While taking a stroll with my parents around the Sword Lake, I saw the Note Cafe. It was easy to recognize it from afar with thousands of colorful heart-shaped stickers and the tagline "Post-it-love". I told myself that I had to come back the next day before my flight.
And I did. Luckily they open at 6.30am everyday. I quickly ordered my drink and went up to the 3rd floor just to let myself get lost in the world of love and beautiful messages. I couldn't help myself from asking too many questions to one of the staff members about the cafe and she could sense that I was really in love with the place. She told me that the owner was just in the next room and if I would like I could talk to him. A big Yes, I excitedly answered.
I thought it would be just a 5 min chit chat, it lasted over an hour, sharing stories about love & passion. Tien, the owner of the Note cafe, shared with me that he met his wife right here. She came to the cafe quite often during her student life and caught his attention. I jokingly asked him if he also sent personally hand-written messages together with the drink,like how I got just now from his staff. He told me that at the beginning, it was just generic messages from the staff, later when he knew that she was the one for him, it obviously got personal.
Knowing that she loved surprises (regardless of the value), he sent flowers, macarons, cards etc during the time they were dating and even now after they are married. One of the messages he wrote to her was "Let the smiles be the umbrella in the rainy days" when he sent some macarons during one of the rainy days in Hanoi. Awwww, no wonder she fell for him!
"How did you know that she was the one for you?" I asked. "I knew she was the one for me because I couldn't imagine living without her." After a year of dating, he did a prank on her. He went to the airport to send his father off to the US for a business trip. He went on Facebook, checked in as if he would leave Hanoi for good and sent a thank you message to his then girlfriend for all the beautiful months they had had together.
She got mad, really mad. She thought that he would leave her. It took him a really long time to make up with her and that also made him realize that she was the one for him.
Even so, he didn't really ask her to be officially his girlfriend. She had to go to Korea few times during her studies and each trip was a few months long. After 1.5 years of dating, on one of her trips to Korea, before taking off, she texted him "Would you be my boyfriend?"
And the rest was history. They are happily married with a child now after 5 years of dating. Tien shared with me his secret to keep the relationship going is quite simple. Just genuinely care for your loved ones, he said. Be personal, be genuine and the rest will be taken care of.
He excitedly told me that the owner of the house just allowed him to rent one more floor and his cafe is expanding very quickly from just a tiny take-away booth few years ago. Just like the love he has for his wife. Just like his passion in connecting people together with all the post-it-love notes at the cafe. Just like the story of a boyfriend traveling all the way from UK to find the note that his girlfriend left for him few months ago in the hundred thousand of notes at the cafe. It keeps growing stronger & stronger.
Love indeed has no boundaries so let it grow beyond our hearts with our genuine intention. Let it touch others. Let it grow, will you?