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My Weird Date at Fuglen and Yoyogi Park

Before I even got to Tokyo this year, I was really worried that I would be bored or lonely during the transition period, before I found work and signed up for classes. So I was looking for ways to fill my time in those early days.

And one of those things…was entering a dating contest. 

WAIT.

I can explain.

This contest was posted two years ago on a popular otaku website in the hopes of finding one of the staff a girlfriend. I was very familiar with this website, not just because I’m a nerd, but because my editor would occasionally ask me to write stories about those kinds of things in Japan. So this otaku-focused website was a good resource.

Anyway, the contest, as I said, was originally posted two years ago. But then about a year ago, an update was posted about him actually going on a date and how that went for him. It was interesting that someone actually responded to the post in the first place. So I thought, “Oh, maybe they’re still doing that contest?”

And then I had a moment of weakness. I was thinking, my god, should I just embrace my otaku tendencies? Should I stop caring about being cool? Could I be happy living the rest of my life with an outrageously geeky geek??!!

And in that moment of weakness, I hit SEND.

When he actually did get back to me, I was really surprised. Long story short, we made plans to go to Fuglen in Tomigaya. It’s near to the park so we could go for a walk afterwards. I used to live in this area so I already knew this was a genius plan.

PS – I’m having problems with the media and it won’t let me orient landscape, so here is an awkward sideways photo of a paper cup.

When I first saw him, my first thought was: “This person does not look at ALL like his photo.”

First of all, his hair was dyed blond, but obviously a home dye job. He was also way shorter, thinner, younger and smaller than he looked in those old photos. I want to say, he looked like the kid version of his photos. It was strange.

Secondly, he didn’t even buy me a coffee? What kind of contest is this?

I know that in Japan, paying your own way on dates is normal all the time. But I know that he knows that I’m from Canada, and I know that he knows that in North America, the guy always pays for the girl on the first date!

It was not off to to good start. I was still reeling from all these realizations, and couldn’t think of anything to say. I started to think this was a horrible mistake. Maybe I should just leave through the other door AFTER I BUY MY OWN COFFEE??? (Fuglen has two escapes…I mean entrances. Another reason it’s perfect for first dates).

I didn’t though, because I am too timid to do something like that. So I came back and sat down and I can’t remember what we talked about. In broken English and Japanese, I asked about work and anime and music. 

The day before or so, I had picked up this ili translator to borrow, because I thought it would help me. But it turns out it’s not very useful outside of tourist situations. It doesn’t know what a fountain is and you can’t ask student-ish questions like, “How’s my pronunciation?” (I actually did try that lol). So I ended up not using it much.

LOL. Now that I’m posting up these pictures I’m like remembering how I asked him to help me take these. He probably thought I was such a weirdo.

Anyway, we didn’t really have anything in common, and he was also not interested in helping me to learn Japanese AT ALL

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun regardless, and I don’t regret entering the contest.

But…I still asked him not to post anything about it on the English website, and I still feel paranoid when I wear this coat in Tokyo (in case one of the readers recognizes me). Which is hilarious. 

3 comments

  • I’m sorry you had such a bad date but… as a fan of your blog and someone with a disability I’m really, really disappointed to read you using the word “retarded.” I really try to encourage everyone to remove this word from their vocabularies. 🙁

    • Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for reaching out, and thank you for your feedback. I’m very sorry about that 😅 I removed it from the post.

      • I really appreciate that! I know most people don’t mean anything by it but it makes me happy when people really stop and think about it. Thank you so much! <3 <3 Keep up the lovely blog xx

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