Staying at a hostel has both its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage of staying at a hostel besides saving money is that you get to meet travellers from different parts of the world. Sharing travel stories, new ideas, and experiences is fun and you get to learn a lot.
My experience at a hostel in Bangkok was completely different, however. Although I was staying in a room full of people, I didn’t really end up talking to any of them. And being an introvert, I cared less about it, anyway.
But during my stay, I made one friend – not a traveller staying at the hostel, but a staff member working there. This article is about that wonderful person and my dinner date with her at a Japanese restaurant.
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After spending a few days at the hostel, I got a chance to meet my date – a Thai woman – for the first time. Although we didn’t talk much initially, I found her an interesting and lively personality. I observed her for a few days before initiating an actual conversation one evening.
The reason why a conversation never took place until now was our languages. She didn’t speak English very well and my Thai is as good as my Hebrew. The best way to talk in this situation was to use an app that would translate for us.
Although translation services usually work well for a couple of words, I was skeptical about using them to have a full-blown conversation. At first, I used Google Translator which is among some Google apps I use while travelling. I also tried another service she was using and it seemed to be working as intended, too.
During those conversations, I came to know a lot about her. As I had observed, she was an interesting person, indeed, and after getting to know her, I respected her more. I could feel some kind of affection brewing and I asked her if she would join me for a dinner sometime. It was my last week in Thailand and I told her that I would love to take her out for a nice dinner before I left.
Upon receiving her affirmative answer using the translator app, I asked her to keep a place in mind. She said she would and we agreed to go for dinner after a few days.
The Restaurant and Food
Two days later, we were on our way to a place she had in mind. I did not know what this place was and what cuisine we were going to eat. After nearly 30 minutes of BTS ride, we reached Ekamai station. Our destination was the Gateway Ekamai Mall.
Gateway Ekamai is Japanese style shopping mall popular among locals and Japanese expats as well as tourists. Besides clothes, beauty and healthcare products, and electronics, Gateway Ekamai is known for its Japanese restaurants.
The next task was to order food and myself being a first-timer with Japanese cuisine, I asked her to do the honour. She ordered salmon rolls, harashu yaki, salmon ikura don, and green tea as I took a closer look at those bowls, plates, and chopsticks.
While waiting for the food, we used the time to know each other better. She told me about her personal and professional life while I shared my travel experiences. Our food was there a few minutes later.
Now it was time for me to learn to use chopsticks. My date came to my rescue and I was a bit more comfortable with them after a few tries – enough to finish my food. The toughest task was to pick ikura (a caviar made from the roe of salmon) with chopsticks but I was a pro after popping a few of them.
We enjoyed our food as we continued our conversation. After we finished our dinner and were ready to leave, I thanked her for joining me, choosing a nice Japanese restaurant, teaching me how to use chopsticks, and for a wonderful evening.
Dinner Date with a Thai Woman in Bangkok: Summary
I and my date were from different places, backgrounds, cultures, and age. Although she didn’t speak English very well and I couldn’t speak more than Two words in Thai, we were able to understand each other. Yes, those translation apps came in handy, but it was the language of affection that played a major role in our conversations.
We both knew the fact that this dinner date was the first and the last time we would go out together. We also knew about the reality of our lives and that this evening was just an escape. But as I had said before, having a companion – even for a short time – is always a good idea.
This evening taught me once again that it’s not necessary to speak the same language to have a meaningful conversation. As I had learned in Bhutan, a lot of things can be said without speaking a single word, in fact. Your body language, your eyes, your aura speaks for you and sometimes that’s all you need.
What was it? Infatuation? Attraction? Love? I think it was none because I believe labelling relations is pointless. I think of it as one of those experiences that make my journey worthwhile – a journey I refer to as the pursuit of happiness.
That’s all, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else. This was an article about my dinner date with a Thai woman at a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok. I hope you liked this article and I’d like to thank you for reading.
Cover Image Source: Jack Finnigan on Unsplash