My 50 Minutes of Sushi and Speed Dating in Tokyo, Kenya


It is “engraved in stone” that you can meet a person only once for the first time in your life and you can only have one shot at making a lasting  impression on them or not. But guess what? In speed dating, that situation could be slightly adjusted to allow you to meet someone “twice” for the first time. The first time, as you walk into a room and give them that head  nod in greeting and the second time 10 minutes later with a firm handshake and a proper introduction.

Now, imagine you are in a room with a little over twenty people. Twenty diverse people, ten of whom you are about to go on mini dates with. Some tall, some short and some in- between. Some white, some black and some with complexions in-between. Some with hazel eyes or brown eyes, coy smiles or genuine smiles, teetotalers, drinkers, bubbly, nervous (speaking for myself) and some looking a little too serious, all ready to mingle and try this thing called Speed Dating over some delicious sushi and wine and possibly walk out of it with something more than a new friendship.

Now, stop imagining because this actually happened last Saturday at the first ever Sushi and Speed Dating courtesy of DateMeKenya and Tokyo Japanese restaurant.


The experience…

After a brief interaction with friendly strangers (whose first name is the only information you have at this point thanks to the name tags everyone had to pin on themselves) and indulging in delicious sushi bites, the moment of truth arrived.

I took my seat at the table with my name neatly written on a small card trying my best not to look like an interviewer for a major executive job position (After all I wouldn’t have wanted to reveal that I was a speed dater undercover!)

Then one by one, after every 5 short minutes they came and went. It was harder to strike conversation with some but I quickly devised a way to make things a little cordial -thanks to the wine- and in no time there was laughter and beautiful genuine smiles and what do you know…free flowing conversations!

Depending on how nervous a guy looked I would start the conversation by telling them about my 3 nostrils. The look of horror on their faces, Priceless!

“Really?” They would ask a little too nervously than they would have liked to admit.

To which I would boldly respond “Of course not! What would I do with 3 nostrils? That would be so greedy of me, hogging all the air like I don’t have a care. Not me! The pair of nostrils that I have works just fine.”

Laughter would follow and a huge sigh of relief from my date realizing that I wasn’t actually an ogre on the prey.

From there the rest of the conversation would flow but I would still notice the guy trying to catch a glimpse of my nostrils every 52 seconds or so just to be sure.

To ensure that there were no awkward moments of silence, the wine kept coming and of course there were a few questions laid out on the table to help keep the conversation going. 10 serious questions and 10 fun questions.

Some popular questions asked were:

*Him: “If you were an animal in the wild, which animal would you be and why?”

*In the same spirit of keeping the conversation lively and cordial my responses were rather random.*

Me: “I would probably be a tiger. They are so sexy, fierce, gorgeous, intimidating and they stand out all at the same time. Once in a while I also try to walk like them because that’s what normal people do. You should try it some time.”

I would occasionally add…

“Away from the wild, I would choose to be a fly. Wouldn’t it be so cool to perch yourself on somebody’s wall and learn all their secrets? Never mind that my lifespan would be so brief. Before I can even properly digest the secrets I would get swatted mercilessly. Sigh! People can be cruel though.”nslvm0yi


*Him: “Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?”

Me: “In 10 years I see myself swaddling my pair of 6 month old twins ready for their bedtime as I simultaneously try to get my temperamental 3 year old ( who’s been dealing with a little case of jealousy since the arrival of the twins) to calm down. All this is after a long, hard or easy day at work. You know, just the usual Supermom stuff.”

*Him: Do you believe in Love at first sight?

Me: “Nope! But I do believe in love at first brilliant conversation.”

*Me: “Can you guess what I do for a living?”

Him: “No but I know you’re just about to tell me.”

Me: “Well, if you insist, I’m a diver! I literally do a bed dive every evening after a long day. I also double as a relationships, sex and health columnist. I know you wish you were me. I understand. I get that a lot.”

And so it went on and on and I would also pose my own made-up questions. With some dates it was easier because we immediately bonded over a mutual love for a book, movie or dream destinations.

Were there any saved by the bell moments?

Not that particular evening. Why? Because I remembered to bring my open mind with me ( smart move on my part ha!) Also, 5 minutes can pass by very quickly when you’re on a dating marathon.

After each date you would then have to judge your date on a score card based on their personality, appearance and Conversation skills and then most importantly mark YES or NO for if you would like to get to know your date a little more be it for a platonic friendship, romantic or business relationship.

In the case where both of you mark YES for each other Ian Isherwood ( Founder and CEO of will then let you know about your match via email the next day without wasting any time (because he understands that when it comes to a possible new partnering, there’s no time to waste) and share private contacts with both of you because up to this point he is the only one with your personal contacts. You can then choose to get in touch with your match and plan for longer dates or not.

Unfortunately, I will not share my date scores and matches with you at this time.

My highlights for the evening were that…

1. I got to go on 10 dates wearing one outfit! SCORE!

2. I went on 10 dates in under one hour, under the same roof without having to physically move! DOUBLE SCORE!and they say that life is unfair??


The big question…

Would I do it again? YES! In half a heartbeat! Because good times are made up of such random evenings. You know, like trying something new because you can.

This could be you writing about your speed dating experience but only if you went ahead and checked out DateMeKenya for such interesting life experiences and for a chance to meet gorgeous people brought to you courtesy of your will to try something new. Remember life only improves when we take chances.

One important tip though: Don’t go into Speed Dating expecting that the evening will end with you holding hands with a new love brought to you by providence as you run off into the darkness with the words ~THE END~ written boldly on some imaginary screen behind you. Shock might be upon you…

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