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, , my friend's guy friend (who I didn't know) and (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 . 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- We went to the studio to see a talkshow of my once idols - Buc Tuong.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Sa Pa /
- 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.
- Tongue and cake. Again, I forgot about the anniversary :(
- As a tradition, we went to the annual Rock Storm rock concert, to be wild once a year.
- 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.
- 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.
Vũng Tàu /
- 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.
Notra Dame Sai Gon /
- We visited my relatives in Nha Trang.
- 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.
- My present for him from Finland <3
- My present for her from Vietnam.
- 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...
- About a month after the wedding, she went to Helsinki (again) while I headed back to HCMC.
- Finally! Sylvie came home after finishing her study.
- We both moved to HCMC and started working there.