The very last activity entailed having dinner with an older student at their house. I was assigned to a 25-year-old economics student. Even though having dinner does not tend to be particularly physically demanding, I feared that my tired state would negatively affect the unavoidable conversation. On top of being occasionally incompetent in social situations, my efforts to seem remotely interesting were bound to be ineffective due to an intense desire to sleep.

I was quickly put at ease by my host’s apartment however, which contained multiple pieces of Harry Potter merchandise. In my mind, someone being a Harry Potter fan renders that person about as intimidating as a deceased kitten. On top of this, my host was very easy to talk to. We touched on many topics while enjoying microwaved spareribs and non-microwaved cantaloupe.

Since both of us are mature, adult men, we naturally ended up talking about dinosaurs. A passionate conversation concerning this topic involved my host sharing a theory. He talked about how both ancient European and Chinese mythology featured dragons, despite it being impossible for either one to have inspired the other. He stated that the fantastical creatures are so specific you have to wonder whether this coincidence is truly a coincidence. My host theorized that dragons were perhaps a species of dinosaur who went extinct later and lived alongside humans. I called his train of thought ‘interesting’ out of politeness and finished my meal.

After thanking my host, I left his house and made my way towards the subway through the rainy evening. As streetlights and neon signs started to light up, I found myself fascinated by the fact that years of education and committing to finding truth apparently don’t stop a man from wondering if dragons are real.