After finishing the third week of our teaching English program in Jianzhu University, a little get together was organised by fellow teacher Chris Murphy. Thus far we hadn’t had much opportunity to meet our local counterparts. Amongst the throng of conversations between Australians, Germans, Americans, Chinese, I was entertaining with tales of encounters during my holiday in China 1 year ago. I was lucky to have met one amazing teacher named Amy. Her attentive listening and understanding certainly sparked my curiosity…
Two days later, Chris and Amy were going to visit a local tailor. To quench my curiosity, I decided to tag along. With patience, Amy was happy to teach me some important phrases in the Chinese language. Then our first date was on Thursday night, the 5th of April. A memorable evening spent in her cousin’s restaurant, we enjoyed the top 3 dishes chosen from the menu of the 10 most popular dishes! I was quickly starting to realise just how alluring and delightful a person Amy is. She walked me home afterward, our conversation filling the night air along the streets of her hometown.
Unfortunately Amy could not join us for the Easter weekend trip to Qingdao. Her work occupied her, so it wasn’t until the following Friday that we met again. A kind student named Jesse gave me his seat on the bus, making it my Good Friday. Saturday stirred so much romantic feeling between us as we strolled along the riverside walkways and bridges of the spring city. Our friendship more than flourished that weekend.
The following Friday was also a good one. I had to ask Valentin to directly invite Amy to his birthday party as she is a little shy to arrive at a party as a friend of another guest. This tactic worked wonderfully and I was so happy that we’d met again. In the ensuing week we started to get excited about the forthcoming May holiday and made plans to take a trip together.
A barbecue, beers and karaoke night with several friends singing together was a joyful evening after work on the Thursday.
Our holiday together was truly the making of us as a couple. Each day of the holiday brought us closer together. From sharing accommodation and fantastic meals together everyday, brilliant deep conversation, tests of trust, superb experiences in the World Heritage villages, hiking around the forests, mountains and valleys, abundant intimate moments, our faith in each other as the right combination grew and grew. We returned from our holiday, as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Thereafter, our relationship blossomed and we began to live together in Jinan.
On Sunday I took my boyfriend Vernon to the hospital, because he had some skin problems. We arranged to meet with Wang Yina, one of our friends, also a doctor in Jinan. My daddy went to see Wang Yina at the same time, and by luck that was the first time for daddy and my boyfriend to meet each other. Actually, at the very beginning, Vernon and I were a little worried about whether my daddy will love him or not, but when they saw each other, they met just like old friends, and love each other with beautiful smiles. One week later, we had a great lunch with daddy and his best friend, uncle Liu. Daddy chose a traditional Chinese restaurant for Vernon and he loved it. Although daddy and uncle’s English is really poor, with gesture, body language, a little Chinese spoken by Vernon and some translation by myself, we all communicated perfectly. Every one of us enjoyed the lunch and we received the blessing from daddy: “You are lucky to find each other. Best wishes to you two.”
It was on May 26th that I proposed to Amy. I could not get the flowers I really wanted to give her, but I knelt on one knee and declared my love to her. Yes! She said she would marry me and I became the happiest man on Earth.
Family, friends, colleagues, and even our students haven’t stopped congratulating us since. The registry of our marriage on the 5th of June was a steaming hot day in Jinan. It required ice-creams both before and after the registration was complete! We celebrated that evening over dinner with Amy’s best friend. I later surprised my wife with a 1-week married candle lit dinner.
I am completely over-the-moon happy that we have both found the right person to be with, and that we love each other. As husband and wife, we are now making the preparations to continue our life together, in love forever.