St. Patrick's Day and My birthday
One of our new friends, Bill (seen with shamrock on his forhead in a red shirt) had a party at his apartment for St. Patrick's Day, but nearly everyone there wasn't wearing green. So, Jennifer got out her green marker and drew shamrocks on everyone's faces. My Mama sent me this shirt! It really helped enhance the "green" idea. It was a great party because the formula was simple. People, music, and markers. This weekend marked the first weekend in at least two weeks that we stayed in Wuhan. Before we'd been travelling and now... we're a bit short of change. Thus, simplicity is key and we're back to eating off the street! The party was host some great characters and many nationalities including Germany, Norway, Nepal, China, Vietnam, and then there's the Americans. The Nepalese are the two crazies in the picture with their mouths open: Dostav and Abhie (left to right). They're friends who used to play together as children in Nepal and then lost touch. Almost 10 years later, they ran into each other in China! That was almost 2 years ago now, so they're making up for lost time! The world is so very small. Abhie is now my official camera man... he took nearly all of these pictures.
That same weekend, actually Monday, was my birthday. We all went to Giano's to celebrate with the best pizza in Wuhan. Almost all the guys from St. Patrick's Day showed up along with all my good friends from the past year. It was a great party. The pizza was hot and cheezy, the music was never ending, and I was really happy. In the midst of the merry-making, Meghan comes over and hands me a small red box. In this red box was a set of keys and when I saw them I started laughing because I thought they were a set of spare keys to my apartment. You see.... I'm very forgetful. Some might say absent-minded, so this would have been the perfect gag gift. The truth was much much better. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Jen comes riding up to me on a brand new Chinese bike and everyone began singing Happy Birthday. I flashed back to my 7th birthday party when I got my first real bike without training wheels. It was a great moment.
Its moments like these that make me want to stay in China. Truth be told, I'm going to be very sad when I leave here. Sad because I'm leaving behind new friends and great experiences, but happy because I'll be with my family... practicing freedom of speech again.