This one is a blind date. A mutual friend told her about the challenge and she thought it was a cool idea. I texted her and we set up a date at the Ethiopian place I like.
This is the first time I meet a total stranger for dinner.
I am running late for my date and while I am heading down the stairs to get to my bike, I trip and lose my balance. My forearm impacts on a 90 degree corner of pure concrete, with my full weight behind it. I check for damage and everything seems to still work, my arm just hurts like hell. Good thing I have a leather jacket on. Now my arm is bruised and I am still late. I just grab the bike and hurry over.
I manage to get to the restaurant in time. My date is already there. We say hi and I tell her about my arm while checking it out to see how bad it is. I have a light cut on my skin and there is some damage to the muscle. It will probably be painful for a while. It could have been a lot worse, I was lucky. She tells me not to worry about showing up with a bruised arm, because she almost showed up with a black eye.
Apparently she got attacked at work earlier today. I tell her that we would have looked awesome together if she had that black eye. With my bruised arm and her bruised face, people would assume we were in an abusive relationship. She smiles at that one. It is good to see that we both can laugh when facing adversity.
We talk about our jobs for a while. It turns out she does not actually work in an underground fight club: she works with adults with a disability, which is more compassionate and only slight less awesome. We talk some more about dating in general and blind dates in particular.
When I meet a new person I always try to find out what they are passionate about. I like hearing people speak about the things they find important. So I inquire about her hobbies and she tells me. She used to do jazz dance, and now goes swimming. She speaks about it without any excitement. When she talks about her job, her eyes do light up. She obviously cares a lot about the work she does. And she should, really. I type stuff into a keyboard for a living. I like what I do and I take pride in my work. It just does not compare to actually helping people in need.
We chat some more in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. We talk about our lives, our passions and our problems. She asks me whether I want kids. I tell her that I do not, although I am not ruling it out if I find the right person.
We talk about our mutual friend, and things we like to do. I tell her about the trip to England, about roleplaying and the art of telling a story in an interesting way. We decide to go for cocktails, but we are both so engrossed in our conversation that we forget to actually get up and leave.
Once again I realize that I am having fun. This challenge was a good idea. I really enjoy getting to know someone and I keep meeting wonderful people. She clearly is a caring person and she has a good sense of humor. That makes sense with the kind of works she does. I can see why my friend thought we would get along well. He was right.
As the time passes, I start to lose her attention. She got up early today, and it is getting late. The stress from getting attacked is probably also taking its toll. She seems exhausted but does not want to leave. I take that as a compliment. I do not want her to leave either. We enjoy our cocktails and each other’s company for a while and eventually call it a night. This was another great evening spent with a lovely woman. I could hardly ask for a better way to prove to myself that I can have fun while being single.
On the way home I realize that I have not actually secured a date for next week yet. I will need to put in some effort and try some new things to keep up with this pace. Once again the challenge is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.
Dinner: Injera sampler plate at the House of Labilela, €21. Ethiopian restaurants traditionally serve Injera as a communal dish, where everyone eats with their hands. The food is tasty food and it is a unique experience. I highly recommend it.
Drinks: Cocktails at Mattiz: €7. Mattiz is a quiet cocktail bar on the Naamsestraat. It has lounge music, plenty of seats and a large selection of cocktails.