In early December of 2006, Ron proposed to me via penguin:

We're engaged!

It’s been nearly a year and a half, and we’re still not married! I mean, it really is hard to pull together a wedding when you are an international couple of mystery. To be honest, planning a wedding has also not been a priority over the past 18 months for me in the same way that being reunited with Ron, finding a way to pay for my Mandarin studies and adjusting to life in a new country has been.

I do plan, however, to take advantage of my trip home to California at the end of the month to start planning our nuptials. My parents and I are going to scope out locations in San Francisco and Berkeley, and I think I will make an oral agreement with the manager of the most conveniently located Domino’s Pizza for catering. Also I will taste-test some cake mixes, hit Kinko’s to look at invitation samples and see how the rose bushes in my parents’ backyard are doing for my bouquet.

Aside from the stress of planning a fancy wedding (I mean, I am getting a chocolate fountain!), I’m really looking forward to being in California with my family for a couple weeks. I wonder if it will be weird to be in an English-speaking country again. I hope my brain won’t regurgitate all the Mandarin it’s learned over the past nine months (I am not optimistic because, after all, at some point during my time in NYC it did manage to regurgitate all the Mandarin I’d learned over my entire life). I also need to start making a list of things I want to do or buy while I’m in the United States. Right now I’m envisioning a lunch of Canada Dry Seltzer Water and marzipan, two things I have not been able to find in Taipei.