Here's my advice for those wanting to travel the world and maybe find themselves a big spoon on the way.
1. Go travelling.
That's really all it takes. We've now been travelling for six weeks, visited three countries and had numerous proposals of marriage.
Before we came I knew that we might be the object of some fascination from the locals - I'd had it in Spain so was pretty sure it would occur here too. What we've experienced has been so hilariously not what I imagined.
We've actually started a tally of the amount of times we get asked for a photo and one for the amount of times we're called 'beautiful' or 'angels' or 'queens' (all have happened). Maybe that sounds arrogant, but hey - we want something to reminisce about when we're back in dreary England and no one wants to marry us.
Our most recent proposals - because yes it was multiple proposals in one go - came from the entire police force of a small town in Vietnam called Prao. We were travelling from Hue to Hoi An on the back of two rather hefty motorbikes, and we were having the absolute time of our lives. I'm sorry Mum but I've got a taste for two wheels now. Through some absolutely breathtaking mountain scenery we roared our way along, stopping to swim in a waterfall, visit tiny villages and for our one night stay in Prao.
As we came down for dinner we already knew it would be an interesting night as the place was filled with tables of rowdy rowdy men. When we sat down with our guides, Top (from whom Aimée has also received a marriage proposal, of course) told us that it was the town's police force and they were celebrating 'because it's Monday'. Great work ethic these guys. I should point out that at the time, the entire police force was there and steadily adding to their pile of empty beer cans; if there had been a sudden crime spree in Prao there would have been no stopping it.
After we'd finished our dinner, one of the pack came over and started to speak to Top, gesticulating at us and then back at their table. Top quickly translated for us, informing us that he was the Chief of Police and would like us to join them for a 'couple of shots'. The bottle of alcohol he gestured at seemed to contain what looked like an actual mandrake from Harry Potter - we were informed it was ginseng but nonetheless we immediately protested that we'd rather not drink the mutant plant cocktail and managed to negotiate that we'd have a beer.
Taking our places at the table, next to the Chief of course, we'd barely blinked and there were two glasses filled with ice and beer in front of us. What followed was a lot of garbled English from various members of the force, shaking of a lot of hands, and then all of a sudden the glasses were in the air and we were being told to down it in one. Now Aimée and I have been to university, we're not newbies when it comes to downing drinks, however after the fifth watery glass of beer I was starting to struggle. In between each glass we were introduced to multiple 'second leaders' (apparently they have no real hierarchy) and were proposed to by almost every one. One took particular delight in repeating his only known sentence in English 'I love you' and watching us fall apart laughing.
We quickly learnt that between them all they only knew how to say 'hello', 'nice I meet you', 'are you married?', 'how old are you?' and 'bottoms up!' The essential guide to getting an English girl to marry you.
Suffice to say it was a pant-wettingly funny evening. Whilst tempted to become the First Lady of Prao, I declined all offers of marriage and Aimée and I remain spinster travellers.
Before we came travelling some people (read: our mothers) were concerned about the fact we were two young girls heading to somewhere we'd never been before all on our lonesomes. Six weeks in to our adventure and the above tale is the most threatening it's ever been for us here. A bunch of puppy dog policemen fascinated by two little English girls.
Everyone here is so incredibly friendly it can almost be disconcerting - especially for us Brits, put off by the first sign of kindness. We're now so used to strolling down the streets with a huge smile on our faces, with everyone we pass beaming back at us - it's a real delight. Take note Britain: it's nice to be nice.
Some entirely unrelated photos for ya: