Only two people didn’t forget my 32nd birthday. Annie, my longtime best friend, and Lucka, a project manager from one of the companies I work for. They’re both from Prague, approx. 200 km from a place I live. To be honest, I got pretty excited about it. Nobody was home, I had all house just for myself. It felt like Home Alone. But without the thieves and regrets.

The project manager bought me a pizza for lunch and a delivery guy wished me all the best. In the afternoon I decided to go downtown to get some cake. And it happened to be the best birthday I’ve ever had. Most likely because I organized it all by myself. I’m amazing.

It wasn’t easy to find a vegan cake. And I didn’t want to be that guy who eats his cake alone. But I also didn’t want to force my friends to celebrate with me. Therefore I came to a decision to force someone else…

At first, I wanted to approach someone who is in the mall alone. But I didn’t want to raise a suspicion that I’m hitting on that person. To minimalize the risk, I could approach a couple. But what couple would like to hang out with a strange person? Maybe a couple of friends? Nah. It should be their own decision to join me.

I stood in front of one bistro and announced: “I’m going on an adventurous quest for a vegan cake. Who is with me?”

People got nervous, nobody joined me.

It was my fault. It was a terrible performance, I wouldn’t follow me either.

I went in front of another bistro: “I’m going on an adventurous quest for a vegan cake. Who is with me?!” I stood there, hands on my hips in a heroic pose.

People got nervous, nobody joined me.

This time it was all their fault.

I gave it another try at another place. I didn’t believe anymore that it would work. At that moment I just enjoyed making all those people nervous.

“We’re in!” one girl with dreadlocks raised her hand.
“Oh my god…” reacted one of her friends, laughing. There were three of them.

Vegans! Of course. I should have tried a bistro with vegan options first.

It felt like we knew each other for years. In between fits of laughter, we were talking about how we became vegans, arguing about how much vegan yogurts in sale it is ok to buy (so other vegans can buy it too!), and sharing our experiences from different activist groups.

When we successfully fulfilled our quest and ate the cake, they took me to a store I didn’t know yet. There they bought me vegan toffee fudges and a bar of chocolate. And because I shared those delicious things with them, they took me also to a bookstore and let me choose a book so I had something that can’t be eaten.

And now, if someone would ever want to top this, they have to give me at least four new friends.

Good luck with that.

* From a diary How to make yourself a lifelong disappointed with your own amazingness