A Birthday Abroad

‘Most of us can remember a time when a birthday – especially if it was one’s own – brightened the world as if a second sun has risen’ – Robert Staughton Lynd.

I recently celebrated my 24th birthday. I am aware with each year that the excitement and importance of your birthday is lost somewhat. Spending it with the people you love surpasses what and how many presents you receive and what you wear on the big day. In addition, I am quite particular about my birthday. I appreciate being spoilt but dislike being centre of attention – a surprise party would certainly never suit me! So as my 24th approached this year, I felt little excitiment. I have never spent my birthday in another country, let alone away from my family and friends.However my Chinese birthday was definitely one of my favourites. Josh went to great lengths to mark the occasion, surprising me with thoughtful gifts despite our agreement to not do presents. My class sang me happy birthday and friends acknowledged the day. My day was finished at a lush Peking duck restaurant – we ordered a whole duck, naturally – with a bottle of wine and whisky. Celebrations even continued over the weekend with a work social, a cocktail of wine and raw egg, the surprise arrival of a parcel from my parents and a shopping trip. It was the perfect balance of being treated and not focused on!Now that I have passed the ocassion of a first birthday abroad, I am certainly partial to them!

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