Today was a pretty nice day. I went for breakfast down the street, had some coffee out at the usual place and then went for a walk by myself. I decided to get a burger for dinner and go shopping.
And then… My gosh. Then my Vietnamese friend Chinh messaged me on WhatsApp. I had not heard from her for over a year. We caught up as we could and I let her know I would be back in Hanoi in December. I guess I have a couple of Vietnamese families out there and I am so happy. Chinh and I go back to 2020 when I first met her, Tu, and Minh. Then I met her husband Vu. We would go out and eat everything but Vietnamese food. Talk at the table was a delicious mix of Vietnamese and English because they all speak very good English. We also met for coffee and beer many times. Tu and Minh became very good friends and Chinh got busy with a new business she was starting. Such wonderful moments spent.
Then I got an invitation to a wedding celebration in Hanoi. I would go and I found myself to be the only expat there with about 200 happy Vietnamese people eating, drinking, talking. It was this wonderful moment of a life full of moments. Of course, I was not dressed for anything like a wedding celebration. No one cared. Chinh would tell me,
We asked you to come Uncle Mike. We don’t care how you are dressed. We want you.
Then it all came around when I saw a message on my phone from a vietnam country code and it was Chinh. So many wonderful memories came flooding back. I am so glad to be going to Vietnam for yet another reason. I get to see this wonderful mix of Vietnamese friends again.
One thing I learned is that if you want a friend, a Vietnamese friend will be the best ever. They are resilient, tough, stubborn, and loving. You also get welcomed into a family.