Photo Journal: Phuket, My Second Date with Thailand
Eons ago, I went on a date with this incredibly cute, smart, athletic Thai guy who I thought was way out of my league. So, of course I wanted to be prepared with effortlessly interesting and insightful things to say about Thailand (a country I had not yet visited) and basketball (a sport I dislocated my shoulder playing). After a quick shower and primp, I giddily googled random facts about the country, its history, its people, classic dishes… basically everything I could get my greedy little hands on. And you know what? I went in pretty hopeful that my nonchalant knowledge of random Thailand facts would engage him in a magical evening of unrivaled charm and wit…
Only — it turned out to be the worst date of my life.
I know, I know, that’s a pretty harsh statement to make; but really, I’m not sure it could have gone any worse. It was just blow up after blow up. And from the second he picked me up from my midtown apartment to the beep of his car alarm as we arrived to the restaurant, he was already frantic about getting out (to his friend’s bachelor party later that evening).
“Would another time be better?” I asked crestfallen.
“No, no, tonight is fine. I just want to warn you that I have to leave in an hour and a half,” he replied.
Ok. That’s fine. So we arrive at the somewhat new and still-on-everyone’s-lips restaurant in Chelsea where he proceeded to order the 10-course omakase tasting menu. After the waitress walked away with our order, I counted the seconds before busting out one of my intriguing factoids. C’mon, I didn’t want to seem that eager.
One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi…
“So, do you know why Thai last names are so long?” I quizzed, too casually.
“Hmmm… no…. why?” he asked out loud. “And why would anyone give a flying @#*%?” he probably asked silently.
“Once a family name is given in Thailand, it will not be given again. So people emigrating into Thailand had to add to their surnames if the name is already registered by another family.”
“Interesting,” he said as he glanced at his phone.
A glance became a text. A text became a series of texts. Those texts became a phone call that lasted half an hour.
From the girlfriend he forgot to mention he had. True story.
“NO! I told you, I’m not with anyone right now. I’m alone having dinner,” he shouted over the din.
Needless to say, the date didn’t last long. Was it my innocent factoid, I thought silently. Meanwhile, he asked for the remaining 9-courses to be bagged up and insisted on driving me home despite my protests to take a cab. Not only did he drive like a maniac and almost get us killed twice, he kept shouting at his girlfriend that she was a lunatic for thinking he was out cheating behind her back.
He drove back to my apartment in 10 minutes flat, insisted I take the 9-courses with me and sped off. Phuket, I thought, a $500 takeaway meal for a crummy date: I called it a wash.
My best friend Narf came over to
laugh at me sympathize with kind words and a hungry stomach as we ate the still-warm-and-juicy wagyu filet — one of Morimoto’s signature dishes.
I never went out with the Thai again but I did give Thailand a second date when I went to Phuket. And we had the best date a girl could ever ask for. We laughed, we basked under the sun, we zip-lined, we rode elephants, we stuffed ourselves with fatty fried foods and didn’t have a care in the world…
Phuk the first date, Phuket the second.
60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay,
Thalang, Phuket 83110 Thailand
Tel: +66 76 310100