cái mặt cười bị méo hem? Huhu. Damn.

  • Dao Hoang Son: Once upon a time, a genie appeared and offered me one wish."Well, I've always wanted to go to Perth, but plane tickets are so expensive, and boats are so slow. Can you build a bridge from Hanoi to Perth?" - "I'm sorry, man," the genie said. "You're pretty much asking for the impossible. That's six thousand kilometers of bridge. Plus, you'll need fuel stations and motels on the way. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to ask for something else!" - "Oh," (me, disappointedly) "Well, can you make my girlfriend, Sylvie Truong, more beautiful?" - The genie cleared his throat. "How many lanes did you want on that bridge?"

  • I asked a Japanese street artist in Perth to paint a picture of us based on a photo in my wallet. It was sure worth the 3 hour wait.
  • One of the best birthday gifts one can possibly get. On my 20th birthday, Pon built this Pac-woman game with a map spelling out my name. Not only is it playable, it has a dual-player mode where Pacman does all the hard work for Pacwoman. You can click on the picture to play the game and read more about the story.
  • A modified version of PAC-MAN. Which should be named "PAC-WOMAN" I guess.

  • That time I had a flu and was terribly sick. But he still visited me everyday to bring me my favourite food, or just to say silly things to cheer me up.
  • As we were both born in June, we threw a party for us and other all born-in-Juners.
  • I cooked dinner for his whole family on his birthday, something that I no longer have the courage to do now B-)
C6 - Mỹ Đình 1 / 2010-06-29
  • I gave him a "King for a day" badge for his birthday. He didn't think it was the best gift though B-)
  • My sister, Pon and I went together on a dream trip to Bali. It was the first time that we were openly abroad together. Sometimes it feels good to be able to publish stuff on facebook, you know B-)
  • I made mosaics of all the photos of the trip. Apparently I had too much time in my hands.
  • Pon and I went with our friends to a country house in Hoa Binh.
  • Our first anniversary. He brought a Paris Gâteaux cake to my place and I took a picture of him with the cake and his infamous tongue. This set the tradition of all later anniversaries.
  • Together we built a website for an online ceremony of raising the Vietnamese flag. Visit it at chaocovietnam.net.
  • Later, we also lauched the Android and iOS companion app.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Chào cờ Việt Nam: In association with Sylvie Truong, I proudly present Chao Co Viet Nam.

  • A major part of a long distance relationship is Skyping. We took lots of silly photos of each other during this time.
  • Sometimes they are posted on Facebook to start a silly-photo war or to revenge.
  • He went to my hometown and harvested rice at my aunt's field. It was his first time on the field. He got along pretty well with my relatives because of his willingness to do pretty much anything, including swimming in a pond to catch fish.
  • Sylvie Truong: Em đi giữa biển vàng nghe mêng mang trên đồng lúa hát ♪ ♫ Nhân dịp nhân dân toàn miền Bắc đang vào đợt thu hoạch lúa vụ mùa, hôm nay Dao Hoang Son đã có buổi lội ruộng + gặt lúa đầu tiên trong đời <3

  • We went to the studio to see a talkshow of my once idols - Buc Tuong.
  • Sylvie Truong: Trò chuyện với Bức Tường cùng Lại Văn Sâm. Khách của VTV3.

  • Second anniversary: a Paris Gâteaux cake and a big tongue. She forgot about our anniversary until I arrived with a cake! This time also marked the finish of our (first) long distance period.
  • Sylvie Truong: 2 years with Dao Hoang Son, this time I'm not flying anywhere <3

  • I gave him a Love book for the anniversary. July 31 was the day that my letter from Singapore was sent. In this book I kept our memories up to the moment and wrote what I thought about him.
  • We went to Da Nang together with my sister and her then boyfriend (now husband).
  • We went to India together for a youth camp for 2 weeks. Had a lot of good memories. It was the second time we celebrated Lunar New Year together in a foreign country.
  • Agra is the city where Taj Mahal is located. Taj Mahal is the symbol of love of a king to his late wife. What a smart shirt!
  • Valentine's Day, I said I wanted to have a dinner prepared by him from A to Z. He surprised me with chicken salad, pumpkin soup and spaghetti Bolognese. Coming from a guy who knew zero about cooking, that, I have to say, was pretty impressive.
  • Sylvie Truong: Valentine's day: An AMAZING three-course dinner home-cooked by Dao Hoang Son. So amazing that I had to give him a rose <3

  • He was born 24 days after me, and he does enjoy those 3 weeks in June every year when he can be a year younger than his girlfriend.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Chúc mừng Sylvie Truong già thêm một tuổi. Vừa nhận ra mỗi năm sẽ có 3 tuần được lái máy bay bà già, èn èn \m/

  • I was supposed to go to Sa Pa with my own friends, but in the middle of the 9-hour train ride, he appeared out of nowhere and took me by surprise. What makes it more surprising is that we were having a fight previously that day. He can be very stubborn but he also knows the way to my heart <3
  • Dao Hoang Son: Sáng thứ Bảy bị túm cổ dậy đi xe điện Hồ Tây. Ác như thú, hú hú!

  • His birthday, when he caught up with his girlfriend in age.
  • Sylvie Truong: Phi công đã đuổi kịp máy bay rồi, yay <3

  • We went with my family to Ha Long. On the way back, we visited Cai Rong harbour, where we took the trip to Co To island and started everything 3 years ago.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Về thăm Cái Dzồng kỉ niệm 3 năm Cô Tô 2009. Trương Vân và Trần Minh Phương còn nhớ? <3 Cả Dương Sam nữa :-w

  • Tongue and cake. Again, I forgot about the anniversary :(
  • Sylvie Truong: Never missed a card, nor an anniversary cake, but he has to put up with a girlfriend who even forgot their only anniversary. For 3 years.

  • Dao Hoang Son: Chạy ba quãng đồng về ăn bữa cơm, hihi

  • Dao Hoang Son: Lớn đùng vẫn có quà Trung Thu, quá đã :x

  • Sylvie Truong: Dao Hoang Son: Constant tech support for 3 years, twenty four-seven, regardless of time zones. Sometimes complains, but never says No, even if it means he has to violate his technology code of ethics B-)

  • As a tradition, we went to the annual Rock Storm rock concert, to be wild once a year.
  • Had a new year party at his home in My Dinh.
C6 - Mỹ Đình 1 / 2012-12-31
  • With my sister and her fiancé at their engagement ceremony.
  • Hieu Bui: anh em cọc chèo và 2 chị em gái ;)

Vĩnh Hồ / 2013-01-05
  • He was so drunk after the engagement party that it's now a story in the family.
  • At my sister's wedding. He helped out a lot, he was in fact even more helpful than me.
  • My company had a year end party at one of the best bars in the city (?) and I invited her to come along because we both had never been to a bar/night club.
  • After this it was confirmed that we are definitely not bar people.
  • Hoang Manh Ha: Tặng Anh Dao Hoang Son và chị sylvie Truong :P

Next Top Bar / 2013-01-25
  • With my family on Lunar New Year's eve.
  • I dragged him along to a baking class. He actually can be quite a good cook if he's not so lazy.
  • We travelled to Ba Ria-Vung Tau with our best friends.
  • Oanh Duong Sam: Vũng Tàu tháng 3 năm 2013. Thời tuổi trẻ mơn mởn và giây lát hội ngộ đáng quý của Tiêm Team với vô vàn "nụ cười người chiến sĩ".

  • We were doing the long distance thing again as he moved to Ho Chi Minh City to work. I visited him for a short weekend.
  • We signed the deal!
UBND phường Trung Tự / 2013-06-13
  • As I visited him in HCM city for another time, he brought me to a mysterious place that I didn't get to know until we boarded the plane. It was a perfect weekend getaway. I love his surprises.
  • Back to HCMC, we had a fun half day photoshoot with a photographer friend.
  • tuanlionsg

Notra Dame Sai Gon / 2013-07-10
  • We visited my relatives in Nha Trang.
  • Sylvie Truong: Bình thường xấu tự dưng có hôm xuất thần nên phải khoe ngay

  • Our engagement ceremony and party.
  • My mother-in-law booked us a night in Sofitel Plaza as our engagement present. Sylvie loves hotels, mostly because she gets to be lazy and doesn't have to clean up anything.
  • Many of her sayings are very remarkable, some are pretty deep. This is the first #sylviequote photo that I made.
  • I went back to Finland to study for another 2 years. We started a new long distance period :(
  • Back to online communication.
  • Sylvie Truong: Found my engagement ring, lost a week ago in a giant public jacuzzi. Well, I guess I'm a lucky bitch :D

  • My present for him from Finland <3
  • Dao Hoang Son: Special thanks to Sylvie Truong for an extremely thoughtful late-Christmas/new-year present. From now on I will be able to have the notebook on my lap with confidence!

  • My present for her from Vietnam.
  • Sylvie Truong: Quà Giáng sinh/Năm mới của Dao Hoang Son cuối cùng đã đến nơi. Cậu ta từng tặng mình hai món quà mà mình thích nhất trong tất cả những món quà từng được nhận, nên cái này đi kèm với lời nhắn "Trying to be the 3rd". Để xem có xứng đáng được vào list không. Quà gì thì không nói được hihi.

  • Who says romance dies out over the years? Every once in a while my boyfriend likes to prove otherwise.
  • After almost 5 years of dating, we decided to get married (while still in the middle of a long-distance period). I designed this Save The Date but Sylvie changed it herself and posted the (uglier) version to Facebook. You can read more about the designing process on my blog.
  • And a new phase is about to begin...
  • We went to Luang Prabang, Laos for a pre-wedding honeymoon. My lady really enjoyed her time with the elephants, maybe even more than me :(
  • Blog posts in Vietnamese can be found here.
  • Sylvie Truong: Having the whole day riding, bathing, and training elephants, which is just the same as heaven

  • About a month after the wedding, she went to Helsinki (again) while I headed back to HCMC.
  • Right before the Lunar New Year, Sylvie got to go to some conference in the U.S. so I flew there just to be with her for two weeks. This is probably the worst planned trip of ours, it only took two days from idea to flying.
  • Sylvie Truong: When he went to San Francisco in 2012 he decided not to visit Golden Gate bridge so that we could see it together for the first time some day. And that someday turned out to be today. Three years later, under the crispy blue San Francisco sky <3

Golden Gate Bridge / 2015-01-31
  • Sylvie Truong: Okay this is absurd. So every single year I always manage to forget our anniversary, and every single year my husband would make sure to remind me of it by bringing a cake to my place (cheesy I know). On all our previous anniversaries I was at home, but I have just realised this is the first time we are not together on this day. So earlier today I got a message from FedEx telling me I had a delivery, which of course I had no clue about because I wasn't expecting any package (thought it was some stuff I ordered online). Then when I opened it I had the most epic face palm moment because, OF COURSE TODAY IS OUR ANNIVERSARY AND OF COURSE THAT CRAZY HUSBAND OF MINE WOULD SEND A CAKE. That's totally something he would do. I have no words. I'm speechless. #extravaganthusband #anniversary #insane #nocakeforyou #hopelessromantic

  • Sylvie Truong: Just our luck, a bombing happened on our first day in Bangkok, right at the time we were supposed to go to that area for dinner. Just checking in to say that we are still alive and well, however. Bangkok is mostly just like every other day, we didn't see anything changed except for at Siam area. I hope the situation will not get any worse, and there will be no more casualty.

  • Finally! Sylvie came home after finishing her study.
  • Sylvie Truong: Cuối cùng cũng được thưởng thức món chân gà quái thú lâu nay làm đảo điên giới trẻ Hà thành!!! Chân gà vừa giòn vừa thơm mùi tỏi ớt giờ nghĩ lại vẫn thèm luôn 😱😱😱

  • Sylvie Truong: Ngồi hơn 10 tiếng ở workshop chỉ để làm được một cái ví kiểu basic nhất. Chưa bao giờ nghĩ làm đồ da thủ công lại vất vả và đòi hỏi thể lực như thế. Giờ chân tay mỏi nhừ và 10 đầu ngón tay tê bại huhu. Hãy đừng thắc mắc vì sao đồ da handmade lại đắt...

  • We both moved to HCMC and started working there.
  • Dao Hoang Son: Ly to chén nhỏ, xanh đỏ iêu nhao 😍 Ún masala chai của vợ @lotterite xong xuất khẩu thành thơ lun mứi ghia chớ 😱🎶🇮🇳

  • Sylvie Truong: First 10K. Kết quả chưa hoàn hảo nhưng dù sao cũng đã cố hết mình rồi :D #lifeisnotatreadmill

  • Sylvie Truong: Cháo trai trường Việt Triều thần thánh. Được mẹ cho đi ăn từ khi còn là "sinh viên" trường, đến giờ khi bạn cùng tuổi mình đã là giáo viên dạy ở đây, hơn 20 năm mà hàng cháo trai vẫn giản dị, vẫn đông khách như thế. Ăn miếng cháo trai vintage bỏng mồm giữa trời đông để tạm lánh khỏi cái xô bồ đến kinh hoàng của Hà Nội ngày cận Tết.

  • Sylvie Truong: Chưa thấy ai dở hơi như hai đứa này. Nhiệm vụ là đi chùa và phóng sinh chim. Nhưng nghĩ đi nghĩ lại thì không ủng hộ phóng sinh ở chùa, vì thật ra chẳng giải phóng được ai hết, nếu người ta không phóng sinh thì những con chim đó đã không bị bắt. Chưa kể trò bỏ đói chim để cho nó không bay được xa rồi chờ khách thả xong bắt lại bán tiếp đến khi chim chết thì thôi. Nói chung là không chấp nhận được. Thế là hai đứa đi chùa xong ra hàng chim cảnh mua 13 con. Mà không muốn thả ngay ở đường phố, muốn mang về nhà có nhiều cây xanh thả nên lại phải mua cái lồng. Mà nhiều chim nên phải mua cái lồng to. Đi nắng nên phải mua cả cái áo trùm lồng. Mua thức ăn để về nhà cho chúng nó ăn uống no bụng rồi mới thả. Giờ 13 con giặc đang kêu chiếp chiếp điếc cả tai, lông bay túa xua, lại còn quẫy nước tùm tùm bắn tung tóe. Chờ chiều hết nắng phải tiễn các chú đi thôi, mong là đừng ngốc đừng tham để bị bắt lại nữa.

  • Dao Hoang Son: Hi, I'm Sơn and I'm an #instagramhusband ☺️😊😚🤗

  • Sylvie Truong: So finally I can say I've done the 21k. The most will-stretching experience so far. Vì năm nay lỡ hẹn với Ironman nên phải đăng ký chạy 21km ở Phú Quốc để gỡ gạc danh dự. Các bác đừng hỏi pace bao nhiêu, nói chung với một đứa chưa từng tập cự ly 21km (race day chính là lần đầu tiên chạy luôn 😂) và có tiền sử thấp khớp thấp tim từ bé thì chỉ cần được mề đay như này đã là hạnh phúc tột cùng rồi. 3km cuối cùng là gian khổ nhất, nhưng đi được đến cùng và không bỏ cuộc thì giờ thấy ít thứ mình không thể làm được.

  • Sylvie Truong: Vợ: ốm. Chồng: nấu cháo, rửa bát, mua thuốc, order bông lan trứng muối khi vợ thèm, nửa đêm dựng dậy bắt đo nhiệt độ rồi bắt uống thuốc, nằm xem Hậu duệ mặt giời cùng vợ. Ngày nào cũng ngoan thế có phải tốt không.

  • Sylvie Truong: Đây là câu trả lời cho các câu hỏi "Có gì chưa?". Cháu được đẻ thường. Mẹ cháu rất nhiều sữa. Mẹ cháu cho cháu bú đủ tháng mới cai. Giờ cháu đang tập ăn dặm ạ.