A genuine friendship that blossomed between a young man and his nail technician of three years has warmed hearts on the internet.
Nail salons are perhaps the last places to find friends these days, but Siam and Bian’s story inspires us to believe otherwise.
It all started in 2015 when Siam, now 21, met Bian, a new nail technician at a salon in East London, UK.
Siam, who originally came from Thailand, routinely visited the salon.
“It was that time of the month where I needed a mani and pedi desperately — I take my grooming quite seriously,” he told BuzzFeed News.
On the other hand, Bian, a single mother, just immigrated to the UK from Vietnam. She spoke little English and barely communicated in their initial meetings.
For his part, Siam tried to speak some Vietnamese, but it “just didn’t [go over] well.”
“It took time and a lot of funny miscommunication,” said Siam, adding that Bian “felt comfortable enough” to hold conversations only after at least four visits.
Despite the language barrier, Siam pointed out that they instantly connected — and things turned better as Bian improved her English.
The following year, the pair found themselves exchanging news and gossip.
“Naturally we got closer and our salon dates became a time for us to gossip and vent and tell each other the good and bad news.
“It’s crazy how close you can feel to someone when they’re grooming your nails while you’re both sharing intimate details about yourselves with each other.”
Their friendship eventually transcended the walls of the salon, and Siam soon met Bian’s 6-year-old son, Liem, whom he spent days helping with homework.
“He would never not not have homework for me to help him do, but I think he just liked doing it with me, and I enjoyed helping him too,” Siam said.
The three were so close that they had been mistaken as a family unit when they were outside.
However, things took a turn after Bian told Siam that she didn’t feel very much at home in London.
“London is a cold city sometimes especially for a single migrant mother,” Siam said.
Bian also shared about her desire to open a “UK-style” nail salon in Vietnam, which he completely supported.
Eventually, the heartful salon gossip and dining out ended when Bian left for home, sending Siam a text message that completely put him in tears.
“I got the text mid-flight to Mykonos [and] I couldn’t stop crying. It felt like I was losing a dear friend at first.
“I was emotional the whole flight and as soon as I got to my resort I FaceTimed her and cried some more, but we drank a glass of champagne in celebration for her new beginning.”
But Siam doesn’t believe that he made her a “braver person.”
“She’s terrible at giving herself credit,” he said.
Siam decided to share their story on Twitter, which has since received thousands of likes and retweets.
Clearly, people are touched.
Bian, who learned that their story has gone viral, is reportedly happy with the support she’s receiving.
And while they’re practically on the opposite side of the world, Siam plans to visit Vietnam in the future, where they can finally catch up like the good old London days.