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A Lesson from Linh

Strange inspiration for emotional discussions (Candace)

We are wrapping up our trip to the Coco Beach Resort in Mui Ne, Vietnam, and spent the day yesterday on a tour and then at a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach (thanks to Tim and Charlotte Fox). The food was fabulous, and the service was even better. Linh was our server, a bright-eyed, big-smiled 24-year old local guy. He was extremely attentive and told us that his family owns a restaurant across the street (which we plan to eat at tonight), but that since his only work experience is as a tour guide, he had to learn how to serve here before he was allowed to come back and work at the family restaurant.

Something about Linh connected with Andrew, and he started to talk about how he hopes that the family restaurant will be successful, for Linh’s sake.  It’s true that the Vietnamese people are far less friendly than the Nepalese, and many seem almost lazy.  They haven’t been rude, per se, but Linh’s attentive nature certainly stood out.  And his work ethic and kind demeanor sparked quite the conversation.

As we sat on the beach with our duck and beef course, Andrew explained that he has felt somewhat numb, and that he worries when he thinks he should be more appreciative, happy, loving, but then feels nothing.  He was relieved that the conversation with Linh provoked emotion, and so I began to push the conversation a bit deeper.

I asked if he had been surprised by any emotions he has felt on this trip, and he said that he’s been worried at times by his lack of emotion.  I told him that I have also felt him become distant at times, and that I didn’t know how to bring him back.

I then explained that I have been surprised by my own insecurities.  On the days when I am particularly cranky or rude, I feel as if he might regret marrying me.  He explained that he certainly has contemplated what life would look like if he hadn’t married me (to which I responded quite emotionally), but that he hasn’t had any regrets.

And then today, as I was explaining this conversation to my best friend, Shelli, she consoled me by explaining that these are normal conversations, and that we have simply fast-tracked them by being together non-stop for so many months.

Whatever the next discussion, I appreciate Linh for inspiring this deep topic.