And so with just a few hours to go before we left Taipei, Amy's Parents drove us to the airport. On the way to the airport there is a country park with active geysers which Mum and Dad wanted us to see. We walked a long country path to reach the geysers and enjoyed chatting as a group. At one point we split into boys and girls, and once again, perhaps for the last time, i found myself in a perfect position to ask Amy’s Dad for her hand in marriage.
"Can i ask you a serious question?" He turned to me, almost as if he had been expecting some such question; "Yes."
Me: "I really love your daughter and would very much like to spend the rest of my life with her. I hope you know that i am a serious person and that i will always look after her. I would like to ask her to marry me sometime soon and, well, would just like to know that it is ok with you.....I would like your approval, basically."
Father: "Well, we like you very much, but i must ask my wife something like this. I must ask my wife."
Me: "Yes, of course"
Father: "My religion means very much to me. It is very important. I know my daughter is lazy and does not always go to the church, it is important to me, and to my wife, that she goes to the church, every week. We hope that you can make sure that she goes to the church. It is important to me. Do you understand?"
Me: "Yes, of course. I will do my best."
Father: "Our religion is very important to me and my wife."
Father: "My daughter is lazy sometimes. I hope you can help. I would like very much if she would go to church every week. It is important that she has a relationship with Jesus."
Me: "Yes, of course."
Father: “Religion is important to me."
Later as Amy and I sat in the airport she asked me what he had said? Had he given his permission?
"Well, I'm not sure. It was abit unclear. He said he'd have to ask your mum, which is fair enough, and then he sort of talked alot about how important his religion is to him."
"He does that alot"
Me: "Yes, he went on about it for quite a long time"
"Hmmm. But he didn't say "No""
Me: "Yes, exactly. I think its good news really. I sort of got the idea that he didn't object to the idea, even that they like me and are happy for us to get married. He didn't seem to object. Yes, i think its pretty much good news, virtually a "Yes".
And so we returned home and Amy had to write her Masters Dissertation and was under alot of stress and we all but forgot about all the fuss of asking for her hand in marriage, assuming that, in some way it had already been dealt with. We had done that part now, and could move on with lifes next challenge......
And then one day, several weeks later we got a phone call from Amy's mother......