Most of the talking was done by the host, Meng Fei, and two co-hosts, Huang Lei (an actor) and Huang Han (a psychology professor), on whether our personalities were compatible.
This might conceivably have something to do with the matchmaker figure in Chinese legend, 月老 (Yuè Lǎo – the old man on the moon), a god who joins couples in marriage.
Suddenly the entire set starts to rotate around me and my insides begin to melt.
I feel like I'm trapped inside a Transformer which has just woken up.
There followed an application and an interview for a TV show.
My chosen date asked me on camera to say 我喜欢你 (Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ – I like you) to her in English.
In my anxiety I said ‘I love you’ – something I honestly never thought I would say on Chinese television to someone I’d just met. The matchmaker is still important in China One of the strangest things about the show was how the contestants (both Chinese and foreign) were given very little time to talk to each other directly.
From the wide-eyed (and occasionally crying) children to the endless requests from strangers to take photos with you in public places, just leaving the flat is often enough to make you feel like a minor celebrity, albeit a slightly uncomfortable one at times.
There isn't always a fairytale ending I have just got back from my free holiday in the Maldives.