I Rented A Date Through Maybe.SG
Renting a date seems to have been gathering lots of buzz lately. But in fact, this concept isn’t new. I had seen plenty of videos of people in Korea and Japan renting a date — sometimes even an entire family!
While intriguing, I had my doubts — can anything on the date actually be genuine? After all, you’re paying for the company and from what I know, you don’t get to have your date’s number. Unless they’re willing to give it to you, of course.
Nevertheless, I thought, what’s the harm. I’ve been on a couple of dates myself, and this should be an interesting experience.
First was to pick my date. The Maybe.sg homepage conveniently features the ‘most popular’ dates.
I couldn’t really decide who to go with, so in the end, I had my friend to pick one for me. Zoeyyy – with the triple ‘y’ – it was.
Japanese don, indoor golf & bubble tea
We had agreed to meet at Clarke Quay MRT station at 12.30pm. Or rather, our meeting was arranged, in accordance with company policy, by an unseen ‘cupid’.
Zoey reached early and was waiting just beyond the gantry in a pale floral pink dress. That made it easy enough to spot her among the line of idling commuters. Somehow, since I didn’t have many expectations, I hardly felt the nerves common to first date rendezvous.
“Hi, Zoey? I’m Russell,” I extended a handshake.
I know what some of you are thinking — a handshake? Apparently, there’s a ‘no physical contact’ rule’ and I wasn’t sure what the boundaries are. Better to be safe than risk an awkward hug, I reckoned.
The plan was for Japanese food at Liang Court. We took Exit D, thinking it was closest. But the escalator conducted us to The Central instead.
Zoey says she feels ‘paiseh’ posing for pictures
Seeing as Liang Court was a distance away and Zoey had killer heels that seemed difficult to walk in, I said we could find a food place here.
We agreed that we would enter the first Japanese restaurant we saw. Our mindlessly walking around led us to Mitsuba, with a seat overlooking the Singapore River.
Zoey chuckling when I told her about my embarrassing first date
As we leafed through the menu, I noticed Zoey eyeing a delicious-looking Unagi don. Unfortunately, that was plastered over with a “SOLD OUT”. Eventually, she presses her finger against the Umatama-don, “I’ll have this.” I, on the other hand, went with a Katsu-don.
While waiting for the food to arrive, Zoey told me that she was still schooling and juggling 2 other part-time jobs. I was shocked as much as I was impressed. When I was in school, I barely worked at all.
Some way through, Zoey asked my impression of the platform. I admitted that at first, like many others, they weren’t good. Zoey nodded and said she too didn’t think well of it either initially.
But then she figured, the rules say no touching and no exchanging of phone numbers — it was nothing sleazy like people said. You’re basically just meeting and chatting with people, that’s all.
There was one time, however, her date started to get touchy. Feeling disrespected, Zoey left the restaurant immediately. For such customers, she said, they get no refunds from the company. I suppose it’s a bit like protection for its members.
Lunch concluded with a final sip of our green tea and call for the bill. Holey Moley, the fancy neon-lit indoor golf place, was next on our agenda.
Fetching our golf balls with a golden coin
The staff at the counter asked if we wanted to have drinks at the bar below. We looked at each other for a while, then as if simultaneously realising that’s we just had lunch, shook our heads. We told him, we’ll swing for holes-in-one first.
The courses were surprisingly easy. Or we’re just that good. 2, 3 swings and the ball was in. Although for some of them, Zoey and I had to spend some time figuring out where the starting line was.
We ended up discarding the scorecard and putting balls at each other like people do in hockey. Somehow, we got to sharing pictures of our pets — I have a Cocker Spaniel, while she has a chihuahua, a parrot, and 5 cats.
Curious, I asked Zoey about her other dates — what were they like? She told me, unlike what some would expect, her dates were confident, well-groomed and made interesting conversation.
In fact, some of them were outright ‘Don Juans’ i.e. charming. Not only that, they were quite generous as well. One even booked an entire capsule on the Singapore Flyer and treated Zoey to champagne and a 5-course meal.
I’ll admit, that made me feel a little bad that I had only brought her to play indoor golf. Don’t be disheartened though. That Singapore Flyer date happened only once.
After pitching the ball into the final hole – aptly punched onto the seat of the infamous Iron Throne – we had a go at a game of Jenga.
As I bragged about how I had watched the Jenga world championships – it was recommended by YouTube – I slipped up and knocked the tower over.
Zoey had a good laugh at my expense. We then went down to check out the bar where, as it turned out, there were more of such tabletop party games — which we couldn’t resist. Or perhaps she was obliging me. Were you, Zoey?
I missed the rightmost column and she won
We play a game of Four In A Row while deciding whether we wanted drinks, but in the end decided that 4pm wasn’t a suitable time for drinking.
Besides, Zoey loves bubble tea. She told me that she drinks a cup almost every day — to my mild horror. So we thought, why not fulfil her daily quota. LiHo it was.
The last time I had bubble tea was in Taipei — a cup of brown sugar fresh milk bubble tea. I asked Zoey, the expert, if the brown sugar drink LiHo is good. She said she preferred Tiger Sugar’s because it’s sweeter. But in the end, it’s really up to your preference. I went with it anyway.
All smiles with eyes on the prize
A date well worth the day
I had my doubts about this rent-a-date business, but Zoey turned out to be a wonderful companion. She was sweet, friendly, and kept up the conversation with her sustained bubbliness. I don’t know how she does it, because I was dead tired by then.
Now, a date wouldn’t quite be a success if you don’t ask for the girl’s number. I tried. Rather, I asked Zoey if her dates have ever asked for her number. She said yes, but she has to reject them — company policy.
I didn’t persist. But I imagine that if I treated her better than the Singapore Flyer guy, I might have had a chance. After all, it’s her number — her call whether to give it out. Who knows? I might just make a booking with Zoey again. Maybe.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Maybe Asia.