Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.



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May 18th, 2015 Posted 7:56 pm

An irrational fear of feet

I’ve been browsing through the personals section on Craigslist fairly regularly since I moved to Montreal. Contrary to popular belief, Craigslist has actually been really good to me over the years. I’ve made lifelong friends and had many enjoyable times that all began with a simple email to someone who posted in the w4m section.

Recently I’d seen a post on Casual Encounters (the section where you go for NSA hookups) from a girl who sounded unusually genuine, saying she’d like to meet someone with the intention of hanging out on a casual, FWB-type basis. I normally steer clear of this part of the website because 95% of the posts are either spam or creepy guys pretending to be girls, but this particular post was worded in such a normal, human-like way that I felt it truly was a girl looking to hook up with a guy for a bit of fun.

I took a chance and emailed her, telling her I was new to Montreal and also looking for a similarly beneficial agreement with someone. I mentioned that I enjoyed travelling, I offered a physical description of myself and I invited her to my favourite Montreal venue for first dates, Cafe des Chats (my local cat cafe).

Hallelujah! She replied back.

Hi Dan. Ok, you partly had me at Australian, the accent is awesome. 🙂 I have never been to Cafe des Chats before. I actually had to google it; I think I’d vaguely read about it online or something because there’s something vaguely familiar about it. Random choice, I like it!

She went on to say she’d lived in New Zealand for a year and spent some time in Australia (including my hometown of Townsville); it was clear I was pretty high up on her hit list. We emailed back & forth and texted a few times and ended up agreeing on a day to meet for coffee & cats. Interestingly, we never even shared photos or spoke on the phone through any of this. I had no idea what she looked like or even if she really was a woman.

We eventually met at Sherbrooke station at our set time and I confirmed: she was indeed a girl! She was in her early 30’s, quite tall, dyed dark red hair, with an athletic kinda build. She could have passed for a swimmer. We got along well over coffee and ended up getting some dinner at a nearby Korean restaurant. It turned out to be quite a successful date, so I asked her to come to the cinema with me the following weekend.

She agreed, and we saw a documentary called Seymour: An Introduction, which told the life story of a famous concert pianist from New York. It was a good doc (like, 10 out of 10 good – you should watch it). I picked well. We journeyed on over to a bar for dinner & drinks, and before we went home we hung out at the park and cuddled a bit. It was nice. I knew by this stage that I wasn’t interested in her in a romantic sense but I was definitely down for sticking one in.

So for our next date of course I invited her over to my place for dinner.

She arrived early on a Friday evening – somehow we had the house to ourself, which is rare for a Friday – and by all accounts the dinner went very well. She was super impressed with the food, which included a pie from Montreal’s very own Australian + NZ pie shop. We watched The Castle after dinner and made our way through a bottle of red. We got a little snuggly during the film which was nice, you know, an arm around each other and holding hands. The movie finished and I invited her to chill out in my room. She agreed.

We got to bed and chatted for a bit but I could tell she wasn’t entirely comfortable. I thought perhaps it was just some initial nerves and she’d come through in a while. We started to make out but again there was something about her that wasn’t quite right. She was laying in a really awkward position… she just couldn’t seem to bring herself to relax. I asked if she was ok and she assured me she was, so we kept at it but still it didn’t feel right cause she was kinda half on the bed and half off the bed. It was so weird & confusing. It was like she didn’t want to disappoint me by admitting that she wasn’t comfortable, you know?

I encouraged her to loosen up, to no avail. Finally, she came clear:

“I can’t relax! I have this psychological block where I’m not able to put my feet on anything I don’t own!”

That’s right, kids: she couldn’t put her feet on my bed because it wasn’t her bed.

Even with stockings on, she still couldn’t bring herself around to it. It was like my duvet was a forcefield, blocking her feet from ever residing on its soothing feathery warmth. She told me that in her previous house, her roommate kept a footrest in front of their sofa, but she could never use it because she didn’t own it – it was owned by her roommate.

Alarm bells rang in my head. Are you serious?

The romance was dying off big time but I tried once more to comfort her by assuring her I had no problem whatsoever with her feet on my bed. And she actually tried – oh how she tried – but the look on her face while she attempted to position her entire body down on my bed from head to toe was terrifying.

I called it off. She was clearly upset at herself because she knew her actions were unreasonable. I was nice about it and laughed it off: ‘forget about it, it’s ok! We can just chill and chat instead’. When really in my mind all I was thinking ‘WHAT THE FUUUUCKKKK JUST HAPPENED?’ She went on to say that she struggles at being affectionate and she has some trust issues, but come on man, why would you post an ad on Craigslist Casual Encounters wanting to meet boys for a causal shag if you can’t even physically handle being on their beds?

God knows what happened to the poor girl in the past that led to her having a phobia of her own feet.

She left half an hour later and we never heard from each other again.


Posted in Blog, Dating

My Tinder experiment


March 6th, 2015 Posted 8:55 pm

Of all the online dating platforms I’ve come across, Tinder (in my opinion) has proven by far to be the most difficult to meet girls on.

For those who may not know what Tinder is, it’s a matchmaking app based almost entirely on the premise of appearance and attractiveness. After you’ve created a profile (photos + a brief description), set a radius (the geographical distance surrounding you where you’d like your matches to be located), and your age/orientation, you’re offered photos of potential suitors who fit your specifications. It is up to you to either swipe their photos to the right if you like the look of them, or swipe to the left if you don’t.

Meanwhile, your own photo is offered to scores of fellow Tinder users and the same logic applies to them: if they like the look of you, they swipe right; if they don’t, they swipe left.

Whenever two people swipe right on each other, they become a ‘match’ and they gain the ability to chat to each other via text. The future of the relationship is entirely down to the conversation that follows. Ultimately, a mutually enjoyable conversation will lead to a real-life meetup, and from there, who knows? Tinder’s penchant for superficiality leads it towards a reputation of being more suited to casual sex & hookups as opposed to meaningful partnerships, although some matches have been known to lead to marriage.

Anyway, I’ve been using Tinder half-heartedly for probably 18 months now. I’ve always maintained a fairly standard profile similar to this one:


TInder Normal Profile


Trouble is, aside from the occasional evil spambot, I hardly ever received any matches. It would often take me a couple of hundred swipes right to finally be paired up with someone willing to chat, and even then the chances of them replying or sustaining any kind of interesting conversation was minimal-to-none. I guessed that a selfie like this ranked as ‘BORING… NEXT!’ on the Tinder factor. If chatting wasn’t difficult enough, the prospect of ever meeting someone though Tinder seemed virtually impossible.

So I had an idea. Why don’t I periodically change my Tinder profile picture to something totally ridiculous to see if I can gain a better reaction and actually chat with some girls?

Read the rest of "My Tinder experiment" »

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Posted in Blog, Dating

Awkward dates (part 2)


October 19th, 2014 Posted 8:19 pm

A while ago I wrote a post called Awkward Dates, where I recounted three scenarios from years gone by that could potentially have led to romance but instead ended up, well, a little awkward and unsuccessful.

Not much has changed over the past 17 months so I figured it was about time I posted an update of two more recent experiences, plus a long-forgotten gem from the past. Bear in mind I’ve chosen to only write about people who I no longer have any form of contact with – believe me, if it wasn’t for that, I’d have enough material to write part 3 as well. Maybe I’ll do that next year.

If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you cast your eyes over my original post first before you continue on here to the second instalment of AWKWARD DATES.

Read the rest of "Awkward dates (part 2)" »



March 16th, 2014 Posted 2:36 am

About a week ago I started talking to a random girl on Craigslist. I didn’t know a thing about her – not even her name, age or what she looked like – but we made plans to meet at the cinema to see a documentary called Tim’s Vermeer. We met, and thankfully she turned out to be a fairly attractive Chinese girl most likely in her early 30’s; a real estate agent with a bubbly, outgoing personality who moved to Toronto with her parents when she was quite young.

Being the gentleman that I am, I bought her the ticket to the movie. She was thankful and promised to pay back the favour by purchasing us both a post-film beverage. We had a small amount of time to chat before the movie started (I thought it went quite well), and the documentary itself ran for around 80 minutes.

The film ended and the credits rolled. But instead of going out for that drink as promised, she pissbolted out of that cinema as quickly as she could, claiming she had to “check on her car” she’d parked on a nearby street. I may have understood her conundrum if it weren’t for the fact she’d told me she lived in an apartment right next door to the cinema. Her story didn’t make much sense. Why would she have driven to the cinema and parked on the street if she resided barely a hundred metres away?

I haven’t heard from her since.

Anyway… I told this story to my French friend Inès at work the next day, and she immediately labeled her as a michtoneuse: a slang French term for a girl who takes advantage of a guy by soliciting him for a date and then getting him to pay for everything.

Read the rest of "Michtoneuse" »

Awkward dates

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May 12th, 2013 Posted 8:07 pm

From the nervousness of the high school prom to the friend-of-a-friend setup; from the cute girl you share a glance with at the bar to the mystery of online romance, dating is something most of us go through with varying degrees of success. It has the ability to induce such a wide range of emotions and outcomes: butterflies, connection, flirtation and lustful embrace, all the way through to boredom, disparity, false advertising and just plain awkwardness. I think we can all agree that some dating experiences are made up of the sweet ingredients you can’t get enough of, whereas others seem to throw the odd sprinkle of pepper into the mixture. It sure is an interesting time to be single and on the market!

I’ve had some brilliant dates over the years but I’ve also had some shockers. I’ve been reminiscing on the latter recently and I came to the realisation that even though a date may not go quite as planned, they’re actually the ones that leave me with the greatest sense of amusement later on down the track. So I decided to share my top three memorable dating scenarios where it’s all gone horribly wrong (for the record, I’m no longer in touch with any of them and no names will be mentioned).

I may not have felt so good about the outcome at the time, but I look back on them all now with a tonne of fondness and I actually hope there are many more wacky encounters like these to come 🙂

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The Cytogeneticist

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February 12th, 2012 Posted 9:51 pm

She lived only a few miles away from him and had spent the majority of her childhood in this southern London district. She was as captivated by his upbringing in a tropical antipodean climate as he was of hers in cold and wintry surroundings. He thought it cute how she named her puppy after Gonzo, the big-nosed blue character from the Muppets, and he loved the way she hinted how they may one day lay beneath warm covers watching romantic films together. Although his interest in said genre was normally lacking, he honestly couldn’t wait to spend such a night in with his newfound flame.

Above all, the most attractive feature he saw in her was that she was studying to be a cytogeneticist.

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