There are a few things in life that occur every year and birthdays are a perfect example. Last week I got the opportunity to celebrate my birthday in Japan. I still remember the birthday parties I had growing up, but now that I’m on my own, my 23rd birthday just wasn’t the same. That being said, I wasn’t going to let being on my own be a reason to disregard my birthday. Instead, I went to Elementary school, as normal. Except they had a game day for the first four periods, so I got to try out student-invented games (it was awesome). I had lunch with some 6th graders. graders, who surprisingly I think might be warming up to me. (I was at the tough/difficult ES, so that’s saying a lot). Then, I went to teach my only two classes for the day, to the 6th graders. Sounds pretty easy, well it was. I did have plenty of meetings after school however. I met with 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers at the same school and then I made my way to a JHS I taught at this week to go over the lesson plans.
After all of those meetings, it was time to make it as normal as a birthday as possible. So what did I do? I went shopping of course, I went to a bakery and bought 2 different pieces of cake (I had the luxury of celebrating my birthday in Japan and American time, so it lasted even longer). Then I went to Baskin Robbins and some ice cream to go along with my cake (and I got the birthday discount)! Then of course, I rounded the birthday meal out with some “2-3” candles and flowers.
Needless to day, my actual birthday in Japan was pretty low key and extremely uneventful. While, if I were in America, I know my birthday would’ve been different, I’m actually glad I had the time to make my own birthday. Japan really is about trying different things, and celebrating my birthday on my own terms definitely fits the criteria. One of my birthday goals was to make a bucket list of 23 things that I want to do before I turn 24. However, some of the goals might take a while, so it might be a three year bucket list. The list is still in the works, so give me until this weekend and the bucket list shall be complete.
I extended my birthday onto Sunday with a day trip into Nagoya to do some retail therapy and visit an Indian restaurant that my cousin suggested. Now I know exactly where to eat the next time I’m in Nagoya, the curry was delicious! And while the shopping was semi-extravagant: I did treat myself to a birthday gift, a blank recipe book to write down my favorite recipes. I’m quite excited to get the pen to the paper; because I’m hoping my cooking skills improve (that’s the goal and it’s on the bucket list).
My 23rd birthday went just like every other day here in Japan, I was able to celebrate it on my own terms. And I must mention, that the reason I was so upbeat about celebrating my birthday alone (because who really wants to do that?) was because of my wonderful family members who took the time to send me a birthday care package. So thank you Mom, Dad, Dana, Noelle, Liz, and Carly. Those packages where incredibly kind of you and you all made being 5000 miles away from home, so much closer.
What blog post would be complete without some school lunch? This was on my birthday. It was chicken rice (not terrible), the blue cup is yogurt, then milk, green tea, potato salad with mayo, and fish (I've turned into a kid again, I stab around at the fishy things, taste it, and debate if I want another bite).