We lumbered our way up the road about 300 meters to the infamous Zoo. We walked into the joint and there’s music blaring, but it’s dead fucking empty. Not a soul around other than the bartenders and waitstaff who are trying to get our drinks. None of the sexy dancers we were promised at the prior bar. I had a momentary thought think I’d be better off with my potential Tinder date Aiye… but no, I’ll hang out with the boys.
The Boys Find Their “Dates”
The music is so loud though that we’re having a hard time communicating with the staff. We stepped out the front doors back onto the patio which faces the street and order a couple of vodka sodas. There’s an older woman sitting on the patio out front with us who appears to be affiliated with the place in some way shape or form. She gives the vibe of a mamasan, but it doesn’t look like this is that sort of establishment. She’s super nice and chats us up for a while. Apparently “The Zoo” doesn’t get happening until at least 1 AM she told us. It was 11:30 and the three of us are skeptical about her 1 AM deadline. If she’s saying 1 AM, it’s more likely 2 AM, and that’s 2.5 hours from now. The boys and I conferred for a few minutes, and MrPositivity decides to call it a night. He’s fighting the worst jet lag of the four of us and it’s the first night, so acceptable. Cranjerry and I send him off, but of course not without first making him drain his drink and do an additional shot of vodka. We’ve completely forgotten about the beers at this point.
Cranjerry and I sit for another 10 minutes deciding on what to do. Cranjerry manages to find a massage place online that’s highly rated that’s also open for drunk dudes at 11:30 PM. Alright… I shit you not, the place is called the “21 finger massage”. The name through us for a loop – but the reviews clearly say that they are offering messages for all 21 of your fingers, not massaging you with 21 fingers. Cranjerry seems appeased and calls an Uber.
Last man standing. It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting a bar in Bali known for known for being after-hours place to the “kupu kupu malam”, the Balinese word, I had just learned, for prostitute. I pulled out my phone while sipping my vodka soda, and shot of vodka Cranjerry had left on the table for me. Another four matches on Tinder. I don’t even bother opening them up to look.
No messages on WhatsApp. Disappointing. I considered my options for a minute. I try to count the amount of drinks I’ve had since I arrived on the island. I can’t. The quantity is large, but I still seem to be functioning within… reasonable limits.
“Hey Aiye, you guys still out partying?” I fired over to the fist & only reasonable Tinder match of the day.
“We’re at Old Man’s club in Canggu watching the band, come join us.” Fuck. I was hoping my potential Tinder date wouldn’t respond and I’d have an excuse to go home early.
Alright. I weigh my options in my head again. “Cute girl potential Tinder date wants to party 45 minutes away. If I do this, I arrive by 12:30 ish. Party a couple hours, than I have another 45 minutes home. If I just wait here at the Zoo… I’ve got another 2.5 hours. In which time I’ll likely fall asleep. And fuck it, it’s not like there’s anything else going on in Sanur.” I take an inventory of my wallet to make sure I have enough cash, 2,000,000 rupiah ($160 USD), should be good to go. I bid goodbye to the mamasan, call an Uber, leave a couple thousand rupiah under my beer glass as a tip, jump up to leave, and promptly fall right on my face missing the step down from the bar to the road. Perfect.
I jump up quickly – but the mamasan has already started yelling something in Indonesian inside. A couple of the waiters and hostesses come running out and start trying to dust me off. “You to drunk! You go home yah?”. Fuck I’m not even that drunk. I just missed the step. Or am I? I wave the staff off and start trying to walk away without limping towards the Uber telling everyone I’m fine. I think I am fine, just mainly my pride was bruised. Maybe I should tell them I’m headed to my first Tinder date…
Walking towards the Uber pushing the staff off, the Uber driver rolls down his window laughing maniacally. He also starts telling me I’m drunk. No way to save face on this one. Get in the Uber and he starts speeding toward Canggu. Meanwhile I’m trying to quietly stretch out my non-existent muscles to make sure I didn’t do anything serious to myself.
En-route to my Tinder Date
One thing about Indonesia is they drive on the wrong side of the road for the majority of the world. If you just traveled from a country where they drive on the other side, it can be a little dizzying to look up from the passenger seat and see your South East Asian driver aggressively speeding into traffic. He ducked, he weaved, and potential 45 minute drive to my Tinder date turned into 35 minutes. Not bad at all.
The club / bar itself was right on the water – but it was to dark to see the ocean, I could just hear the crashing waves against the rocks meters away. The place was cool – it was an outdoor beach bungalow style bar but seemed high end and well done. There was an awesome band in the middle of the floor jamming toons. Strangely people we’re opting to sit far away from the band, so I went up the table right in front of them, ordered a beer, and enjoyed the music for a minute before I messaged my Tinder date. An Indonesian kid wearing a scooter helmet, who couldn’t be more than 5 or 6 years old, rolled up in front of the band and started rocking out to the music wearing his helmet. God knows where this kid’s parents were – working the bar, or worse.
The First Meeting
“Hey big hair, how are you.” I turned around to find a very slender, very petite Indonesian girl sitting on the other side of the table. My first take on her was that my Tinder date was skinnier than her photos made her look, that can’t be the most common occurrences. She had a very natural smile on her face… it was very genuine, not something I’d seen on a lot of women. The colored mood lighting from the band washed across her face making it look she had a soft glow to her. I was immediately attracted to her… or fuck maybe I was just hammered. I don’t know.
“Wow, you look better in person than in photos,” my honest by somewhat shellshocked opener. My Tinder date’s smile widened revealing a set of beautiful pearly white teeth. A disarming smile for sure.
“You look fatter and older than your picture.” She quipped still showing a mouthful teeth. She had spunk. “And did you drive your Mercedes?” Alright smart ass.
I went ahead and ordered her a beer. We chat for a while and I discovered her friends had left over 30 minutes ago but she hung out when she saw I was coming. She also hadn’t had any drinks at all. She seemed… cute… definitely more attractive than I expected… but she also had a little nuttiness to her that pushed her from an 9 right into the 10s.
She’s Hot & Cool
The chat with my Tinder date starts out casual. We talk about her work, she works as a Business Development Manager for an outdoor gardening company, they service the big hotels on the island. She confides in me that she hates the job and is actively looking for a new one after only 5 months. She doesn’t like the environment nor what she’s doing. Right on, I can relate to that. Here I am vacationing in paradise, talking to a beautiful girl who lives in paradise, and she has the same problems I do. I guess the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. More beers.
We move out away from the band to the chairs sitting closest to the ocean. Still casually chatting about things that don’t matter. Her family lives in Java, as was the case with most of the Indonesian girls on the island. She’s leaving to go back to Java tomorrow for Ramadan. A good muslim girl. Fuck, my Tinder date may not pan out after all.
We’re rounding 1 AM and the jet lag is starting to set in. After only drinking beers for the last 2 hours though, I’m starting to sober up without the hard liquor. I think Aiye sensed I was getting tired.
“You want to grab some dinner?” She whispered over the sounds of the waves.
“Dinner, it’s almost 1 AM. You haven’t eaten?”
“It’s Bali – we eat and party late here. You like Mexican food? There’s a place right up the road.”
Why not. I was jet lagged anyways. Let’s see how deep this rabbit hole goes. “Sure.”
I pay the tab and we go out to get on her motorbike. She couldn’t have weighed more than a 100 pounds so the physics of my 180 pound body on the back of my Tinder date’s scooter wasn’t going to work. I end up sitting in the driver’s seat and she leaps on the back, throwing one of her arms around my stomach. She fastens her helmet with the other one and points straight ahead to some lights in the distance. I could hear the gentle beat of bass drums already.
A Very Late Dinner
We drive 300 meters up the drive and pull up to “Lacalita Bar Y Cocina” just inland from Old Man’s. The clientele looked like the mid-party crowd. People who had already grabbed a load of drinks but were gassing up before the next round. It was clearly a trendy place – people we’re dressed up. I was wearing a Vader t-shirt and swim trunks. Not the best preperation for my first Tinder date. Whatever.
We order a couple of cocktails and some mexican dishes. The cocktails are up first and we drain them before the food comes and order another round. The hard liquor is affecting my Tinder date quicker than it’s affecting me. There’s no fat on her to help her absorb the booze.
“I want to play a game, it’s called “Have You Ever”, the game was simple enough. She proposed a simple situation, and if I either of us had done it, instead of owning up to it, we had to drink. Simple. She starts.
“Have you ever masterbaited on your boss’s desk?” stunned silence on my part, looking at her trying to make sure I understood what she had just said. She looked back at me, then took a large sip of her drink.
“Sorry, what is it you do again?”
“Oh right, of course. Makes sense.” This escalated quickly. Maybe not the good Muslim girl I thought she was. My male brain immediately gets more engaged with the conversation and I push for details.
“I was pissed off, he made me work over time for a few days in a row. I was at the office at 10 PM and everyone was gone. I thought I’d masterbait on his desk in defiance.” I take another large swig of my cocktail out of shock. The story gets even more bizarre and better though – this was apparently premeditated. She had bought a cucumber the day before and put it in her bag so that she had an object to penetrate herself with… and then the bombshell… she also purchased a condom for the cucumber to make sure she didn’t catch anything. Tinder date nuttiness factor has reached 110%. I’m torn. On one hand this girl is really attractive and interesting… but on the other hand her cute nuttiness has gone into full blown crazy and I’m tired.
I’m up next in the game… Let’s see how liberal she is. “Have you ever had sex with someone you just met?” I immediately take a sip, she giggles, then takes a sip of her cocktail. Her turn.
“Have you ever had sex with two people in the same day?” she blurts out.
“Oh you mean like a threesome?” fingers crossed.
“No, I mean you have sex with one person, then go have sex with another person?” Not sure why I was clarifying – I was guilty either way. I take another sip of my cocktail. So does she.
We keep playing the game and the questions stay in the same general topic. Sex. Things seem to be looking good. The food is served, a couple simple tacos and a fajita. This Tinder date could turn to success.
(I wasn’t exactly johnny-on-the-spot with the pictures this evening, but I did manage to snap a shot of the tacos)
Closing the Deal
We slurp down the food and get another round of drinks. At this point most of the restaurant is empty and the only good view is from my side of the table looking out onto the road where the first round of drunken tourists and expats were trying to make their way back to their villas and hotels. I tell Aiye to come sit next to me so that we can enjoy the view, she comes over and plops down on the couch next to me.
The wait staff is looking anxious to go home. Aiye is sitting on my right, within reach, but still seems kind of standoff-ish. I finger my phone to see the time, 2:01AM, alright, it’s time to close this Tinder date or move on. I lean over a bit and put my arm around her. She doesn’t move to get any closer to me but instead stays seated in the same position. I scoot a little closer to her, but she still doesn’t move. She’s not pushing away my advances – she’s just strangely not responding to them at all.
The Shut Down
“What are you doing after this? Want to go watch a movie?” A horrible pickup line for sure – but one that worked 90% of the time in Asia. I mean… who invites someone they just met at 2 AM to go back to their place to watch the Lion King.
“No. I want to go home. It’s late and I have to pack because tomorrow I’m going to Java for Ramadan.” Direct shut down. Shit. Why had she teased me along the last few hours? I try a few more angles but her body language isn’t changing. She’s not interested.
“Alright, hahaha, I tried! Last try, how about I come back to your place and help you pack?” I wonder if she thought I was pleading… but there was a moment, however brief where I could see her considering it. Then again maybe she really just wanted someone to help her pack. Fuck, whatever.
“No, I really need to go. I call you when I get back in one week from Java. You’re here for two weeks? Don’t worry I’ll see you again.”
Bill is paid, I maneuver around the waitress who’s extremely happy to see us leaving. We closed down the Mexican restaurant. Not exactly the night I had anticipated for my first Tinder date but still fun. Aiye leaps on her scooter and puts on her helmet.
“Hey. Thanks. That was fun. See you next week yah?” she says, pausing for a minute keeping her and her bike propped up by her left leg. I lean in for a kiss goodnight, she moves her head and I land the kiss smack dab on her lips. Awkward pause for a second, then I keep going for it. We make-out for a good 30 seconds with her on her bike, music from the Mexican restaurant in the background and the sound of cars speeding down Jl. Batu Bolong. I try to go in for the kill and cop a feel on her left breast. She let me get about 3 seconds of action, just enough to leave me wondering, and then backed off of me. She flashed a knowing smile at me, waves, and my Tinder date sped off down the road leaving me alone for the evening.
I whipped out my phone and called an Uber to get back to the other side of the island. In the Uber I looked at Tinder again – I’m up to 8 new matches and a bunch of matches I hadn’t looked at from before. I started to try to triage them, but ended up falling asleep in the back of the car. The driver woke me up when we were back at our rented villa. I made it in the door and clocked in at 4 AM. Silence from the rooms of the other boys. Everyone’s out cold. Clothes off, take a tablet of Melatonin for the jet lag. One last look through my pocket reveals I’m down $60 bucks for evening. Not bad considering the amount of booze – but not great considering I was home alone. Day 1, lights out. I fell asleep thinking of my Tinder date and looking forward to see her again. Oh how surprised I would be. This was going to be a hell of a trip.