Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An Indonesian Birthday

Ever since I can remember, I've had a little thing that I like to call the birthday curse. Dating back to kindergarten, when I was sick and couldn't bring my special cupcakes to share with my class on my special day, some small mishap would always happen on my birthday. Last year, for my 17th birthday, I had the pleasure of going to the hospital with a throat that made talking feel like human torture, only to find that I had strep throat. But this birthday was different. This birthday just may have been the best birthday of all.

Around 5:30 am, there was an outrageous amount of banging on my door. I jumped out of bed, dazzled and half asleep, and opened my door to find my host family bearing a birthday cake with candles. Still half asleep, but nonetheless surprised, I blew out my birthday candles and made my birthday wish for the first time that day. The first person to wish me happy birthday aside from my family, was of course Charis Ramsing. I'm sure everyone by now knows that Charis and I are the two coolest vloggers on planet Earth. But maybe you don't know how insanely amazing of a friend she is. Exhibit A can be found here.

The second I entered the gate to my school, everybody and their mother came rushing up to me just to wish me a happy birthday. By this point, I was smiling uncontrollably. Our morning break rolled around, and it was time for cake. This cake was delicious! Well, what little bit of cake that I did eat, was delicious. We ended up having an epic cake fight where we all ended up wearing more cake than we did eating it. After school, a few school friends and I went and got a few more birthday treats and then I headed home.

Wednesday nights are always reserved for Bahasa Indonesia lessons at the ITB campus with the other AFS chapter Bandung students. Today was no exception, and I made my way to campus with angkot a little bit early. When I arrived to campus, I looked at the driver and said, "Ba, hari ini ulang tahunku. Gratis, ya?" Or, "Sir, today is my birthday. Can I have my ride for free?" And GUESS WHAT. It worked. I found my partner in crime, Baya, where I got cake for the third time that day. But here's the best part. I found popcorn! Before I left the States, I was eating popcorn everyday, twice a day. So coming to Indonesia and having to quit cold turkey was not an easy task. I devoured the buttery goodness, and was on cloud nine throwing pieces up in the air and trying to catch them in my mouth.

My fellow AFS kids and I took a unanimous vote to move our Bahasa lesson to a neat little place called Ayam Madu. It's debatably my favorite place in Bandung. Ayam Madu is a small, outdoor, street restaurant where they make the best chicken in all of Indonesia. It's one of those places that holds a very special place in my heart, so it was an excellent place to end my birthday.

I got to blow out candles twice on my birthday this year. And both times, people told me to make a wish. And out of all of the wishes I could have made, you know what I wished for? I wished to beat my Temple Run high score. That's the best thing I could wish for, guys. That's how good my life is. And guess what. I did beat my Temple Run high score. (14 million. No big deal.) Good food. Good company. Good life. Great day. Simple as that.