Day 13: Thursday
Back to work today, and much the same routine as last week, enlivened only by the bit where I nearly forget my one set of keys and lock myself out of the van. Must get copies cut.
It’s a fairly dull day at work, but at least I can use the work shower to freshen up for my date tonight. I leave it until after work to be as fresh as possible, which also has the advantage that everyone has finished using the shower by then and there’s no chance anyone might come in and snigger at my Star Wars underpants.
On the way back to the van, I take the opportunity to stop at a small Post Office on Mill Road to send those packages I couldn’t get sent yesterday. This takes a surprisingly long time, as there’s only one cashier and he’s stuck arguing with a man trying to register his new car who seems unsure of what the actual registration is – don’t people do this online these days?
I’ve a bit of time to kill before meeting up with Bill, the feller from the app, so I chill out in the van for a bit, listening to music and reading comics. It’s really cool to know I can just step outside and walk into central Cambridge in half an hour or so, without having to pay Cambridge rents!
I walk down Mill Road towards the Eagle, where we’ve agreed to meet for dinner and drinks. Mill Road is my favourite part of Cambridge; it’s the bohemian, hippie end of town, full of weird and interesting shops with a very international feel. You’ll see more cultural and ethnic diversity down this road than anywhere in town – Turkish cafes, Chinese supermarkets, and endless curry places with cuisine from all over Asia. It’s a bit like Camden, without the hype.
I get to the Eagle just before Bill. It’s one of Cambridge’s more famous pubs, very old but best known as the place where Crick and Watson went for a celebratory drink after discovering DNA. They’ve even got a beer honouring this, imaginatively named ‘Eagle DNA’. There’s also the back “RAF bar”, where the candle smudged graffiti of World War 2 pilots on the ceiling has been immortalised by preserving it under lacquer.
It’s a pretty cool place, but that means it’s always heaving with tourists, so we struggle to find a table. That’s cool, we have a pint and a chat, and get on… ok. He’s a likeable enough bloke, but I’m not getting much more than that from him. Eventually we find a table and he pays for dinner, which is nice – there again, I paid for the drinks.
Another drink after dinner, and more chat, but there’s still no real spark between us. Not that that stops us going back to his place for what I believe is referred to these days as “fun”. I’ll leave that part to your imagination…
Would I see him again? Maybe, but it turns out not to really be on the cards anyway. He’s a visiting academic from the University of Kyoto, and he’s off on a plane back to Japan in two days. He says he wouldn’t mind catching up when he’s back next year, so maybe. Or maybe it’s just one of those nice things people feel obliged to say after a nice enough night. Either way, it may not have led to much, but as a first ‘date’ since I split up with my ex, it’s at least restored my confidence that people might be interested in me.