Monday, April 30, 2012

Table For One

A phrase you hear rarely over here in Asia.

Think one of our main tenets of dining here in Asia is that we dine in bountiful abundance on a round table teeming with steaming dishes with chairs all around full of convivial company. Over here, food is meant to be shared with a crowd.

So what happens when, and if, you're alone? Even with an increasing number of singletons out there, the very thought of having a meal alone terrifies quite a number of us.

Kat : Umm, are you going for dinner?
Paul : Certainly not starving myself if that's what you're asking.
Kat : You go alone?
Paul : Me, myself and I.
Kat : Wow.
Paul : It's not an audacious feat like sprinting across a burning bridge with a ravine full of hungry alligators a hundred feet below.
Kat : Umm... I don't want to eat alone, can I come with you?
Paul : You know I charge for escort fees, right?

Think Kat would have preferred starving herself rather than brave the thought of solitary dining.

Hard to blame her since our restaurants and cafes here don't seem to cater to the lone diner. Mention a table for one to the snotty maître d’hôtel at the door and you'll immediately receive a pitying look before being led to a disproportionately spacious table clearly meant for a party of ten. The rest of the dinner is spent attempting to commandeer the surprisingly capacious dining area while the other dining guests keep sending curious looks over wondering if you're a traveling salesman - or worse that you'd just been stood up on a date.

Paul : You're just afraid of eating alone, aren't you?
Kat : No, I just thought you'd prefer some company.
Paul : Lying. Admit it.

Yes, I can see why solitary dining would be a daunting experience for many a singleton.

Maybe I used to fear it myself but as I totter arthritically into my mid-thirties, I realize that I actually enjoy some alone time. Hell, I positively love dining out alone sometimes. Without the need to fill that awkward lull in the conversation, I actually get to enjoy each and every bite of my dinner. Can even slobber savagely over the dirty plate if I wanted to. With only me, myself and I to entertain, I have some time with my thoughts, my writing, my sketches...

It's nice.

Then again perhaps Scorpios just like a bit of solitude.


soul232 said...

hahaha. true enough. the minimum they expect at a restaurant is at least 2. feel a bit guilty when I go alone eat and take the whole table for me while other diners need to wait for a lone me to finish my dish before they can get a table xD hahaha...served them right..who ask them to come eat with a battalion =P

nowadays, F&B industry is evolving and improving. they start to cater the need of lone diner by preparing place over the counter/bar with I think quite a nice change =)

rotiboy said...

True enough. Same goes to going to a movie theatre alone, especially when the ticket seller gives a pitying stare the moment I ask for only a ticket. These places are really not loner-friendly.

sharman said...

I bring my book around, welcome my food then isolate the world haha.. I always need some time alone. Doesn't everybody?

thompsonboy said...

i quite enjoy asking and having table for one

GVP said...

Haha... I can relate to this post since I dine out as a loner from time to time. At first, it felt weird and I felt guilty for taking a table which could fit 2,3 or more. I started bringing books and lecture notes once I got used to dining by myself.

Booker said...

Like Kat, I'd rather starve. Guess it's something I need to start getting used to...

ooi2009 said...

so . sexually. frustrated

Da Closet Guy said...

I've always been dining alone since I lived alone. It might seem strange at first but once u (and the people serving you) get used to it, there won'r be any awkward feelings.