Meeting Strangers

10 Things I Like about You Pt 2: Meeting Strangers

Ah, yes. Yet another techie option. However, this one actually involves meeting real people. There are quite a few of them floating out there. Your first reaction is probably the same as mine. These are some souped up, well decorated dating Web site and perhaps a 10 foot distance is too close to be to it. If I was a purist, I should sit in a hostel bar and talk to backpackers and other nomads. But what the who, I am a child of the 21st Century and what not, so I hit the sign up button.

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I stuck with Meetup.com. Simple, no personal info required and no one wanting a testimony about how I met my one true love. Ka-ching! Stuff’s pretty simple, you indicate your interests and off you go. I connected with one about meeting international people in Singapore. It was a huge group so I figured that I could get lost in the crowd.

After several sessions of talking myself into not going, I finally got around to attending an event. Feeling socially awkward, I had the stand-at-the-corner-and-pretend-the-person-I-am-meeting-is-on-the-phone moment. Yup, got to love technology.

Thank goodness the event was for people who were Meetup noobs and they kindly singled us out with a gold star to encourage people to take us under their social wing. Which helped. As did the glass of wine that the event included.

photo courtesy of Meetup.com. Too dark and felt like a creep if I took photos...

photo courtesy of Meetup.com. It was too dim at the event and felt like a creep if I took photos…

By the end of the night I had learnt where in Little India to buy spices to make a mouth-watering lechon (Cuban roast pork that is a little piece of heaven), figured out how to travel though South America from a Russian interior designer and argued extensively with the bartender about how Barton’s gin shouldn’t be anywhere that served $15 beer. (that stuff tastes like rubbing alcohol).

All in all, not a bad night.

Simple takeaways:

  • It’s a nice way to meet people if talking to them online is not your thing
  • You got to put yourself out there and actually talk. People are generally pretty nice.
  • Even if you don’t attend, the locations that the groups meet at are a nice travel itinerary. No one wants to meet at a terrible venue.
  • People might still hit on you but I didn’t say you couldn’t hit them (okay, please don’t actually. I feel there is some kind of liability involved in saying that)

Side note: Couchsurfing.com is also a good option. Checking it out and I’ll let you guys know 🙂

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