“You’ll never forget my name” – Noel Gallagher.
Back in 2004 as a student at Bournemouth University, in England, I went to a “Speed Dating night” with my friends Lock in Lee, Mad Mike and Jody. At the time, reality events and TV shows were all the rage, I appeared in two mini versions of “Big Brother” around that era. I never wrote about that Speed Dating adventure on this platform’s previous outlet, Don’t Stop Living, but I did cover the Lock In (fake Big Brother) on there. Speed dating was new at the time. It was a fad and so as four single guys at the time, we jumped on board. The biggest shock for me, was when I turned up to that event (in March 2004), my ex girlfriend was one of the girls. Mad Mike got a date out of it and well, it was just another night on the journey. A dot on my globe.
“Oh maybe, maybe it’s the times we’ve had, The lazy days and the crazes and the fads. Maybe it’s our sweetness” – Suede.
Fast forward 13 years, February 2017 and I found myself in a Warsaw winter with lots of new friends and invites to events coming thick and fast, notably be being a member of certain Facebook groups and my online PR of this new project, Northern Irishman in Poland. After a 13 year absence, I heard about a Speed Dating night in Warsaw, in English not Polish, so I put myself down for it, it was seen on Facebook on Warsaw Social, Professionals in Warsaw and Warsaw Social Website. Part of me was selfishly going so that I could write about it for my Dziwaczne Odkrycia series on this new website. I thought it would make an interesting story for my new blog and for my readers. But actually, what is “speed dating”? It’s not a quick kiss, a quick date or a fling. It’s much more intelligent and co-ordinated than that. I was single again, something I really don’t cope well with anymore. I hate it, so this was another chance of ensuring dates for a night.
What is Speed Dating?
First of all a quick oversight into Speed Dating, not a new phenomenom of course as you know I went to one in 2004. You get a group of girls and a group of guys together. Normally they are all single. Normally the girls are seated at tables with one spare seat. Say for example 15 girls at 15 tables with 15 spare seats.
Separately, guys wait in another room (in this case, guys arrive at the venue 10 minutes later than the girls – so the girls are all already seated when we get there and we don’t see them coming in). The guys are each given a number, and so are the girls. The 15 guys are then assigned the seat of their first “date”. You walk into the room and sit in that seat opposite your first “date”. The “speed date” lasts 4 minutes with each person. You get 4 minutes to chat about anything you want, then the organiser blows a whistle or announces, it’s time for the next “date”. You then get up and move to the next table. Repeat this until all 15 girls have had a 4 minute date with all 15 guys. The dates are so fast that there is no time to buy them drinks, food etc. You can take in flowers, chocolates or gifts if you really want. But I didn’t see that happening. It’s more of a quick chat. Tonight’s one is held centrally in Warsaw, I remembered the 2004 one was in Bournemouth’s “Klute” Bar. Tonight I alight at Metro Centrum and bang opposite that famous building, the one that inspired my personal tune on “Stalin’s reign“.
A friendly reminder that you reserve a seat at the Warsaw Social speed dating event tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe. We have a private quite room. We kindly ask that the female participants to arrive between 8:20pm and 8:30pm. You will be seated and given a number tag and a form to make notes on. We ask the male participants to arrive between 8:30pm and 8:40pm. We will then seat one male per table starting from 8:40pm. If you can’t make it then PLEASE let us know because it is unfair on the person that will have to sit without a date.
Hard Rock Cafe, Warsaw
I arrived at 8.40 pm at the swanky Hard Rock Cafe in Warsaw. I sign in to register with Robert, the organiser, from England, we are given our numbers, pens and pieces of paper, and the dates began.
I dated 13 girls in about an hour, for 4 minutes each. On this evening, the girls came from Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Poland, USA, Canada, Russia and Ukraine. You don’t have too much time to “impress” them but you ask them as much as you can in 4 quick minutes and also talk a bit about yourself. Each date you have you can then mark an “x” on your page if you think you would like to meet them again. I also wrote their names and nationalities so I could remember them – you can take a photo of the sheet if you like (I did this mostly so I can write about it and show it to you all) but you don’t get to keep the sheet.
I marked quite a few “x”s on this occasion but to protect the identity of the girls, I won’t say which ones I ticked and which I didn’t. Here is my “blue box of mystery” 😉
After that, the evening ends and we are back out into the open air of a Warsaw evening. Then you simply wait a few days to see if any of the girls you “ticked” also ticked you. If they did, both parties are given each other’s email addresses and it is up to you if you want to contact them. I did get some matches on that evening, but as yet none of us have been in touch. I think I will get in touch with these girls when I have more time, next week perhaps after my tour to Łódź.
It was a great evening and a cool experience. I recommend it to any single people in Warsaw. Thanks to Warsaw Social for organising! Here is a video I made on route to the event: