I woke up the next morning and had a TV moment.
‘Where am I? Whose bed is this? What happened last night???’ *Feel around for naked stranger.*
It took me a few seconds to remember that I had slept over in Jun’s guestroom. No naked stranger. Phew…
I trudged over to the washroom and immediately regretted staying here.
I. Looked. Like. Shit.
Head pounding, hair disheveled, and mascara running (Why don’t boys keep makeup remover in the house?!). If only photoshop could touch up real humans…
“You need anything?” a voice called out from outside the bathroom.
Guess he’s up too.
“Um, I’m ok. Be out in a sec!” I replied while struggling to tame my hair into a half decent ponytail. Note to self: always carry dry shampoo.
After applying some concealor to hide my panda eyes, I gave up and decided to just be my charming self instead. Attractiveness is 20% looks and 80% confidence anyway! Or is it 30/70?
“How’d you sleep?” He asked once I was out.
“Excellent!” I said too eagerly.
Oh God! he must think I go home with guys all the time!
“I mean, the bed was very comfortable. Excellent taste.” I muttered awkwardly.
“Good. You’re the first guest too.” He said.
“Really? You don’t bring girls home all the time???” Oops, did I just say that out loud?
He laughed “Nope….Well maybe you’re the second.”
“Oh.” I nodded.
“My college roommate slept here when he came to visit.”
“Oh!” I perked up. “Sorry. I just hear a lot of stories about expat guys. Well, about guys in general…”
Note to self: stop talking.
After more obligatory small talk, he asked if I was ready to leave, since the reservation was in half an hour. I said yes, and we left the apartment in silence.
It was so unbelievably bright outside! Where’s the pollution hazy when you need it??? Wearing the same outfit as last night, I was feeling extra self-conscious…definitely 30/70 I decided! Heck, it’s probably 60/40! Confidence my ass!
We rode the cab in silence to a restaurant called Mr. Willis. I immediately cracked a joke about Bruce Willis.
It was not funny.
Well, at least I have an awkward date story to tell the girls later.
The place was packed, so we had to wait for a table. I looked around and could tell that it was mainly an expat place. “Eggs, bacon and sausage? Fat Lao-wais…” is what I imagine the locals would say.
“Want to look at a menu while we wait?” Jun asked.
“Sure!” I squeaked. Ugh, why do I sound so Goddamn perky?
‘Whoa!’ Was my first thought as I looked at the menu. 250 kuai ($40) for Chicken leg??? 150 kuai for an omelet??? Is it made with gold? I guess I’m more Asian than I thought…
They say for interview dinners, one should never order the most expensive item. Dates are kinda like interviews, so I assumed the same applies. But it was so hard to find anything reasonably priced! I hope he pays or I’m gonna have to hitchhike home.
When we finally got a table, I decided to get a quiche (not too bad, will have money left for bus if needed). The waitress took our orders and left. Although the clientele here were mostly foreign, the wait staffs were still Chinese.
“I didn’t know you speak Mandarin!” I said when I heard him order.
“I speak enough to get around.” He told me, “Mostly just for ordering food.”
I laughed “Guess you’re not into cooking.”
“I like to cook, but my job doesn’t allow me the time.Even today I would have to work after our lunch.”
“Brunch.” I corrected him.
“Sorry madam, I will get it eventually.” He joked back.
I relaxed a bit by this point, as we carried on a reasonably comfortable conversation. However, I couldn’t help but think that we clicked more the first time we met.
I concluded that, because most people here meet at parties, the conversations are always fueled by alcohol and therefore feels more engaging. This seems like a trend with guys I’ve met. Maybe it’s just an unfortunate fact I have to accept? That guys (and girls) will never be as interesting as when they’re drinking?
While the rest of the date wasn’t exactly boring, the most exciting topic we discussed was about some man in South Dakota who fathered more than 100 children.
“With the same woman???” I asked, trying not to think about her down there area.
“Of course not.” He replied with a smirk.
“Oh yeah… Still, that’s some powerful sperm he’s got!”
After that, it was back to more polite chitchat.
So far, I would rate this date as a 5/10. Definitely not the worst, that title belongs to check-phone-every-2 second-guy. Could it be better? So far, no great dates in Shanghai, but maybe my expectations are just too high? Note to self: lower standards or be spinster.
After the quiche (chicken leg for him), he suggested we get dessert too. I tried to hide my enthusiasm but…It’s now 6/10!
When the cheque came, I did the whole wallet dance, like every female who reads Cosmo. He whipped out a credit card without hesitation and said that he’s got it. 7/10!!! God I’m so easy, but compared to the stories I’ve heard… This friend of mine got taken out to a food court, and the guy wanted to split the bill on fries.
“I’ll get you a cab.” He offered when we finally left.
I thanked him but said I’ll take the metro instead.
“Ok, then I’ll drop you off at the metro station.” He said as he hailed a cab.
He was looking better and better with each passing minute.
We arrived at Jingan station in no time. I was unsure whether to wait for him to say something, so I quickly gave him a hug and got out.
I can’t pinpoint when he won me over exactly (cough*dessert*cough), but as I drifted dreamily onto the metro, I could only think of one thing.
“I hope he ask me out again.”