What better way is there to immerse in the Balinese culture than to let a local Balinese boy take you on a date? I have been living with a Balinese family here for over a month, eating Nasi Goreng and other typical Balinese foods, attending Hindu celebrations, speaking the language (Bahasa) as much as possible, and doing my best to integrate fully...so when presented with a fish at the local Warung (little restaurant), and asked out to dinner, I figured, why not?
Normally I do not share personal stories as such, but this cross-cultural date with a local was an exception because it was quite an out of the ordinary experience. I used my experience to break this date down into 5 steps on how to swoon a girl with a dinner date, giving all men an easy opportunity to follow along.
A satire, but real life...
Whether you are in a dating rut, or just looking to mix things up, these dating tips will surely make you stand out from the crowd. A ladies must-read to share with your American gentlemen back at home.
Step 1: Give your date a fish
Present a girl with a fish. Flowers are so overrated. You can find flowers on the ground, in dirt…what kind of message are you sending to a girl if you are giving her something you found her (or someone else found and you over-paid for), now dead, and off the ground. Fish is a better idea, especially a still live fish. Extra points if you present it raw, with your bare hands, and you have just speared the fish yourself.
Step 2: Get a cornfield already
Buy her food on the way to dinner. Waiting until you are at the restaurant is old fashioned and will not earn you any points. Even better? Pick some fruit off a tree, or get some corn off your home grown stalk, and grill it to perfection. If you do not already have a cornfield, it is time to get one.
Step 3: Cake, cake, and more cake
When you finally get to the restaurant, make sure the first thing you ask your date is what type of cake she wants. Don’t ask if she wants cake, ask her WHAT type of cake. Chocolate Mouse, Tiramisu and Cream Brule' anyone?
Step 4: Eat with your hands
Order and eat dinner. With desert already ordered, cake on the way, and appetizers taken care of way in advance, it is hard to mess this part up. Extra points if you eat dinner with your hands, it shows that you know how to use them.
Step 5: Bring her to a banana farm
Dinner and cake completed, its time to take your girl back home and end the night (respectfully drop her off, first date people!) But…she might get hungry…and you wouldn’t want that. Best bet? Take her to a banana farm. It sets the tone for future dates and shows that you are a provider. Works every time.
Cross cultural immersion, especially dating, may seem like am impossible feat at times with the language differences, food differences, cultural differences, and family backgrounds to name a few, but at the end of the day, we are all human and all it takes is a willingness to try. When we put all judgements and expectations aside, we give permission to fully learn another culture, another human. We are all capable of understanding eachother. The more we learn about our differences, the more we learn about our sameness.
Other take aways from this date? You can throw away steps 2-5, but go catch your damn girl a fish.
Special thanks to my good friend Putu for letting me share this story. May all boys from every culture learn from your smooth ways
Terima kasih khusus untuk teman baikku Putu karena membiarkanku menceritakan kisah ini. Semoga semua anak laki-laki dari setiap budaya belajar dari cara Anda yang mulus