I went on a date this week - my first serious, romantic date of 2005. I know, I am a late starter but I just didn’t have time all year to get round to dating.
This is what happens when you’re working for yourself, and by yourself. You no work, you no make money, honey. So I didn’t have time for any honey until I decided, heck, the year’s nearly over, I should at least get one date in.
So my date wanted to impress me, of course. He told me he had made reservations at this fancy restaurant which is always fully booked – and he had to beg, borrow and steal for two seats by the window.
“They said they would try to squeeze us in after I begged them,” said my knight in boastful armour.
First, we had to find the restaurant. Why is it the best restaurants (by reputation) in town are always the hardest to find? It’s like travel places – the hardest to get to are always the most-desired spots. Such is human nature. We don’t mind working hard when it comes to our pleasure.
When we get there, we are ushered to two seats in the corner. There are plenty of empty tables around. I pretend not to notice. “What a lovely restaurant,” I gushed. “And they’re so busy.”
The waiters are as crisp as their suits. Smiling is not their best suit. I think they are upset that they should be working while everyone is out enjoying the festive period.
The food is wonderful though. There’s kangaroo meat on offer. I skip that and go for crab cakes and steamed coral trout – when you’re on your first date of the year, you’ve got to be conscious what you order. Men don’t like girls who eat things that hop and have big ears, that’s been my experience. They think you will eat them too.
I eat heartily (men love girls who love to eat, that’s been my experience as well – it shows a lust for life) but sip daintily (men don’t like girls who gulp and burp, that’s been my experience too).
To finish off the dinner, we shared a plate of warm chocolate cake – this proves to the man that you’re the caring and sharing type.
Just as the night was just beginning to get warm for both of us – chocolate is such an aphrodisiac, I find – the waiters started whipping out irons (electric irons like the ones my mother use to press my father’s pants) and pressing tablecloths while they were still on the tables.
In our preoccupation with our cake, both of us had not noticed that the other diners in the room had left and all the tables had been cleared of silverware and cutlery, and that the waiters were now ironing the tables in time for tomorrow night when obviously they were expecting another onslaught of customers.
I must say it was an impressive sight, watching waiters iron tables while you’re sipping champagne. I had never seen that before.
It adds such a romantic touch to a date.
“My, they sure are good with that iron,” I said.
“Do you know how to use an iron? It is important the woman I love press my suits,” he said. (I think he was a hotelier.)
“No, and I would never iron for you, not even tables,” I said.
And that, my friends, was the end of my first and last date of 2005.
I share this story not to bore you with an account of my date (my love life surely has no place on a business website) but to celebrate the fact that in our business, no matter how long you’ve been around or how many places you’ve been to, there’s always something that manages to surprise you, and make you laugh.
May your 2006 be filled with surprise and laughter.
The SHY Report
A regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry by one of Asia’s most respected travel editors and commentators, Yeoh Siew Hoon.
Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her company’s mission is “Content, Communication, Connection”.
She is a writer, speaker, facilitator, trainer and events producer. She is also an author, having published “Around Asia In 1 Hr: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries”. Her motto is ‘free to do, and be’.