apparently, in south korea, i’m practically 30. here’s a quick breakdown of how they figure age in this culture (as far as i can understand it anyway): when you are born, you are already 1 year old. apparently they see conception as the time when you start the clock, and they must round up from 9 months to 1 year. keepin’ it simple, i guess. then, everyone in the entire country has their next birthday on the lunar new year. so, if on december 10th, 1983 i was born as a 1-year-old, by january 23rd (the lunar new year), 1984, i would have turned 2.
that means i’ll be 30 on january 23rd. yikes. i guess when i look at my recent birthday from that angle, i’ll quit complaining about being 28.
i had a fantastic, marathon birthday weekend, and it was jam-packed with fun, friends, and good food. here’s the rundown:
friday night, a small group of friends met up around 6:30 to go to a vietnamese grill for dinner. this place is fabulous. you grill your meat and create tiny springrolls, filled with your choice of veggies and sauces. it’s so colorful and delicious. they also have a salad bar, and finish your meal with rice and soup, so we always leave there stuffed.
we brought our friends back to our apartment where we had a “secret cake” from paris baguette (heavenly. koreans sure know how to bake a good cake, which is a good thing because none of us foreigners have ovens), and then took turns decorating our christmas tree as a group (courtesy of adam and angie). each person got the chance to add one bulb to the tree, and afterwards david shook each person’s hand (he’s very official about these sorts of things). we stayed up late into the night talking and hanging out.
saturday morning was my actual birthday, and it was blissful. one should always be able to opt to have their birthday on a weekend. getting to sleep in and not having to go to work is a birthday gift unto itself. add on top of that my fantastic, generous husband who made breakfast in bed for me AND got me a starbucks peppermint mocha (tastes like home + christmas in a cup), and i was having the time of my life (david and i both know that my love languages are 1. breakfast food 2. sleep and 3. coffee). the leisurely day was well complimented by the adventurous evening we had ahead.
another epik teacher, mike, shared the birthday weekend with me, so we met up on his side of town for duck, with a large group of teachers. the duck was good (but i’m not really an authority to speak on the subject, since this was the 1st time i’d ever had duck in my life), and afterwards we all crammed into mike’s apartment to hang out for awhile. it was pretty comical, how we all stuffed ourselves in there (felt like college life in the dorms all over again), but it was nice and warm. then we ventured downtown, and ran around to various establishments, ignoring the cold and enjoying the company. we are really fortunate to have such a tight crew of epik teachers to hang out with. it makes this experience all the better.
sunday was a late brunch at our favorite weekend breakfast joint: first alleyway. they have bottomless cups of drip-brew coffee, which is a rare treat that we savor, and always end up drinking too much of. then, we went to a play that some local english teachers were putting on called “the real professor hound.” it was fun to see some local theater. after the play we shopped downtown for a bit, but i couldn’t ignore the oncoming sore throat and sniffling any longer; i was most definitely coming down with something, so we came home to rest and unwind before jumping back into the work week. all in all, it was the perfect birthday weekend.