That night on Santana Row

So I had been home for at least 7 days straight now, besides going out for the obligatory Tuesday evening dinner. Now this can be considered awesome. Working from home with only three destinations to really be bothered about - the bed, the desk, and the kitchen. Okay, maybe occasional trips to the bathroom. However, things can get a little awry quickly. Like running mad from all the monotony. It doesn’t help matters that I live in a secluded part of town.

A couple of weeks back, while in a little conversation with the lady driving the uber I was in, I asked about what fun stuff to do in town and she mentioned this outdoor mall in San Jose with a number of bars and outdoor happenings in the evenings. This sounded great. Afterall, It’s high time I started making friends around here. Ope and I decided to head there last night. The plan was simple - relax, have fun, and knock ourselves out. Below is a story of how we did exactly that.

Early spoiler: I danced.

Wait what? I danced? I’m surprised myself. When we got off the uber, we took random strolls, walked past a little open air performance, continued a conversation we had earlier on social mobility and what not, and then wandered into the first bar we saw. A long island and a mai tai after, we decided to go somewhere else. The night was still young and we would be doing ourselves a disservice letting that place form our definition of the Row. The kind uber driver who told us of this place mentioned somewhere called Vbar and encouraged us to try it out. She must have had fun times in her youth, and I’m thankful for that. We inched towards Hotel Valencia whose rooftop served as the bar’s home. Unfortunately, there was a crowd on the pavement, and a couple of cops putting up tapes. Welp. Somewhere else then. We went around the corner and came upon Yard House. Ope had read a couple of reviews about it earlier so we happily dived in

Random fact: I drink beer now.

Okay, more like I can stand beer now. I don’t even know how that happened. I tried to taste a friend’s heineken back in Lagos some years ago and I thought it was reminiscent of pee. I never tried again. Until some weeks back. The full induction story is for another day. For now, let’s get back to the fact that I asked for a cherry wheat. I swear there was probably more than 100 beers on tap to choose from. When we were done with our drinks, I was in the mood to go explore more places.

We step out and what did we see? The cops and their tapes were gone. Yes. Let’s do this. We showed our IDs at the door and got into the elevator. Two much older couples rode with us. I was already worried it was going to be mostly much older people. I was wrong, and I like that I was. We headed straight for the bar and took shots to warm up. A couple of people were weird slow jamming on the dancefloor to what was supposed to be EDM. White people are weird. I thought it was still too early to not enjoy the evening to its fullest so I took a break from cocktails and got myself a red bull. We still haven’t made friends yet. We decided to talk to the first black guy to inch his way towards the bar and he turned out to be Nigerian. Ehis. Lol. Okay. According to him, he went to school with the hot bartender who would now be the one to attend to our tab that moment on. She’s half Nigerian, half French, 10/10 hot.

I took my red bull and headed for the dancefloor. Thankfully, some lady who knew what’s up was there as well swaying weirdly to the music and just generally inebriated and ready to dance. She came up to me. Here’s the thing. I’m not a good dancer. In fact, I don’t know any moves. However, seeing white people dance without giving a flying fuck as to whether their motions make any form of sense boosted my dance-fu. Next thing, I was giving them. We got joined by another couple, and another couple, and another couple, and the floor was basically lit. Opemipo was there too, all smiles and stuff and trying to tone down his dance skills to not outdo us learners.

Okay now that we have the knowledge of fact that I danced over with, let’s get back to the people we met. Weirdest of all was some guy who I encountered at the bar at first and was asking me about the accessories in my hair plus teasing me about my choice of drinks. I ran into him much later. Made small talk, and got to know where we both work. He works at Google - network security according to him, but his LinkedIn says business developer. After I told him I work in online payments and showed him our website, I got the strangest straight faced reply - “so you steal money?”. No sir. We facilitate online payments in Nigeria. “You can talk to me. Everyone is here for the hustle. I’m cool. I’m not a cop.” and proceeded to show me a wrap of wait for it… cocaine that he had in his jacket. No please! Not sure why but he asked that we exchange contacts and we ended up exchanging everything with the exception of Facebook and Twitter. I’m not kidding. Snapchat was exchanged too. He searched for me on LinkedIn as we were there and when he saw the heading “Cofounder and CTO”, he looked at me, repeated it, and made this knowing look of “Yea right. Nice cover, bro”. At that point, I realised I owed him no explanation whatsoever besides telling him no the multiple number of times he would pause to ask what my “real criminal intent” in the US was. I should be disgusted, but I was amused instead. And while expressing the right emotions could probably lead me to get him fired from his job, I would keep his name private because I am a good guy.

Soon, it was time to leave and we headed out. Just when we thought our share of weird encounters for the night was over, some guys in the elevator invited us to come smoke weed with them around the corner. We bumped fists with them and thanked them for the offer, called our uber, and called it a night.


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