Seven weeks of my kids sneezing, coughing, touching, rubbing, sniffling and grabbing finally caught up to me this week, and I’ve come down with a cold. But even as I wheeze and sniff my way through this week, not even a little sickness could dampen my spirits.
I am officially 25 now, in both Korea and America. I have been a “birthday person” ever since I could remember — I love the excuse to party, getting all of my friends and family together, and reflecting on the year past.
This is the first year in a long time that I had a relatively quiet birthday, but it was just what I needed.
The day started off wonderfully, with Evan peeling himself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to run to McDonald’s and bring me a sausage McMuffin, hash brown, and hot coffee in bed. He isn’t what you’d call a morning person, so the effort of the gesture wasn’t lost on me. I am truly a lucky girl. :)
At school, my kindergarten class gave me an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday” when I came in the classroom. One of my girls, Yoon Jung, made me this adorable card.
I love how on the back Yoon Jung is smiling as I, tiara and all, discuss what an adjective is to the class (adjectives are the grammar lesson for this week) — and the boy next to her looks ready to cry. LOL, I guess English class can have that effect on some people.
Another girl made me a paper birthday hat, and two of my school’s Korean teachers — both of whom I like very much — gave me a box of cookies with a froggie card — on which they wrote, endearingly, “I think you have a hard time adjust to Korean culture. Cheer up!” LOL. I’ve since made a point to be less tired/much happier around them, because I really do love Korea, my job and the people I work with, and I want them to know it!
I love the card, which they gave me with huge hugs, and I felt really touched that they remembered :)
The cutest gesture ever though was when one boy, I found out, did extra chores at home to earn money to buy me this cute little charm for my cell phone…and wrote me a birthday note telling me how much he loved me. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
Evan also had his K-II class shout Happy Birthday to me. Love those kids. I gave all of my classes candy as a little party favor.
I even received a wonderful package of love from my sister back home! Kate — your package made my day, and it was just in time to help me celebrate turning 25. Thank you for the food, the clothes and everything I needed — you’re the best!
After work, Ev and I relaxed at home, watched the Lady Gaga episode of Glee, cleaned ourselves up and headed to Chonbukdae for dinner. I decided on an Italian spot we had a few beers at about a month ago called Team.
Before our meal, we received hot bowls of soup with a bread basket. BREAD! I was so excited. Then came our caprese salad. Soft, creamy mozzarella cheese, ripe juicy tomato slices topped with a zingy pesto. Next to that, a pile of crisp lettuce and slivered almonds drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a tart dressing. Delectable.
Our pasta dishes came next. Evan ordered a spicy, creamy seafood dish while I opted for a classic — spaghetti carbonara. Evan’s dish had a nice kick, perfectly breaded shrimp and an amazing sauce.
Mine was great too — crisp bacon in a creamy, hot sauce. Delicious! We washed our meal down with a bottle of Chilean Cabernet. I think that sommelier speeches in the States are slightly awkward — since I know nothing about wine — but in Korea they are even more so. Our knowledgeable vino expert told us all about our pick — in Korean. We smiled, nodded and drank. It was gooooood… I haven’t drank much wine since I’ve been here, and it felt really nice going down.
After dinner, my boyfriend had one more surprise — an ice cream birthday cake with candles! Yippee! It was made with chocolate, vanilla and raspberry ice cream and it was SO good.
Definitely one of the best birthdays ever!
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