“Dude! You haven’t tried Tan Tan?!” Tim yelled over the bar’s music.
“Umm, no? Should I have?” Nelson responded without trying to be heard as clearly, perhaps due to the embarrassment that Tim was apparently trying to make him feel of having missed out on whatever Tan Tan was.
“It’s like Tinder, but for here.” Tim drunkenly gestured around the bar, but Nelson knew he meant China.
“Got it… cool. You know I’m not looking to date really? Right?” Nelson answered him, knowing full well what Tim’s response would be.
“Who said anything about dating?” Tim smiled.
“Well, I’ve never been the super casual type, and I just broke up before I got here…”
“Look!” Tim continued, pulling out his phone and opening the app. “I just swipe right on alllllll of them!” He demonstrated by madly swiping right.
“I just want to focus on work and relax you know? Dating complicates things.” Nelson responded, watching Tim madly swipe at all the girl’s pictures.”
“Look, I’ve already been matched with like ten of them!” He held up his phone a bit too close to Tim who had to move it back to see. “Just try it, man! You don’t have to date them just meet them.” He winked implying ‘meet’ might mean another word.
“Ok ok, I’ll check it out later. Tonight, let’s just drink!” Nelson raised his bottle of Qingdao and Tim raised his as they downed another drink.
“Now that! I can get behind! Whooo!”
By the time he got home and had drunkenly pulled off his clothes, Nelson found is hard to sleep. He pulled out his phone and searched for the app, more out of idle curiosity. Setting his name and a recent profile picture, went right to swiping. More carefully than Tim, but in his current state, he soon faded into a haze of sleep.
Nelson was late for work! Jumping out of bed, promptly sent him falling back down into it. This is what you get for drinking on a Sunday night. He thought to himself, getting out of bed slower this time and grabbing some Ibprofin he had brought with him from the States. He knew he was late, but nature was calling. Checking his phone, he found that he had several matches from last night. Carefully curating his answers, he settled on appropriate mixes of winky faces. In the back of his mind, he wondered if Tim frequently sent dink pics, the guy was a tool but a good friend.
Pulling on the rest of his clothes Nelson made his way out of his shared three bedroom apartment, all of his roommates seemed gone by now it seems, and off to work himself. At least the subway was less cramped than average due to the late hour of his departure.
Work was hell, teaching kindergartners was not Nelson’s forte but it paid the bills. Add a hangover and it was worse than hell. Somehow he made it through and swiping on Tan Tan while checking in with the girls he messaged slowly became an addictive distraction between classes. By the end of the day, he already had several dates lined up.
Just don’t overthink it, reminded himself.
To be continued…
[note: I started writing this morning but I got interrupted then forgot I didn’t publish it! Still, 30 mins to go today though so just in time!!!]