A date with my perfect match based on horoscope
When I was younger, I used to flip through issues of Teenage just to read up on what fortune and luck lay in store for my horoscope in the departments of homework, relationships, or friendships that month. This obsession then evolved into "devouring" The Straits Times every day purely for their daily horoscope readings.
The old me would tell you I'm a Virgo, but now that I’m a little older, I proudly declare my star sign to be a Triceratops. It’s make-believe - just like all other star signs, and I don’t believe in getting into a relationship with someone just because our signs are compatible.
But, when my colleagues set me up on a date (again!) with someone they found was the perfect match for a Virgo man, it was the perfect chance for me to see if the stars would really align for us. Here’s how it went:
I knew nothing about my date, except for her star sign - she’s a Cancer. And I could only assume her likes and dislikes from what I gathered from horoscope sites.
Cancers: Musical, creative free spirits who love expressing themselves artistically, and relaxing outdoors especially close to natural bodies of water. They are also sensitive and guarded individuals with a huge capacity to love, but need to be romanced in a traditional manner.
Planning the date plan was hard, especially when I, for one, can’t draw to save my pet hamster’s life, and staying out of the Singapore sun is my idea of a good time. How could we possibly be compatible?!?
Two days into trying to make a compromise, reality hit me - the date wasn’t supposed to be about me, it was supposed to be about her. Thankfully, soon after, I had the perfect game plan:
Activity #1: A visit to The Cathay Gallery to appeal to her artsy side
Activity #2: A DIY Art-Jam & Picnic at Gardens by the Bay
Activity #3: Followed by a romantic walk through the Cloud Forest
Activity #4: And to finish things off, a simple dinner at The Connoisseur Concerto
Preparing for the date
There were so many things that I had to get for the date: a picnic basket, snacks for the afternoon, flowers, art supplies, and even a makeshift table to hold everything while we were art-jamming.
A quick Google search revealed that Cancer women have serious sweet tooths, so I went with the classics - Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, Awfully Chocolate brownies, and some warm pastries from Delifrance.
And not forgetting, a gentleman’s blind date essential - a humble, yet classy bouquet of flowers.
There’s nothing worse than fumbling around with notes and loose change when you’re carrying a mountain of things, so I was thankful all the merchants I visited on my date recce accepted NETSPay.
This meant that I didn’t even need to whip out my wallet since I could pay for everything just by scanning the receipt’s QR code on my phone. All you need to do is make sure your bank account is linked to your e-wallet beforehand!
After a demanding three-hour journey checking all the items off my list, I finally had a picnic basket to sweep her off her feet.
The Actual Date
I waited for less than five minutes at the entrance of The Cathay before I received a text from my mystery date announcing her arrival.
“No backing out now, Mandon”, I told myself as I made my way over to a girl waving excitedly at me. “Hello! I’m Ci Hui!” Her eagerness warmed things up instantly. We laughed at the concept of a date dictated by horoscope compatibility, but there was one burning question off my chest - Are horoscope stereotypes even accurate?
I’d planned the entire date itinerary without knowing anything about her or her actual interests, at this point, I was about to find out if I was a winner, or a complete loser.
“I read that Cancerians love art, are you good at it?”
“Nope, I can’t paint! HAHA!”
Even though we now had a date itinerary that was centered around art and artistic expression, her easygoing and cheerful demeanour made me heave a sigh of relief. We then made self-deprecating jokes about how if we were held at gunpoint with only painting something as a way out, we’d both die ten times over, but decided to commit to the date plan anyway, for all the effort I’d already put into it.
When things don’t go your way...
We made our way up to The Cathay Gallery, and though she wasn’t the artsy film buff like I envisioned, she was intrigued to know that this little blast-to-the-past even existed!
It was closed.
When Plan A doesn’t work out, keep your cool and move straight onto Plan B… While I’d planned every element to a T, I hadn’t really considered logistics. I realised that I couldn’t manage carrying everything from the picnic basket to the foldable table to Gardens By The Bay on my own. Ci Hui reached out for the picnic basket, smiled and said, “I’ve got this.”
Even though I wanted to act as though I’d everything under control, I was secretly delighted when she offered. Maybe this girl was a keeper after all.
A happy Ci Hui with her surprise
Always be spontaneous
So there we were, beautiful backdrop, no artistic bone in both our bodies, trying to draw inspiration from the greenery around us. I was surprised to find our lack of skill created the perfect opportunity for us to bond and get to know each other on a deeper level. Laughing at our stained hands and masterpieces helped too.
Sitting down in one spot didn’t really help, so we decided to stand by the river like serious artists, canvas in one hand and paintbrush in another.
We even managed to fit in an impromptu photoshoot around the Cloud Forest just for kicks
Unlike the reserved Cancers I read about online, Ci Hui was not the least bit reserved, her bubbly personality completely evident, peppering our date with her thoughts and feelings.
This photo was taken in front of an audience watching a short film!
Ending our date with full stomachs and hearts
Ci Hui with her Baby Crayfish Spaghetti
After a long day of laughs, we finally left Gardens by the Bay for our first proper meal at the dinner spot I'd chosen - The Connoisseur Concerto at Bugis Junction.
The Ci Hui I'd come to know over the last couple hours had a zest for life that was refreshing, but during dinner, I noticed a quieter, more emotional and reflective side of her emerge as we discussed our childhood ambitions and future dreams.
My Egg-Drop Spaghetti Bolognese
I could not help but think about how wrong I was in trusting a horoscope website with my potential life partner. By birthdate, Ci Hui was a Cancer woman, but in real life, she was nothing like her reserved, artistic horoscope. She was much, much more.
There are just too many facets to a person for them to be boxed into a stereotype by birth date alone. So there, I got the answer to my burning question, horoscopes aren't accurate. Or at least, not for me. And while I didn't find my perfect soul mate like the horoscope sites predicted I would, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the date.
Tap your way through date night and scan with NETSPay
Image credit: NETS
If there’s another thing I learnt on my date, it’s how fuss free and convenient NETSPay makes the process of purchasing anything. I used it as my one tap payment method for everything on this date from getting supplies at Art Friend and food from the different merchants for the picnic basket, to paying for our entry tickets to Gardens By The Bay and dinner at TCC.
As someone who avoids carrying too much cash in my wallet for fear of losing or spending it all, I was glad to just evade keying my PIN in the NETS machine every single time I had to make a purchase. You’ll even be completely covered if you ever forget to bring your wallet with you out of the house since the only thing you’ll need is your mobile phone!
Think of it as a virtual wallet - NETSPay stores your ATM bankcard information securely in your mobile application, letting you make zippy, secure cashless payments anywhere you go! If you’re holding onto to an android phone, simply activate the NFC mode on your phone to tap and pay at any NETSPay merchant.
For all other phone models, NETSPay works just by scanning the QR code into the mobile app!
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3! Download the NETSPay app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, register & enter your bank card details, and you’re ready to tap or scan your way through any date! To know if your favourite haunts accept NETSPay, you can just look out for the acceptance decals that are attached on NETS Terminals or, you can ask the trained staff for help!
Just look out for the “Scan to Pay” NETSPay merchant sign above!
With over 30,000 touchpoints from retail and F&B outlets to cinemas like Cathay and even hawker centres like Yishun Park Hawker Centre and Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Centre scattered across the island, you’ll never have to fumble for loose change or struggle with having no hands in any situation.
This post was brought to you by NETS.