Dating In Taipei: Mr Zero-To-One Hundred
Before this, I had never dated a Taiwanese guy. Or a Chinese guy, or a Japanese guy. So I was a little nervous before going on a date with Mr Zero-To-One Hundred. Not because I’m racist… it just never happened. Being new to Taiwan and Taiwanese culture with a vocabulary is pathetically limited to ‘she she’ and ‘ni hao’, I was worried that I’d look like an idiot, even though he was fluent in English. But what the hell, breaking boundaries is a good thing and who knows – maybe I’d be his first South Asian/brown (albeit Londoner) date.
What made this worse was that all my clothes were in the wash and it was raining heavily…. So I kind of wore tracksuit pants… On a date. Oh God. And everyone in the train was really well-dressed and I had half a mind to run back home, but then I thought “F**k it, it’s just a date“. (Is it bad that girls have so many matches that we’re allowed to get away with this..? Probably).
Date of the Date: 01/09/2017
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
First Impressions of Mr Zero-To-One Hundred
Smart, well-spoken, nice hair and polite. Mr Zero-To-One Hundred had a solid tinder profile as well; his pictures gave an impression of someone well-rounded and educated. His messages had been short and to-the-point; not clingy like some other guys who were chatting to me at the time.
We met outside Jiannan Road station and walked over to the Miramar shopping mall. We ate at a Singaporean stall in the food market of the mall, then went to this cool German-themed pub/bar called Le Ble d’Or. After that, we got some beer from an off license and sneaked it on to the Miramar Ferris wheel.
Mainly me at first. I was right; I was Mr Zero-To-One Hundred’s first brown date and he was genuinely intrigued about where I’d traveled to and I was happy to oblige with stories. I didn’t want to talk without letting him speak (because bad listening skills are a turnoff, as exemplified by #The Ultimate Hipster Nomad), so asked questions and found that he’d been to Japan, Korea and had taken exams in Guam. He was an accountant but definitely not in the ‘boring accountant’ stereotype.
We chatted about generational differences between our parents and ourselves. He was shocked to know that brown people still have arranged marriages in London and I explained how they differed from forced marriages (you can say no, but it’s just like online dating with families being matchmakers). They work for some people, not for others. It’s known that the ‘others’ like me date, but it’s not really spoken about – Like how you wouldn’t diss Chiang Kai-Shek to conservative parents in Taiwan who wanted the country to reunite with China.
In the bar, Mr Zero-To-One Hundred asked 101 questions about tattoos when he found out I had some. In Taiwan, tattoos are frowned upon by the older generation and you need to be a rebel or a gangster to have one apparently. My ego approved of this badass rep it had suddenly gained.
In the Ferris wheel, we were happily drinking our smuggled beers and listening to a Chinese version of Hotline Bling that was playing in the background when he suddenly said “I’m going to make a move soon”. Okaaay then… Thanks for that heads up… That felt weird, because I didn’t really know how to react. Then I thought “what the hell, he’s good company and nice looking” and therefore kissed him.
That’s when he went from zero to one hundred really fast and the date went downhill. In his defence, I am a great kisser(!) and he was OK-ish. But he started saying stuff like “It’s raining, I wish you wore a bikini” and “Oh… So you like that” and “Your body is full of curves”. Ick. In summary, it became really cringe-worthy and I felt like running back home in my tracksuits again.
Mr Zero-To-One Hundred was much better before I kissed him and while he was attractive, I didn’t want to sleep with him. Especially after the post-kiss weirdness. I would rather go home and shower and snuggle in bed watching Rick and Morty. So that’s exactly what I did. As well as feeling guilty about being a cock tease. But in my defence, my mission as Tinderella is to show how fun dating can be; if I f***ed all the guys I dated, it really wouldn’t be mentally or physically healthy and I’d die from every STD known to mankind. Ew.
Is there a point of no-return, when you kiss a guy to such an extent that you’re expected to sleep with him? No. Never. I think with hindsight, I didn’t really feel any chemistry with Mr Zero-To-One Hundred, but wanted to show myself that I was being open-minded, because chemistry sometimes takes time. That was a mistake I shouldn’t have made. My bad.
Food and Drink
I had this delicious curry with crispy chicken in the food hall. His chicken wasn’t as nice. Mine was amazing. Then we had craft beers in the bar and I had a honey lager thing that made me a newly converted sucker for craft beer.
A smart black t shirt and dark jeans.
Yup, tracksuits. Won’t ever do that again though, I felt like a di*ckhead.
Pre-Kiss – 8/10. Post-Kiss 5.5. – I just felt pressurized, but yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have kissed Mr Zero-To-One Hundred in the first place.
Written by Zainab Mohiuddin
Hey there! My name is Zainab, A.K.A. Tinderella Worldwide, seasoned dater of the world and I would love to connect with you. My vision is simple: I think that dating should be enjoyed as an adventure rather than heartbreak central or just a route to settling down.