Tengo veinticuatro años
Yesterday was my birthday, and it was certainly a unique one for me. This is the first birthday I’ve celebrated outside of Canada, and the first one to celebrate without my family present in some capacity. However, given those adjustments it was still a very good birthday. For starters it was probably the warmest birthday that I’ve ever had – coming in at around 28°C during the heat of the day. It’s even warmer today, but I’ve already whined about the heat here. But despite being over 4800 kilometers from home, I was still able to celebrate.
The day started normally enough: breakfast, school, lunch, school. But after returning home for the day, Daniel and I joined Nenad in his room (because, among other reasons, it is cooler) to try to decide where we/I wanted to go to dinner. Not wanting to spend a fortune on a student’s budget, we decided to head to C\Grand Via in Madrid where there were many restaurants. We knew that there was a T.G.I.Fridays there and we had that in our mind as our destination. We planned to leave around 20:00 and each went our separate way.
Shortly before 20:00, I was ready and went down to the lobby of the building and sat in one of the wing-back armchairs down there. In no real rush, I waited until the others were ready. Thanks to a load of laundry in the dryer belonging to Daniel, that ended up being closer to 21:00. So at that point, Nenad, Daniel, Pablo and I took the metro into Madrid and getting off at the Plaza de España, found that T.G.I.Fridays was right there. Dinner was great – a nice break from the residence food, and except for a little misunderstanding about how cooked Nenad’s hamburger should be, everything went off without a hitch.
However, at this point while we were contemplating dessert, the staff snuck up behind me and start popping balloons – startling me, and most of the others as well. They brought out the dessert pictured above and then got me to stand on my chair and be led through some sort of birthday dance that Pablo and Daniel tell me is from Latin America. Later, no one would admit to telling them it was my birthday, but I have my suspicions that it was someone whose name rhymes with hablo. At least I didn’t have to wear an oversized Viking hat this year.
After dinner, we walked about in Madrid for a while – until just after midnight and then headed back to the residence. It was a beautiful warm evening – the perfect ending to a very different, yet very enjoyable birthday. To everyone who wished me well yesterday thank you very much. Muchas gracias!