I am standing outside the bar in Tokyo. Feeling a bit stupid. It's too late to go back now. John has already gone inside, 3 minutes have passed, and now I need to go in too.
Flash back 15 minutes earlier. John, who has really liked my idea of giving challenges to people, gave me one:
J: Evie, I challenge you
E: Yeah? I don't care, I am ready to do anything, ANYTHING
J: We are going to a bar, walk in at an interval of 3 mins from each other, and pretend not to know each other. The first one who manages to speak to someone wins.
E: Eeeeeeeekkkkkk no no no, walking into a bar alone is my pet phobia.
J: Tough! Besides, you will not be alone, I will be there, pretending not to know you.
Initially I kept saying no but then John said I was a whimp, and that living a life without challenging oneself was pointeless (MY line!) etc etc. So I started to feel like a whimp indeed and I gave in..
So, we chose a posh expat style of bar. I walked in. The maitre d' guy immediately greeted me and inquired how many people were in my party. I was too embarassed to say one, so said "one for now but my friends are joining me later" (all this while being bright red from embarassment).
The layout was not ideal, there was a large bar, and then a whole lot of cosy little sets with low tables and comfy chairs, where people were huddled, mostly in couples. Nice.
I was led to the bar, which I felt was very reassuring, because sitting there alone was a bit less stupid than at a cosy table and sofas set.
And actually, the guy sitting next to me at the bar was... John. I started to laugh a bit but the muppet pretended not to know me and paid me no attention. I stiffled my giggles, and asked in a very at-easy-posh-I-have-no-problem-being-here-on-my-own voice for a cocktail menu from the barman. After ordering my drink, I started to feel self conscious, so fidgeted with my bag to find some cigarettes.
And then I thought this is stupid, call me a whimp, but there is no way I am going to walk up to one of those cosy coupled up tables and talk to them. So I turned around to John and said:
- Excuse me, do you have a light please?
- No, sorry
- Ok the shit show is over
- Pardon me? I don't know you, what did you say?
- Come on John, let's cut the crap. Besides, I won
- What do you mean you won Evie, you have been giggling here on your own, and the only person you spoke to, aside from the barman, is me, to ask for a light.
- Exactly. The challenge was "the first one to speak to someone wins". You are someone. I spoke to you first. I win.