Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Yesterday was my birthday, in case you didn't know. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but the day passed all of my expectations. I think it has been the best birthday ever! I will give an account of my day so that you can attempt to have the best birthday ever as well. I have to apologize for the blurriness of the pictures. We were trying to take them with out a flash.

So, I woke up pretty early- around 8:30am. I chatted on line with Malcolm for a while and checked my email- Thank you to all those who sent me emails and messages. I really enjoyed receiving them. Then I went to the kitchen and started making pancakes. Since we have arrived in Japan we have been making lots of Pancakes. They are easy to make and pretty cheap. I think they have made it to my favorite food list. Matthew woke up and joined me in the kitchen. He made hash browns and Bacon. Ummmm umm, delicious! We ate a wonderful breakfast finally around noon! Then I got ready to make my way out the door, singing 'happy birthday to me!'

We rode to the imperial palace to inquire about getting an English tour. This was a very interesting experience. The palace grounds are extremely big and are completely covered with fine gravel. This made for a very exciting biking experience. Matthew had warned earlier not to make sharp turns on the bike. As he was thinking of shouting out and extra 'be careful' he heard me tumble off my bike. I was very confused . . . I made a gradual turn on my bike and my tires couldn't take it. Lucky I wasn't hurt and was on my merry way. We booked a tour reservation for this coming week and ventured to fine an internet cafe that has Macs and DVD burners. We were unsuccessful. It is very difficult to find that combination available to us. We are desperately trying to back up all of our photos that are on Matthew's Ipod to DVDs, but so far, not success.

On the way to the cafe I got my hopes up thinking about sitting at a cafe and having a reason the splurge on a hot chocolate and a piece of birthday cake. So needless to say I was disappointed. Matthew came up with a brilliant idea! Lets hit up the Sunkist convenient store on the way back home.

So our afternoon consisted of hanging out in our room eating a delicious cheap dessert, drinking cheap hot chocolate and some sake that we got when we were in Takayama. Before we know it- It was time to leave to meet friends for drinks.

Earlier this week I sent out an email to people that I have met at our language exchange class. I invited then to come out for drinks, but didn't have high expectations so that I wouldn't be disappointed if no one showed up. I gave them a name of a bar/restaurant that I had never been to, but read that is was really cheap and had an English menu. This place is one of the hardest places to find! Everyone found it eventually even if they had to ask the police officer.

We sat at a table that was shared with other people. At first our group was made up of 4, then 5, then 7, then 8, then 10 and I think the final count was 11. That was way more people than I expected. We all ordered drinks and appetizers and talked. Some of the girls even brought me presents! They were all too nice. The hospitality was amazing.

Soari wore her Kimono to show me what they traditionally would wear on birthdays. I can't believe she wore it just for me.

The presents included Japanese socks, purses, earrings made by Sayaka (she is an artist), Japanese candy and even a children’s storybook that everyone reads in the first grade! I am still in disbelief. We drank, ate and talked and I didn’t want the night to end. I laughed so much!

But all good things must come to an end. We said goodbye and started riding our bikes back home. Matthew and I biked along the river and talked about how much fun we had. Eventually we need to take a bathroom break so we started our search for a restroom. Instead we found a glowing shrine! Our quick stop, although unsuccessful, was well worth it. We eventually found a Lawson Station Convenient store, which had a bathroom, and little tiny cakes that Matthew bought for about a dollar.

So my night ended with me trying on my socks, looking at the other gifts, the pictures and eating tiny triangles of cakes.

The best birthday ever!


Anonymous said...

What a great birthday.
Thanks for sharing your feelings and photos. It was as if I was there with you.
Happy (belated) Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday, Alison. Looks like you had a wonderful celebraton with friends. What a lovely tribute to you - so glad it all worked out so well. Bonnie