The first Vietnamese person that I made friends with on my own was Miss Hang, the owner of the coffee shop that I go to regularly. She speaks no English, & when we met, I spoke no Vietnamese. Still, she has invited me to have lunch with her & her family on several occasions, taken me to see the sights of Bien Hoa, & invited me to a family wedding. Over the past four months, I've learned a few key phrases, but we still can only communicate in stilted sentences. In spite of our language barrier, Miss Hang has continued to show me generosity & kindness.
When she found out that I would be leaving Bien Hoa for China, she expressed that she would miss me, & decided that I should have lunch with her every day until I go. Yesterday I went with her, her daughter, & some of her daughter's friends to the supermarket where we posed for several cute photos at the photo booth there.
Miss Hang is from Hanoi, like many of the Vietnamese people living here in Bien Hoa. She is planning to visit her family there in December. We figured out that we will both be in Hanoi at the same time, & made plans to meet again there. She has been a good friend, & I'm glad for the chance to see her hometown with her before I leave Vietnam for good.