#1: Your date is…fat/ugly/boring
In this case make sure you’re meeting up somewhere fun, dimly lit and noisy – and yes, in that order. St James Power Station (3 Sentosa Gateway; Tel: 6270 7676), with nine different venues spread over 60,000 sq ft of space, is ideal – you’ve got lots of wiggle room. Tired of Cantopop? Move on to Movida for some Latin soul. Date going badly? Feed your soul (and tummy) with one of their deluxe hot dogs. Alternatively, there’s Ipanema (400 Orchard Road). It’s housed in Orchard Towers, so even if you are caught out, the other party is sure to keep mum - on a quid pro quo basis, naturally.
Plausibility factor: Two words: live music. Both venues are known for their kickin’ live acts. So make like a music lover and you’ve got your bases covered.
#2: Your date is…a colleague
Your contract explicitly states no inter-office relations but in the words of Woody Allen, ‘the heart wants what it wants’. When the accidental meetings at the water cooler and casual lunches in the park – even when you’re careful to arrive/leave separately – no longer suffice, it’s time to seek out a quiet, tucked-away restaurant to get to know each other better. A few hidden gems we’ve unearthed: Ka Won Korean Restaurant (123 Telok Ayer Street; Tel: 6220 1187), where private rooms in the back ensure complete privacy, Pete’s Place (10 Scotts Road, Tel: 6416 7113) down in the basement of the Grand Hyatt and the very remote Sunset Grill & Bar (140B Piccadilly, Seletar Air Base; Tel: 6482 0244).
Plausibility factor: You’ve got to eat. What’s wrong with a little chit chat and din din?
#3: Your date is…your professor
First tip: skip the university bar or anywhere close to campus where your fellow classmates will spot you hanging out. You need somewhere ‘safe’, somewhere school-like – so what could be better than the National Library (100 Victoria Street)? Books = research; rows of bookcases = plenty of space to bump into each other; cubby holes/study areas = playful footsie. The possibilities are endless!
Plausibility factor: You’re both there to return overdue books. And as it’s near restaurant-/bar-centric spots like Purvis Street, Liang Seah Street and Odeon Towers, it’s entirely reasonable that you ran into each other at the library and decided to grab a bite afterwards.
#4: Your date is...an on-/off-again ‘friend’ whom all your mates hate
Think social, think active, think a group setting that will automatically serve as an alibi. Commit (hah – the irony) to a socially and physically vigorous activity such as Ultimate Frisbee (website) and Dragon Boating (website). Both will give you a bona fide excuse to mingle both on and off the ‘field’. The upside: at least you’re guaranteed he/she is keeping in shape. The downside: if things don’t work out yet again, one of you has got to quit the team…
Plausibility factor: You’re just getting your weekly exercise. Besides, you’re not really hanging out if there are others around.
#5: Your date is...already taken
You can’t risk being seen with this person but staying indoors watching movies is hardly a way to engage, and weekend getaways are too expensive. If you feel the need to do something together in broad daylight, try Divine (600 North Bridge Road; Tel: 6396 4466). The imposing art-deco façade intimidates most of the hoi polloi from entering. Once inside, the ornate brass carvings and the live jazz music only serves to add to the drama. Oh, and those balconies, we already checked, are just for show – so forget about sneaking in a cheeky rendezvous.
Plausibility factor: It’s often used for business meetings, so there’s your excuse – your companion is an ‘associate’. The slightly formal layout of the place also gives the impression that no hanky panky could take place; if only that were true!
This story first appeared as ‘Risqué Rendezvous’ (Jun 2009)
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