Date Lab: It was off to a good start with roses and gummy bears

August 29
Interviews by Lisa Bonos

Andreas Schwenk, 24, German language instructor, and Veronica Chiu, 24, program coordinator. (Photo courtesy of daters)

She’s a think tanker looking for a European guy who’s “rather cultured” and interested in politics and world affairs. He’s German (check!) and looking for someone “ambitious and passionate” he can have an intellectual conversation with. We sent them to Le Mirch in Dupont Circle.

Andreas: I got there first. I was sitting at a table at the window, towards the street. Every woman passing the restaurant, I thought: Is she gonna to be my blind date?

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Veronica: One of the first things I noticed was that he was wearing a suit jacket, which is always a plus on a date. He was nice, European-looking.

Andreas: Her first name is Veronica, so I thought maybe she is a Latina. Maybe she’s from South America. But she was actually Hawaiian — she was of Chinese origin, which I completely did not expect. But that was a nice surprise.

Veronica: He also had a gift waiting for me, which I was really surprised to find. He had a half-dozen roses and Haribo gummies. I thought that was really sweet. Good to know that chivalry isn’t dead.

Andreas: Since I’m from Germany, I thought I might bring her gummy bears.

Veronica: He told me he was from Germany but went to college in the U.S. and ended up on the East Coast. I’m from Hawaii, and I also moved to the East Coast for school. I went to school in Baltimore, and he [lives] in a [Baltimore suburb].

Andreas: I like professional, independent, ambitious women — and that’s definitely something that I felt from her. That made me feel comfortable because we have the same level, the same kind of ideas that we want to go somewhere in life.

Veronica: At the beginning, I was scared that we were both a little nervous. But then we started talking about foreign policy and our backgrounds, and it got a lot easier.

Andreas: It was a typical D.C. date; it was very professional. [We asked each other:] What do you do? What are your future plans, job-wise?

Veronica: We also talked about our shared interest in joining the foreign service. He seems to be very well-traveled.

Andreas: Because we had so many things in common, it was just a constant flow of us talking.

Veronica: I found the dinner to be pleasant, enjoyable, good conversation. But it felt more like a dinner between new friends.

Andreas: We took about eight pictures for [The Washington Post], and then the restaurant staff ... had us stand in different positions in different areas of the restaurant in different poses.

Veronica: The owner also started taking his own pictures. Afterwards, we picked up our stuff, paid the tab. Then we headed out, and he asked if I wanted to exchange numbers, and I said sure.

Andreas: We hugged when we said goodbye. I offered to take her home, because she lives in the D.C. area, but she took the Metro.

RATE THE DATE

Veronica: A 3.5. I thought he was really nice, and I enjoyed getting to know him, and I think we could be friends.

Andreas: I say 3.5 because we had so many things in common. So I think definitely there will be a follow-up, and who knows where that might lead.

Update

They texted a bit in the days after the date, but when Andreas suggested they meet up for coffee, Veronica declined. “I’m glad to acknowledge, however,” Andreas tells us, “that she mentioned the gummy bears again. She really must have liked them.”

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