When you step out of comfort zone, adventure happens!
When I first came to the U.S., I was still very conservative in terms of social networking and having fun outside of academic world. One thing that I thought I would never get used to was bar culture ( socializing in a bar setting). I tried wine and cocktails a couple of times, but I'm still not a big fan of alcohols. (Coffee and milk tea are my go-to drinks most of the time).
I still remember that one Friday night during college years, a bunch of friends wanted to go drinking at downtown. As usual, I was very reluctant and not feeling excited about it at all. However, I don't want to be a party bummer, so I still went with them. It was drizzling outside, which added up to my reluctance. What worse was that it was such a last minute idea and I didn't have time to change out my classroom clothes (definitely not party ready.) Almost all the ladies on the bus to downtown were wearing dresses, with cute make-ups and high heels. I was really quiet this whole time and didn't feel the mood of partying or socializing.
After half an hour of sitting on the bus feeling like an outsider, I finally made it to the "drinking street". We first met at this country bar, which had both country and pop music played inside. After each of us got a drink, we started to talk, well more like yelling (yes, it was that loud.) You see this is why I don't prefer to socialize at a bar because my low-volume voice and my Chinese accent already make it hard enough for people to understand me, let alone in a noisy busy bar. However, that night, I decided to be active in the "yelling" conversation, raising up my voice as much as I can. Even though people couldn't get everything I said, at least they can see my efforts of trying through my hand gestures and my animated facial expressions.
Bull-riding was definitely a special thing for the bar we went to. It was fun, exciting, even though just standing by and watching the people doing it. We got really excited when three of our friends got on the bull and attempted to tame the crazy bull. To support them, we were laughing, screaming and taking photos for them. It really lighted up the party mood in some way. Then in the dancing pool, there was a session that everyone could get in and try to learn moves from others. No one was an expert at dancing but being brave enough to show funny dance moves of one's own was just the most hilarious and free spirited thing to do!
More drinking, more bull-riding and more dancing...Everyone just enjoyed their time. Well, we didn't expect that the most exciting thing for that night actually started after the bar closed, when it was pouring so hard outside at 2:30am and everyone in the bar had to get out. We were stopped by the rain and didn't know how to get home since we didn't have our car with us. Someone suggested to call a cab, which was agreed by most of us. And then suddenly a guy suggested to run all the way to the bus station and then go get some late night comfort food when we got to the campus. Ridiculous as it sounded, to our surprise, we actually decided to do it! (yep, running all the way to the bus station as fast as we could) I didn't know if it was the rain or the alcohol (maybe both), that got us so excited. We can't help laughing and screaming as if that was the only thing that kept us going until we made it to the bus stop. After a LONG sweaty run, we finally made it to the station and got on the bus. Everyone was gasping and panting...so hard, so tired, but SO freaking fun!!!
I never thought I would spend a night like this in my life, random, crazy and exciting. Sometimes, it just takes a few seconds to change our mindset to take that risk, and you never know what your day would end up with. It could be a new adventure of the year, a new encounter with someone you wish you've met a long time ago, or maybe the most hilarious/embarrassing/unforgettable moment of your life!