This birthday post has been a long time coming. I just wanted to stretch my birthday out as long as possible. :)
My birthday was a lot of fun this year. I wasn't sure how it would be since I am so far from home, but my friends and family here in Korea made sure my day was perfect!
The days around the big 28 I was lucky to receive multiple cards and gifts in the mail from my family back home. (Thanks everyone! It made me feel so special to get things in the mail!)
Then, on my birthday... Mark and I started the morning by going to Paris Baguette for Breakfast. Paris Baguette is sort of like Korea's version of Panera Bread Company. Mmmm.
Then, when I got to school, some of the teachers: (from left to right) Anna, Chloe, and Robin surprised me with this really cute white purse and a plaid headband. I thought it was really sweet of them to remember me.
The rest of the day went pretty quickly, considering. Later in the day, all the teachers had a pizza party to celebrate my birthday. They even put candles in a pizza. Blowing out candles on a pepperoni pizza was definitely a first for me! Oh, and Mark had his entire kindergarten class sing happy birthday to me. Squeezable!
At the end of the school day, SangKwun came to Poly with Father to pick me up. We went to a really nice kalbi (beef BBQ) restaurant.
Here are Mark and me at the restaurant.
Here I am with Father and SangKwun. They both flew to Korea specifically to celebrate the day with me.
Here's a shot of the dinner. The waitress cooked the meal for us. At the beginning of the meal, I noticed that Father tipped her 10,000 won (or about $10). No one tips in Korea, so she was extremely happy and barely left our sides the entire meal.
Then SangKwun presented me with a birthday cake. It was a very Korean cake, with a sweet potato filling. Sounds weird, but it actually tasted good! And I've discovered how Koreans remain thin -- when they cut the cake, they just cut one piece and all 4 of us shared it. Talk about an easy way to cut calories! Especially since I brought the remaining cake to school the next day to be devoured by the teachers. :)
Here I am blowing out the candles. We had a little disagreement on the NUMBER of candles to put on the cake though. The two tall candles stand for 10 a piece, then the small ones count the subsequent years. SangKwun insisted on 2 big and 9 small, since my Korean age is 29. But I wanted 28 as that's my American age and I don't think there's any reason to be any closer to 30 than necessary. Not surprisingly, the big brother won out and I celebrated my 29th birthday in Korea.
SangKwun presented me with these adorable Puma sneakers. He said he chose them because he wants me to start working out. I think both sets of parents back home with get a kick out of that...
Here I am with all my birthday loot. Father gave me the beautiful flowers.