Who would have thought my life could change over the weekend?
I attended a company party in Keio Hotel with Wendy, Takako and Yurika from my branch, and we went there without really knowing anyone else. Not feeling particularly social, we got a table of our own but was soon joined by a bevy of French teachers (they all came randomly) and had a good laugh with them.
Later they left to mingle and I took out my digicam to take a self-shot of us girls. Yurika wasn't captured in the shot and she let out a girly scream and accidentally bumped into a Japanese man.
Being the brilliant person I am, I turned to him and asked him if he could help us take a photo instead. He smiled and obliged, but the moment he took the camera from us, the president of our company came running to us and stopped us.
"He's the International CEO of Benesse!" he exclaimed, horrified by our ignorance. Benesse is the company that owns our business and other investments.
What are the odds, I wonder, of me actually picking out the most important and influential man in the room, but he was so unassuming! (In Singlish, I win liao lor!)
We immediately apologized to both of them, bowing profusely for our insolence. He laughed good-naturedly and said he was more than glad to help us.
After our shot, we asked to take a photo with him too.
He stayed to talk to us and he remembered all our names and called us by that the rest of the night. He thought I was Japanese when he first saw me.
Halfway into the party he was formally introduced as the CEO and he got off the stage and walked right back to talk to me, and I could feel everyone's eyes on me, probably confused by my identity or my relationship with him.
We were listening to a live performance and he shared with me that he was a big fan of music and jams in a bar in Nishi-Azabu whenever he is in town. He extended an invitation to us to watch him perform, and as it turns out he was going to the bar right after the party.
It was an offer we couldn't refuse.
And that's how I ended up walking next to the CEO, ushered out of the ballroom by the president of the company, whisked off in a reserved cab with the three girls from my branch, to a bar in Nishi Azabu.
He bought us two rounds of drinks and performed an impressive set with a band of professional musicians. He also cajoled us into singing, so Takako bravely took the stage and wowed us with her beautiful voice.
We ended up hanging out till 2 am and he paid for all our taxi ride homes. It was so surreal.
I had to wake up at 6 the next morning for work but somehow survived the day. ;)