Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Great pick-up lines for smart girls, at the Shangri-la Rasa Ria

The beach at the Shangri-la Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu

Last night in Sabah, Malaysia, the Travelife team was sitting around the Tepi Laut restaurant of the lovely Shangri-la Rasa Ria resort, one of the best places to stay in Kota Kinabalu.

It has a fantastic beachfront that stretches for kilometers, great facilities and a completely relaxed feel, especially in their new Ocean Wing (more on my great I-never-want-to-leave-my-room later).

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Meanwhile, the restaurant is open on all sides and just a few meters from the beach, so you can hear the waves roar as you eat; and it’s famous for its sumptuous "Makan Street" Malaysian buffet dinners, which recreates the atmosphere and feel of Malaysia's famous hawker food stalls.

The Shangri-la Rasa Ria set up the restaurant so that each counter resembles a hawker food stall and you can walk around and choose from a huge variety of flavors of Malaysia – from local spicy noodles and all kinds of vegetable dishes to roast duck and curries.

Everything was so good that we ate so much and lingered over the table, enjoying the weather, listening to the musicians and talking.


It was our last night in Kota Kinabalu and work was done for the day – or rather for the week – so we were pretty much in relax mode, just sitting around till late talking and joking around. Travelife team members who travelife with me on one of our trips know that Travelife team trips are all about intense work but also about the luxurious life.

It can be tough, especially as I like things quick and focused – “you need to be quick and laser sharp and you can never have a moment when your eye’s not on the ball,” as someone who’s travelifed with me has described the experience of working as part of the Travelife team on a trip abroad, once said.

However it’s also fun and an experience for the books. We’re laughing a lot but we’re working as hard as you can imagine. “Travelife is addicting,” one of my team members told me today. "I love the way we travel."


Well, we travel the way I always travel. That means a not too hectic schedule, great hotels, good food, lots of culture, a little shopping time, and also enough time to savor the joys of the destination after work is done. We also take pains to avoid the tourist traps in favor of real cultural experiences.

I plan each and every Travelife team trip, choosing the places to stay, eat and visit. After all, after traveling so much, I pretty much have logistics down to a science so that our trips are all pretty unique and interesting and also seamless and efficient all the way.

No long airport waits, no meaningless driving around, no crazy routes that take you in circles, no stops in places with not much to see.

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Anyway, last night, we started talking about personal and non-travel things over dinner. We do this a lot but usually I just listen and laugh as I'm a pretty private person. Yup, I write about a Travelife a lot in this blog, but what you read here is for public consumption; the really private stuff doesn't usually make it to these pages.

When I'm on a Travelife team trip, I also usually don’t do much of the talking about stuff like life and love because my mind is only on one thing: the task at hand. It's easy to write a typical travel piece about a destination; but it's hard if you really want to capture its soul. You really have to concentrate and use all your senses.


But last night, the evening was fine, we’d had a great dinner, at the Shangri-la Rasa Ria and it was time to relax. Some of the guys were talking about life and love and one of them suddenly said: “I want to go out with a smart girl.”

That prompted me to say something -- probably the very first time I spoke up last night. I teased him: “Be careful. Smart girls are difficult.”

They all looked at me, and the guy who wanted a smart girl said: “Are they really?”

I replied: “Of course they are. Smart girls are more complicated because they have more needs and expectations.” At least this is what I think.

Another guy asked: “So who do smart girls end up with if they’re so complicated?”

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I smiled, and I just couldn’t resist replying, rather teasingly but also truthfully: “The really smart girls will choose guys who will put up with them.

There was only one other girl at the table at that time because the others had gone on to do some nocturnal animal watching in the conservation area nearby.

She thought for a moment and then said: “My god, that’s so true.” So this back and forth went on for a while and we were all really enjoying it.


Then the conversation turned to the greatest pick-up lines guys use. I can’t remember all of them but I was certainly laughing a lot, listening to these guys reveal their pick-up lines.

One of the guys had been thinking of great pick-up lines all week while riding the van in Kota Kinabalu, and he had us all in stitches with his one-liners.

Then the guy seated next to me said to me: “I’m going to ask you some questions and just answer them with the first things that come to your mind.”


Wow. I usually ask the questions on a Travelife team trip, and no one really asks me personal questions. But for some reason, I was in a good mood last night so I said okay.


He said: “Think about an area as far as your eye can see. If you had to put a box in this area, how big would the box be?” That was easy. I replied: “As big as the area.”

He asked again: “What’s your box made of?” I replied: “It’s fiberglass and opaque.”


He then asked: "If you have flowers inside this box, what kind are they? Are they just one kind or all kinds of flowers? And where would you put them inside this box?"

I thought for awhile on this one. Then I said: "They'd all be roses and they'd be in a bunch in the center of the room."

He asked: "If you had a staircase in this box, how high would it go and what kind would it be?" I replied: "It would go as high as the roof of the box and it would be a normal staircase."

He finally asked: "If you had a horse, where would you put it in the box?" I immediately replied: "The horse would be outside the box." Yes, I can't think of a horse inside a box, for some reason.


He said: "The horse has to be in the box. Just think that the d--mn horse is in the box. Now where would he be and what kind of horse would he be?"

I had to think about this one. I really preferred the horse outside the box or in a pasture nearby. But anyway, as everyone was now listening intently, I said: "Well, he would be waiting on one side. And he would be strong, kind and patient."

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He looked thoughtfully at me. So now it was my turn to ask: "Now what was that all about?"

He answered: "Just a psychoanalysis of you." Then he proceeded to give me his interpretation. I can't tell you what he said.


But afterwards I laughingly told him: "This, is a great pick-up line. It'll give you tons of things to talk about with that smart girl you're looking for. You can start the conversation with all these questions and she'll be so intrigued with your analysis that you'll end up talking long enough to get her phone number in the end. You've got to use this next time."

And with this, the whole table erupted in laughter and it was time to reluctantly call it a night. Just another evening in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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