The Shanghai Expat

Date and location of meeting: July 2015, Tokyo

What I wore: White t-shirt, brown suede miniskirt, H&M clog heels

What he wore: Button up shirt, slim jeans, pointy shoes

I matched with the Shanghai Expat on my last night in Tokyo during my July trip to Japan. It was a Saturday night, and I had actually arranged plans with another guy from Tinder already, when Shanghai Expat messaged me. I don’t know why, but it seems like all the guys I ever meet from Tinder are Eurasian (no complaints there though). Shanghai Expat was in his mid 30’s, half Japanese half British and had just arrived back in Tokyo that day from years of expat life in Shanghai. When he commented on my food blog, I was pleased that he had done such a thorough stalk of my Tinder and Instagram- the super interested guys that border on stalkers are just so appealing to me. In addition to that, he was just my type, so I cancelled my other Tinder date and got ready to meet him in Roppongi, at R2 Supper Club.

When I got to R2, Shanghai Expat messaged me and said that he was in the corner. When your online date wants to meet in a dark corner of the bar, this is not a good sign. I did a lap of the bar hoping that Shanghai Expat was the good looking Eurasian I had been eyeing, but alas, he was in the other corner. As soon as I saw him, I knew I had made a big mistake. Shanghai Expat looked at least 4 years older than his photos. He had a British accent, which I didn’t like. He also had a habit of shifting his eyes around the bar and not making eye contact. After making brief introductions, we talked about ourselves and what we were doing in Tokyo. I honestly had a vague fear that Whisky Tinder and Shanghai Expat were friends or knew each other. There were just too many similarities, both around the same age, both Eurasian, and had both grown up in Tokyo and attended international school there. I knew that Whisky Tinder’s best friends were in Tokyo at that time. To this day, I still haven’t ruled out the possibility that they know each other.

Shanghai Expat had just arrived back in Tokyo after a 5 year stint working in Shanghai. He’d grown up in Tokyo and had attended international school there, and worked in some sort of securities. After grabbing one drink at R2, we discussed the clientele and how it was a popular spot for pros to pick up. Shanghai Expat and I decided to go bar hopping in Roppongi that night, and he took me to a myriad of dirty looking places where it seemed like I was the youngest person. Shanghai Expat said that I was ‘the first girl he’d met on Tinder’, and asked me if it was true that Tinder was a ‘hookup app’.

I didn’t know what to say to this because if I said yes, that might make it seem like I was saying yes to a hookup with him. So I said ‘well, in Western countries it’s known as a hookup app, but in Japan people use it for many different things.’ We then began discussing how Japanese girls don’t seem to know what Tinder is for, and even Japanese men for that matter. Many people seem to think it’s a way to get free English lessons (they’re not wrong either).

While we were walking down the street, Shanghai Expat said that even though he just got back to Tokyo that day ‘you’re super cute and I would have been a fool not to take you out’. That was the nicest thing that anyone had said to me in awhile. It was my last night in Tokyo until I don’t know when, and there was no chance that I was going to hook up with Shanghai Expat, so I texted my other Eurasian male friend who also happened to be in Roppongi and met up with him. As Shanghai Expat and my other friend were both half Japanese, they got along well and even chatted more than me.

At the last bar that we went to, Shanghai Expat got a round of drinks, and as he handed it to me, I saw him playing with the straw. I began to get worried that he might spike my drink, but he hadn’t seemed like someone who would do that, plus my friend was in the same bar so I figured he would take care of me if anything happened. Not wanting to appear like I suspected him of spiking my drink, I drank the drink anyway and figured if anything happened to me, my other friend would take care of me.

Shortly after that, my friend and I began to properly catch up and Shanghai Expat must have gotten the idea that no one was going to hook up, and so he left, with a wave goodbye.

2 thoughts on “The Shanghai Expat

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