Eating out alone can be awkward and intimidating. For example, that empty chair across from you — who will sit in that empty chair?
At Japan’s Moomin Café, they’ve figured out a solution to the solo diner’s dilemma. The solution is a stuffed Moomin. A Moomin, for the uninitiated, is a character from a Finnish series of picture books. It is like a hippo, but it is not a hippo — because it is a Moomin — and it is very popular. You’re never alone at the Moomin Café, because upon your arrival, you will be joined by a gigantic stuffed hippo-ish creature. You just sip your cappuccino or whatever, and your Moomin-match will stare blankly ahead, in its cheerful, hippo-y way.
And really, your Moomin is a great date. There’s never any awkwardness with your Moomin, because your Moomin is a stuffed animal and does not have opinions. It is very clear who pays when the check comes (you), because you are the only one with a digestive system. Of course, as RocketNews24 points out, some people might actually feel more alone eating across from an inanimate stuffed animal than they would dining solo, but that’s a “question you’ll have to answer for yourself.”
But, seriously, does this picture below make you lonely? Of course it doesn’t.