September 29, 2018

Vivi and Zamir first saw each other when they were in college. “We never really met and hung out, but we saw each other a lot while we were studying. We lived in the same apartment area. I lived in a different block and Zamir will always be playing tennis with his friends at the court. So if I were to go to the shop, I’ll pass the court and that’s how we actually saw each other,” said Vivi on the first time they caught glimpse of each other. 

“I think it’s his clueless that got me wanting to know him better,” she laughed. “Yeah, I guess you could say that that’s a charm I have that I don’t realize,” said Zamir, “and I think she knew that I was always checking her out.”

They were in Taylor’s College Petaling Jaya (TCPJ) back in 2008, with Zamir graduating before Vivi. “Then he added me on Facebook and MSN and that was when we started to talk to each other,” added Vivi. They quickly became friends and went on a date after two months of chatting online. 

“We actually lost contact for two years before I contacted him again,” Vivi said, “then after a while, we became an item in 2013 after being friends for five years.” The two have been together for 11 years now, started off being friends for five years and now have been together for another five years.

After Vivi moved back to Bali in 2014, a year after the two got together, she started work in Expedia and would travel outside of Indonesia. “That’s where I would travel to Singapore to meet up with her when she had work to do there,” said Zamir. 

He was still in KL so the trip wasn’t very hard. It was only when Vivi expressed her dislike towards long-distance relationships that they worked a way around their relationship. 

“I was supposed to go to Guangzhou to train and play with other tennis players there. I think we would’ve lost contact and all that we built if I did,” expressed Zamir, “not only with Vivi but with everyone who I have built relations with.” One fateful trip to Bali changed all that.

On a trip to Bali to meet his friend and play tennis together, Zamir met a head coach there who told him that he’ll be leaving the institution soon and would like Zamir to take over his place. Seeing it as an opportunity to continue his dream and being able to be near Vivi, he took the chance.

When asked how they got along well and became to like each other for who they are, they both enthusiastically answered, “Food! We both love eating and cooking. One thing we also share is the fact that we both hate cleaning up. Haha. But we’re learning as we go so it’s all good.”

“If we’re away from each other or if either one of us goes to a new restaurant, we’ll remember each other when we try new food,” said Vivi, “I’ll think to myself, ‘He will like this!’, or ‘He’ll think this is too expensive.’ That sort of thing.”

With first impressions being the most important in all relationships, Vivi said that she liked how funny Zamir was. “I mean, maybe he’s trying to be funny. But it works! I always laugh at his joke,” she laughed, “I also admire how hardworking he is. We’re both hustlers so to have that same kind of energy from someone you love and admire is something I really appreciate and feel blessed to have.”

“Well, as I said earlier, I have been checking her out since we were in college so you can guess my first impression of her. Which is I always think she’s hot!” Zamir added. “She’s also very easygoing and is really chill. When she first met my family and my cousin’s wedding, everyone was so happy to meet her for the first time. I was really grateful for that!”

“He’s also very polite, which is what my parents always say. When they first met him, they liked him off the bat,” smiled Vivi.

If memories are the fondest things a person can hold, Vivi mentioned, “Once in college I cooked Soto and it was too much so I couldn’t finish it. I called him up to eat together so we enjoyed the meal together. But I can’t forget the fact that he spilt some of the soup on his chin. And instead of taking a napkin to wipe it off, he took a keropok to wipe it and ate it!” laughed Vivi, “It was so funny, I couldn’t stop laughing.”

“Another one is when he met my parents in Malang last year to take my hand in marriage. It was magical,” smiled Vivi.

Zamir smiled and answered, “For me, apart from every day of the five years we’ve been together, is when I proposed to her in front of both our families.” He flew his family to Surabaya, where the families from both parties met for the first time. They were going out for lunch where he planned to take everyone to eat together. 

Both of them relived the time when the families met each other and talked to each other in Bahasa Indon and Bahasa Utara. “It was a cute meet-up! Sometimes they’d use English, and they all had smiles on their faces. It was this year’s March, and I proposed to her in front of them.”

Songs can touch you in a way you can never imagine. “We both like Windu & Defrina from White Shoes & the Couples Company. We also went to their concert three years ago, it was an amazing experience to hear our favourite song played live.”

“On movies, I never was an avid movie-goer. But after knowing her, I went to watch movies at the cinema more often,” Zamir said, “especially for love movies and the chick flicks.” The two of them, however, loves watching Modern Family and Fresh Off the Boat.

“And now, whenever I make plans, I’ll include her in my plans. Even my parents will ask me to include her in our plans,” explained Zamir, “Do you know that they’ll even ask how she is first instead of me when I call them? Haha.”

To wrap up our chat session, we asked them about their hopes and dreams together. “There’s nothing else that we wish more than to have a big family, travel the world together as many times as we can, and perhaps have a small family business,” expressed Vivi, “we don’t mind if it’s not an empire. Perhaps just a small cafe, one in Bali and one in Kedah is good for us.”

“And since she’s from Indonesia and I’m from Malaysia, I wish to really learn more about each other’s culture. And one day if we have kids, we’ll teach them to love both cultures so they can become kids who are in tune with who they are and their heritage.”

Videography by: Twinception Production

Photography by: Sheikh Hafez Photography