I like to have a good idea what the situation is. The problem is [...] apparently I'm supposed to figure out what she wants on my own without asking.
No, you're supposed to pursue what you
want in a gentlemanly and respectful (yet fun and easygoing) manner. If she wants the same, you'll be able to tell, and things will progress.
I also think it's important to have a contingency plan in place so you know what you'll say and how you will act if she clearly rebuffs you. You've already said you're cool about it if she just wants to be friends so really, what do you have to lose?