Should I or Shouldn’t I even bother? That is the question.
One word: STRIKING. In a good way. Second impression: Tall, dark, and handsome. After a few minutes: Funny, interesting, seems smart, knows how to hold a conversation, complimented me on my shoes. Another few minutes: likes the same type of movies, books, and is interested in travelling all over the world. I smile, thinking, this is nice, making conversation a sunny Saturday afternoon at a networking event held by my university. And then suddenly: “So how about we go for dinner sometime? Or maybe a movie?”
And that my friends, is usually the time that I shrink, and say either uhm and ahh and give an aloof ‘maybe’ or even a straight out ‘no thank you’. Why?
Numero uno: I am a muslim, and there is no such thing as dating or relationships or having a boyfriend in the muslim faith.
Second: I am Indonesian and he is Australian – where can this possibly go? I’ve heard and seen about the Australian, or perhaps I should more correctly say, Western; way of dating and relationships – and I suspect it is VERY different to the Indonesian way of courting – as it means you are thinking long term, perhaps even marriage. Here (in Australia) it seems to be quite different – very much on a ‘it will be fun lets get to know each other’ philosophy.
Third: I’ve heard stories of girls like me who ‘dipped their toe’ in dating a westerner, and it always end in heartbreak and conclusion of ‘the differences are just too big’.
I was just about to answer when he stops a waiter and say: “do you want one?” and I ask: “what meat is it?” to which the waiter replies “pork sausages”; earning a “no thank you” from me. “Why?” he asks. I’m a muslim I said, I don’t eat pork or pig products. “Ah you are Islamic, so I guess I’ll have to take you to Halal restaurants eh?”
Wait a minute! He knows of my faith?
“And where are you from if I may ask”? He said. Indonesia, not too far from here, only 7 hours – I joked. He laughed, and said “I’ve been there, I was just a child but my best friend at school is Indonesian”.
Oh my! Double whammy! He MAY know something about Indonesian culture?
“Look here’s my card, think about my offer and let me know – I’d love to have dinner with you” he said.
Intrigued, I took the card, and stared at him as he walked away. Differences. Expectations. Maturity. Him. Me. Us. Maybe he will understand?
Should I? or Shouldn’t I even bother?
To be continued…..