Last Sunday (More than a week ago from this posting) I attended a reddit meetup! Organised by the lovely folks at http://www.reddit.com/r/TriCitiesWA the meet up is an annual chance to meet people of like mind.
The plan for the meeting was to go to the Atomic Bowl at 3 and play a few games. Sounds nice, right? No obligation, eaasy to leave if everyone was a bit weird, and relatively cheap, fun and nearby! No reason not to go.
I decided that, as nobody else in meatspace (real life) wanted to go, that I would cycle the mile or so to the alleys. It was quite a warm day (it always is here) but the warm breeze in my face was nice.
I arrived to the bowling alley, not knowing who to look for, so I just approached a group of twenty-somethings who weren’t a family or bowling team. Bingo. That was them. Tentatively, at first, I said hello to everyone. I’m not going to name names here, just initials as they become relevant. A few of the redditors were PNNL employees, one a postdoc new to town. There were a few transplants, moved here from the east, and a few local boys, born and bred here. R was from New Zealand, and I asked him his thoughts on their recent flag referendum.
After a wee trip to the bar (32oz for $6, I’m told that’s about 2 pints), I was entered into a game of bowling with M, T, Jo and Ja, and let me tell you. Out of the possible points (10 frames of ten pins plus a strike bonus), out of the (more than) 100 pins, I didn’t even make it to 40. But I wasn’t here to bowl. I was here to meet people. People like Jo, who had been in town for about a year, and was a web developer, or a programmer, or something like that.
The rest of the group, excluding B, all seemed to know each other. It sounds like they tend to go out together regularly, to pub quizzes, or karaoke. (I have to go to kararoke with relative strangers. It’s so much fun). But nevertheless, everyone was welcoming, encouraging, and good chat.
The second game finished about an hour later, and I managed to not lose! I beat T. I was so proud of that! And only a little ashamed. Pardon the awful picture.
After the game finished, we toyed with plans of food and a drink. McKays? the Emerald? In the end, we settled on Kimo’s in Kennewick. I came over on my bike, and Kennewick was too far to cycle, and on busy roads. And besides, it was too hot out to ride that far. But R stepped up. He said that he had a truck that my bike could go in the back of. So with that, we went to Kennewick.
We all had a drink (or two) and most of us had a meal (my ‘steak fries’ were thin and overdone, poor show, Kimo’s) and some chat. We compared stories of where we used to live, compared different states and countries IDs, and joked a lot. We sat outside, looking over the river. I don’t remember who brought up ‘rriver stuff’, but river stuff in the summer sounds great. It’s taking a car upriver, picking up a floataion device (inner tube etc) and a few beers, and sitting back while we float down to a prearranged location. Sounds good, right?
We stayed there for a couple of hours, until it was time to call it a day, and head home. R drove me back in his truck, back to Mosaic, and dropped me off home. On the way, we talked about our experiences with discrimination in the USA. We didn’t really come to any conclusion, but that wasn’t exactly the point.
I hope that we all get to go out again at some point. Maybe karaoke, board games, some river stuff, if it gets warmer.