Today, I am cherishing what I have.
I am in a happy and fulfilling relationship with a Canadian and this spares me from having to navigate the dating scene in Taipei.
The men here are less aggressive and less apt to approach you than in the West, Tina says. A friend of hers met his girlfriend in a more traditional way: his parents paid a matchmaker to find a candidate and then the two families met up for dinner.
(Oh my God. Can you imagine a first date with your parents and siblings? My mother would be unforgiving: "I think his hair is receding. Look at the father. Totally bald. And their nostrils are too big.")
Myself, Tina and two single girlfriends dressed up for a party at the Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel. We were all wearing fake eyelashes (which cost less than a dollar on the streets of Taipei) and a different coloured dress which made us look like a moving pack of Lifesavers.
Tina's friend, Sandy, is a former modeling scout who now manages aspiring stars and looking at her makes me smile. She is talkative and expressive. She has deep laugh lines at the corner of her eyes, a testament to how much and how forcefully she laughs. Her face at rest though, with its soft features, is angelic and framed by a sleek, sheet of jet black that cuts across her jawline.
The mixer was for Ivy league alumni living in Taipei.
But apparently, despite our fine education and worldly pursuits, we are shy to mingle.
So a dim, stylish lounge with a view of Taipei's twinkling skyline from the 38th floor, the partygoers - graduates from Harvard, Stanford, etc., architect prodigies and business moguls in the making - were chosen at random to play a round of musical chairs.
Zhen de ma? Really?
Epilogue: We left to eat Taiwanese breakfast with two new friends. Sandy pointed out that one our new playmates resembles, Winnie The Pooh, which I found uproariously funny. He and his, tall, slim friend (Tigger) were such good sports about it.