Happy Birthday to ME!

This is a long overdue post. If you know me, you probably already know the story, but it’s too great not to share.

Two weeks ago when I was just 29, but eagerly anticipating a very happy birthday, I created a wishlist. Not to disparage the list at all, but it was just a list of regular material stuff (and one verrrry special absolutely perfect gift – thanks, husband!) and I mentioned that all I really wanted was my friends to visit.


The Friday night before Birthday Week was officially to commence, husband tells me that I need to go with him to the airport because a colleague is flying in that night. Me being me, I asked A LOT of questions. Who is it? Where is he staying? Is his wife coming to? And the biggest one – Why do I have to go? Can’t we just send the driver?

See, driving to the airport on a Friday night isn’t that much fun. The drive can take as little as 20 minutes, but on a Friday night it is more like an hour and a half. Husband responds that he doesn’t want to go all the way out there and then have to come back and get me for dinner. Fair enough. I assume that he just wants the company on the drive. It was flattering, although ultimately not true.

We get to the airport and I continue with the questions. What does he look like? (All middle-aged white men look the same). Will he be wearing a suit? Does he know to turn left when he comes out because someone fitting his description just went right.

And then, all of a sudden there is a familiar face walking straight towards me. It’s Kat! I saw her, but Jason says my reaction time was alarmingly slow. I showed recognition, then confusion and then kept on looking for the colleague.

“What’s Kat doing here? Isn’t it a coincidence that she’s on the same flight as the guy you work with?” Oh, Jenny.

So what did we do for the week that Kat was here? We ate a lot. We shopped a lot. Kat bought a super-cute handbag with a built in turtleneck. How perfect is that for the approaching Canberra winter?

On my actual birthday we got to do an activity of my choosing and I went with ice-skating. I hadn’t been on the ice in at least a decade and it was so so so much harder than I remember. Either I got a lot less coordinated in ten years, or ice got slipperier.

Sweet moves, right? And to think, it was just 15 years ago that my friend asked: “Jenny, why did you stop skating? It was the only thing you were good at it.” Luckily, the photos prove I’ve still got it. Actually, before I moved here I had this idea that I would maybe teach skating lessons to little kids. I’ll give you a moment to process that and stop laughing.

For my birthday dinner, we got all dressed up and went for Javanese food. We met a couple of friends and we drank cocktails and it was a completely enjoyable evening. 30 year old me is very civilised, apparently.

However, the next day I was not feeling very well. My stomach chose this day to reject food completely. Jason and Kat ordered churros where they chopped the dough into the boiling fat right in front of our eyes and the smell was heavenly, but my tummy was churning. Sad face.

My actual birthday was quiet. Kat flew home that evening. I became BFFs with the toilet. My in-laws sent me flowers. My mother forgot to call. For the third year in a row, but really, who’s counting?

Having a friend come to visit was so much fun. I wasn’t expecting any visitors for a while, so this was an incredible surprise. Jakarta turns out to be an easy city for entertaining guests. So long as those guests like food and shopping and aqua aerobics and cheap pedicures. But then they probably wouldn’t be my friend if they didn’t.


~ by Jenny-la on 10 March 2011.

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