As part of Japanese style team-building exercises, the whole lot of us from work went bowling to Lucky Strike. This was maybe my third or fourth time bowling in my entire life so I didn’t feel all that lucky. However, with an open bar I was hoping that my strike rate would improve in proportion to the number of beers I was guzzling down. By the time we finished our practice round and got around to playing an actual tournament with 3 teams, it was time to test my skills of speed and accuracy in relation to my sense of gravity. My team came in a respectable second place, plus I managed not to score the lowest and provided a dramatic finish towards the end of the game: I got my lucky strike! People, welcome the new bowling protégé.
It was almost 4 in the afternoon, nobody was planning on going back to work, so what to do next? Proceed to next watering hole. Fado was the Irish pub down the street with the requisite Guinness on tap and some shady contractors in Hawaiian shirts. But our table was soon haunted by Al, a random guy in a wife beater and ponytail. “Are you from Greece?” he moseyed over to ask me. “Err, yeah, sure,” I said. “How about you?” he asked another colleague. “Oh, I’m from the Seychelles Islands,” she said. “Where is that?” he wanted to know. “Google it. Just Google it,” she said. In the end, Al preferred the attention of another gentleman and got a bit too friendly. "Al kissed me on the cheek at least 7 times," he said.
Our next watering hole was La Tasca where the sangrias flowed just as easily as the beer. It was here that I realized I was on a slow, but irrevocable track, to the land of intoxicated suspension. This is also where some of us finally bonded – alcohol has that affect – and it was surprising to find kindered spirits (pun intended) where one would normally think none existed… By the time we moved to our third watering hole at Zatinya, there was no doubt that the remaining troopers had become a solid team. Mission accomplished. Coming to work the next morning was a whole new story.