I received an unusual text message “This is X. I saw your number on CouchSurfing. I’m looking for company tonight. Want to meet and party?”
I wasn’t sure what to think. Yes, I had posted my number on my Couchsurfing profile but didn’t really expect anyone to contact me without first emailing me through the site. So this was kinda weird. So weird, that I knew I should say yes.
Before I started working on cruise ships, I would assume that most invitations from women were platonic unless stated otherwise. I’m just used to having lots more female friends than male friends. I think it’s because they smell nicer. Anyway, when I first started working on ships and if a girl invited herself over to my cabin to watch a movie at 2 am when the crew bar closed, I assumed it was because of my excellent selection of new release movies.
Since working on ships, I now assume that everyone really just wants to have sex. (If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, sex is a much more important need than watching Hollywood blockbusters)
But wait, I wasn’t even sure if this was a guy or girl. So I called the number. The person on the other side did sound somewhat female so I agreed to meet her. Wait, was this a date? I was meeting a girl for drinks and dancing. It sounded like a date. Yes, I know Couchsurfing is not a dating site but you know what, Couchsurfing is not a cooking site either but people still sometimes end up cooking.
Now, the only problem is I had no idea what this girl looked like or anything at all about her. What if she was hideous? Seeing that it’s Riga, that’s highly improbable. What if she was boring? I guess I could just drink more until she became interesting. But what if this was some elaborate ploy by the Russian mafia where attractive girls contact naive foreign men on social networks, take them out drinking and dancing, while their cards are cloned and bank accounts depleted? (There’s actually a scam going around in Riga where gorgeous girls invite foreigners on the street to go to clubs with them. When they get their bill at the end of the night, they find out that the drinks they bought the girls had cost hundreds.)
I was convinced that this girl had a scam going. Despite having hosted over a hundred strangers over the years, I generally have trust issues when it comes to women. I think it goes back to when I was 7 and a girl named Karen who I had a crush on, borrowed my blue crayon but never gave it back. My mum warned me after that, that women are dangerous and should never be trusted. She herself was a primary school teacher, and would periodically bring up anecdotes of naughty girls who had manipulated naive boys to do their evil bidding. I never saw that blue crayon again. I had to settle for purple which just doesn’t look right when you’re trying to draw an ocean.
Anyway, I was curious and still wanted to meet this girl. I decided to remove my bank cards and ID from my wallet and carry just enough money for the night. I headed to the meeting point and met X. She seemed normal enough but I made sure to check periodically that I hadn’t been pick-pocketed. We went to a bar and had a few drinks. Then some dancing. Then more drinks because we realized that we were kind of bored of each other (she didn’t really know how to dance). Then a friend called me and I promptly invited him to join us. Then she called a friend of hers and invited him to join us too. The blind date had evolved into a 3 guy, 1 girl outing.
Finally, I announced that I was tired and was going home, leaving my friend with the other two. It was more boring than bizzare but at least I still had my wallet with me.