While riding the elevator on the way to my first Kinza dinner there were a few thought going through my mind. “What if it gets awkward?” “What if the conversation is boring?” “How do you have fun with complete strangers?” As soon as I walked down the hall and was warmly greeted by Sachin and another guest, all those thoughts vanished...
We introduced ourselves over a glass of wine while the remaining guests showed up, and before I knew it, the event was in full swing. As the conversations picked up I quickly realized that any reservations I had were simply in my head, and the good people I was surrounded by were just as eager for storytelling as I was. The energy seemed to never let up. From one of the guests I learned about a day in the life of a criminal defence lawyer, and how to run a vineyard in Europe from another!
These people were so full of amazing stories that it was impossible for the conversation to hit a sour note! We discussed books, podcasts, movies, travel, software development, school, immigration, and food.
And don’t get me started on the food. Sachin prepared a delicious vegetarian Thai green curry with a medley of amazing vegetables and a thick coconut sauce that any meat-eater could get behind. As we finished up our second serving of curry, everyone was feeling relaxed and comfortable with each other; there was even some inside jokes forming by the end of the meal. Eventually around 9 o’clock a few people left to catch a movie and another went home while I stayed with the few remaining guests.
We continued talking about business ideas and even uncovered some connections to help each other’s professional life. Then the night came to a close and we went our separate ways.
Looking back I can confidently say the night was refreshing and an unexpectedly great experience. The small time commitment and openness of all the people I met made the experience a beautiful little way to spend a weeknight. Meeting people outside your inner circle can be difficult, but sharing a meal with these people created a situation I’ve seldom come by in modern life. This brief but meaningful experience proved there is really nothing to lose when meeting new people. The conversations were bright, the food was fantastic, and the connections were real. Now all I’m thinking about is which event I want to go to next!