It started at about 6:30 am. Text messages. I didn't mind the early wake up call. I love attention. And there's nothing like extra attention on the day of your birth.
I got out of my 8:00 am class to find the hallway decorated with signs.
The students know how to make you feel like a million bucks on your birthday. I knew that the day would be filled with texts and happy birthday messages. But what I was really looking forward to was the gifts...
Chinese gifts are anything but normal... Some of my bday gifts included...
A bear family picture. It is bigger than my computer...
My Friday class made me a poster thing of everyone's picture with photoshopped animal drawings. Also pictures of me from last semester... when I didn't even know them. Adorable. Creepy. Special.
Last night Kara had given me a big ol bag of goodies. She was hoping it would lure me into staying in China. It was full of items that are so Chinese and so ridiculous that you can only really truly understand and appreciate if you are here.
She wrote little notes on everything. It not only made me want to stay, but made me cry.
Robin told me 2 weeks ago that he got my present but that I couldn't see it yet. Today, I found it sitting outside my door.
A coffee mug with a picture of my skiing with the words, "Yes, it's me!" Why that choice of words? And why that picture? Who knows?
I think it is perfect. I mean why would I not want a coffee mug with my face on it? I'm thinking about making all different kinds for my own home. When you come over you will get your pick of Heidi mugs...
Me at the Great Wall? Or at the sea side? Or on the bus? Or in the classroom? Or riding my bike? Or on a horse? Or eating chicken feet?
The options are endless. It is so something I would do. I love myself.
For dinner Kylie, Kevin, Robin and I headed down to one of the best... the lemon chicken joint.
Since I couldn't have Mexican or Quizno's I had to settle on the next best thing. lemon chicken and crispy potatoes.
After dinner I wanted to go to the coffee shop and play some cards. When we walked in there was a huge poster of our friends Nigel and Tony who used to work there and who let us be in their film.
We asked Robin what the sign said and he replied with "I don't know" and a really confused look on his face. The sign was in Chinese...
We wanted to play spades but Kevin and Robin didn't know how.
So we explained the rules, played a couple of practice hands and then started to play for reals. The right thing would have been to split up Kylie and I as teammates.
But I wanted to win. It was my birthday.
Robin got the hang of it and actually started to steal some tricks from me.
But in the end, the true players won.
I felt loved and cared for and special. The only thing that would have made it better was if you all were there.
Next year. May 7th. Mark your calendars. We will party, and mugs with my face on them will be involved.
Thanks for the sweet birthday wishes from everyone.