Meet the sky-diving, wakeboarding Star Wars fanatic!
He’s an extreme sport athlete, but takes refuge at Disneyland. He is a native Frenchman, but prefers hanging out with his American friends. He runs the Peak every other day, but is okay with someone who doesn’t share his love for intense activities. Who is this guy? He’s our new That Bachelor, Paul Vergé! If you think he’s as fab and funny as we do, fill out the survey at the end of the article and see if you two end up a match!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Paul Vergé and I’m 31. I grew up in Bordeaux, France. In 2010, I made the big leap to Paris for my first job before taking a life changing opportunity to move to HK.
What brought you to Hong Kong? How long have you lived here?
My mentor at work told me to leave France as soon as possible to discover the world. I trusted him blindly. It turned out to be the best decision I’ve made. I moved here with a six-month contract. That was more than six years ago now.
Your friend Alexandra is the one who signed you up for this. This is how she described you:
“While you’re probably still in bed hitting snooze, you will find Paul soaking up the Hong Kong skyline from the top of the Peak or getting wet ’n’ wild wakeboarding at Tai Tam. He is a Cello playing, classical music enthusiast who would save the day should you find yourself faced with a “Disney” or “Star Wars” theme at Trivia night. Although he has a tendency to jump out of planes on a regular basis, Paul loves nothing more than catching up and chilling out over a few beers with his friends. Absolutely the most optimistic Frenchman, all-round nice guy and always a gentlemen, there is never a dull moment when he’s around.”
That’s a pretty awesome reference from a friend! Why aren’t you two dating?
(He laughs). Yeah, well, I don’t know!
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?
Learning to play the cello at 29 with minimum prior musical education. I’m genuinely passionate about music. I like it, I love it, I cherish it. During the first two years I was playing so badly, I was close to quitting almost every day – out of respect for the genius composers, of whose work I was offending. Then out of nowhere, a couple of notes started to sound right. Then, one phrase and two. Ultimately I could play a short song, to the point where I performed my first small concert last year for my friends. That was a great moment.
What do you like to do for fun?
The list is endless and diverse. Waking at 5am to go wakeboarding with friends is always a great way to start the day. I love to run! I usually end my day running to the top of the Peak, late at night, to enjoy the best views of the city. Actually, I love most extreme sports whether it’s skydiving, free diving or skiing. Don’t worry, it’s not all [about] activities. On a bad weather day in HK I love to chill out and watch two or three Star Wars or Disney movies in a row. That, and eating non-stop! Most importantly, spending time with my small group of friends, no matter what we do. They get my sense of humour and respect my speed and efficiency of finding the perfect Internet meme at any opportune – or inopportune – moment. We’ve actually reached the point where we’re more family than friends. The most random night can become legendary so easily with them. Oh, and Disneyland, I love Disneyland!
What’s up with your Disneyland obsession?
I love it there. I will often just go there and spend the day by myself. I turn my phone off completely. It’s a great way to unwind.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Hawaii in 2008. When I was studying engineering in France, my best friend called me saying he had an internship at the University of Manoa. Long story short, a few weeks later we were living in Hawaii, drinking fresh coconuts straight from the tree and playing volleyball six hours a day. It was an amazing experience! While there, I discovered that you don’t need much in life to be a happy and kind person – something that has always stayed with me. A big shout out to my friends there, if they end up reading this! Love you guys.
So… why are you single?
A combination of things. The right time hasn’t come yet, or the right girl. Probably a couple of bad decisions. We live a fast life in Hong Kong, so until now, haven’t stopped to think about “finding the right girl.” I’m so happy to live each day as it comes, so I might not have realised I missed some great opportunities to find someone to share this amazing life with. I guess that’s why I’m here.
What are the top three things you look for in a girl?
I don’t like making these kinds of lists. The only thing all the girls I’ve loved in the past have in common is that they are totally different from one another. I’m convinced the next girl I’ll fall for will be totally different to what I expect right now. But that’s great; I like to be surprised.
What are your thoughts on dating apps?
Fun at first, then [they] get boring fast.
How do you analyse a girl’s Tinder profile before swiping right?
Funny or cool pictures – a sense of humour is always good. I’m also happy when I see a lot of interests in common.
Do you feel like there’s a difference in the dating scene between here and when you were in your home country?
[It’s] totally different. Especially at my age, most of my friends in Bordeaux are married, they have kids and own their own houses. Some of them are even divorced already! Here, it seems that most people agree to live like there’s no tomorrow.
Would you say you’ve ruffled any feathers here in HK?
Probably. My apologies if I have.
What’s the worst thing you think you’ve done on a date?
This is embarrassing, but once I got so drunk I didn’t remember anything my date told me. Don’t worry, that will not happen again!
What would you consider to be a great first date?
An unexpected one, where I learn a lot about my date and I am surprised by her. The usual dinner and drinks combo bores me to death. It’s almost a job interview. You know the questions in advance and have answers ready. Take someone for a run or on a hike instead. They will be so tired they will eventually show a bit of who they truly are.
What is your go-to first date outfit?
Hopefully she likes wakeboarding, so I can show off my collection of beautiful board shorts.
When you’re on a first date, what’s a deal breaker?
If they are spending a lot of time on their phone, then they’re not really present. It’s a total buzz kill.
What would you say automatically puts a girl in the “friend zone”?
If it’s my mate’s girl! Never break the bro code.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Natalie Portman. She is not only beautiful and super smart, but best of all, she was in Star Wars!
Who is your favourite musical artist?
On average, I listen to music more than five hours a day so I can’t [have] only one favourite. But, under torture, I’d narrow the list down to Mozart and Daft Punk.
“L’etranger” by Albert Camus is not far behind any Game of Thrones books.
Favourite quote (and by whom)?
“To be a person is to have a story to tell.” Isak Dinesen
Tell us about your family.
My parents live in Bordeaux. I’m lucky to still to have them both. I’m also close with my aunt, who I spent a huge amount of time with when I was a kid. I have a younger brother living with his awesome girlfriend in Paris. He just started a company building unique, high-end furniture with a long-time friend. I’m really proud of the passion he displays and the hard work he puts in every day, to make his dream a reality.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Probably somewhere I haven’t even heard of, living an opportunity I don’t even know about yet. Hopefully playing cello for my wife and, maybe, kid(s)?
What’s your biggest fear?
Being unhappy. And bees. Being unhappy because I was stung by bees! Or maybe that the girl of my dreams is out there, but too busy to read this article.
Know an eligible guy who can be our next That Bachelor? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about him!
Sassy would like to thank Aberdeen Street Social for its generous hospitality.
Aberdeen Street Social, G/F, JPC, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central, Hong Kong
Thanks to the extremely talented Hong Kong Portrait photographer Ali Ghorbani of Ali G Studios for all the photos. Follow him on Instagram @aligphoto and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AliGStudio