My birthday

So, my birthday was last week. August 29th, to be exact. So I am now 26 years old. Whee.

Honestly, it really doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. I don’t actually feel older, or more special, or wiser, or more superior just because I successfully didn’t die for another year.

While I think this happens to everyone as they grow older, it may also have something to do with the culture here in Taiwan. Birthdays are not a real big deal here. Many of my students don’t even know when their birthday is. Those that do observe their birthdays tend to have a quiet affair at home, with the focus being on the parents as opposed to the birthday-ee. I mean, it’s not like you did anything amazing by being born, really. Your mother, on the other hand, had quite a hard day of it.

Anyway, for someone who doesn’t care about birthdays anymore, I had quite a nice one. The Wednesday before my birthday, I went to see my friends’ hip-hop group, Propaganda, perform at a local club called Champagne 3. (Yes, there is a Champagne and a Champagne 2 elsewhere in Taipei.) Since it was a weeknight, only a few of my other friends came out with me. We still had a good time, though. It turned out that one of my friends is friends with the owner of the club, so he came over and hung out with us. He even ordered up a birthday cake and some beer, on the house! So after my friends were finished performing everyone came and sang Happy Birthday in English and Chinese for me. I hadn’t expected to actually have a cake that night, so it was pretty cool.

Then, on Saturday night, I had party at my apartment, which quite a few people showed up to. I cooked up some chicken, made some salsa, and bought some tortillas and grated cheese so people could make tacos. I got a lot of compliments on the tacos, which are an ancient recipe handed down to me from my old roommate Jeff, who, among other things, is Texan and knows how to cook Tex-Mex. To forstall your next question, no, I do not know how to cook Chinese food. I have people to do that for me. 🙂

The bad thing about the party is that I got drunk. I’d been doing so well, too. After my 363 days without drinking in 2005, I’d allowed myself to have one or two drinks per night on social occasions, but never more than once per week. Then, on my birthday everyone was giving me drinks, and I thought, “What the hell, why not? It’s my birthday!” I didn’t get really drunk, and I didn’t do anything I regretted (besides getting drunk), but I did have a hangover all the next day. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, since I had the foresight (even when drunk) to drink two tall glasses of water before I went to bed, but it was still a hangover. Hangovers just don’t feel worth it anymore. When I was in college I’d wake up with a hangover and think, “Man! I hurt! But it was worth it!” I just don’t feel that alcohol adds enough to my enjoyment of an occasion to justify the icky feeling the next day. So no more alcohol for Ben. From now until forever, no more alcohol for Ben.

The hangover was really inconvenient for me, since on Sunday, my roommate Fox took me and some other friends to a water park in Baxian, a town by the ocean about an hour or so from Taipei. I still managed to have a great time, but not as good as it could have been. It was a pretty good day, though. It was nice to run around and act like a 10-year-old for a day (a good release after teaching 10-year-olds for 2 years).

All in all, it was a pretty good birthday. A got a few presents, which I wasn’t expecting, and hung out with some cool people.


30 hours to take-off!


6 Responses to “My birthday”

  1. Ma Jian-Teng Says:

    “After my 363 days without drinking in 2005″…actually it would be very hard for them all to have been in 2005, and of course, having been there on Day 364 (but it wasn’t my fault I swear!) I know that in fact the first couple dozen were at the end of 2004. Come to think of it, there are only three ways to go 363 days without drinking in a calendar year (assuming consecutive and no leap year).

    Just something for math majors to think about.

  2. Mitesh Says:

    Happy Birthday Ben…despite what you say, you feel the oldness…welcome! 😉

  3. Cousin Dick Says:

    I didn’t get really drunk, and I didn’t do anything I regretted (besides getting drunk), but I did have a hangover all the next day.

    If that sentence makes sense to you, you’re still drunk.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Irene Says:

    Happy Birthday!!! You’re like so old now… and you know it, so don’t deny it.

  5. Dan Says:

    Old man…HEHEHHE!

  6. Ro Says:

    Yeah OLD MAN heheh… Happy Birthday… Dan and I need to take you out to celebrate it when your back in town:)

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