I never thought that on my 27th year on Earth I would be celebrating my birthday in China yet, here I am. It was an interesting birthday celebration to say the least. I was invited out by a new friend of mine to go to this high end Chinese club, the night before my actual birthday. It was definitely a way cooler experience than any other American clubs I’ve been to in the past. The day of my actual birthday was spent with other students on campus, touring the Xixi wetlands and eating Japanese food at a nearby restaurant. Later that afternoon a group of us went to a Chinese BBQ joint and I was more than satisfied with the food. It was definitely a nice change of pace from the constant fried chicken nuggets and potatoes served at our hotel buffet. I will say, the food here really makes me miss the food we were given in Japan, as well as the American food from home. I often find myself thinking of Taco Bell and corndogs…
After our dinner we arrived back at our hotel where I was surprised with a birthday cake from a local bakery that a few students put together for me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Their kindness and thoughtfulness is something I will forever cherish. Aling, one of our Chinese student ambassadors presented me with a gift for my birthday and it was extremely thoughtful and sweet. She gave me a musical, merry-go-round rocking horse trinket along with some soap and candy, all wrapped in a beautiful pink gift box. She told me that it represents that I am young at heart and it literally made me tear up with joy. She also printed a picture of the two of us and I will never forget this beautiful, one of a kind gift.
Although I received many birthday wishes and surprises from my peers, I do miss my loved ones back home. My parents, sisters, and boyfriend are in my top list of people I miss the most. I can’t wait to return home to see them even though I know I will miss my time here, dearly. I feel I’ve made many new friends and I intend on keeping in contact with everyone, as they have made my time here most enjoyable.
P.S. My birthday is July 7th and my Chinese zodiac sign is the monkey! 🙂