So this past Wednesday, February 19th, was my 21st birthday. Let me first acknowledge the anticlimactic nature of turning 21 in a country where the legal drinking age is 18. There was no going out at midnight, waiting for a bartender to card me, only to brandish my ID that now proves my legality to drink, almost rubbing it in the bartenders face as I, Nikki Sondergaard, am now allowed to do this. Nope, there was none of that. But that doesn’t mean I had a bad birthday!
At first when I learned my birthday was during a week long break I thought fantastic, now everyone can go out and nobody needs to worry about class in the morning! What I didn’t realize is that most all of my English friends went home for reading week. So, my big birthday bash became much smaller than originally planned. I had been debating whether or not to try and attend the Brit Awards, which is like the English Oscars. This happened on my birthday, and after much deliberation I figured it was a long shot for a small chance at seeing some celebs! Instead, I woke up, worked out, and had some cake. A couple flatmates brought over a cake and a card, and that I think marked the start of my birthday celebrations! Although, Tuesday night I did order two large pizzas for just myself, but they were buy one get one free, so it just made sense, you know? That could also be considered part of my birthday celebrations, but pizza could commemorate anything, or nothing, while cake is a pretty big ‘birthday’ signifier.
So here it was, early afternoon on my birthday, and I had no clue what I wanted to do. A friend named Anna came over to help me make a plan, and we decided that we wanted to go see some live music. We found an event, and scheduled an evening around it. We planned to to the Breakfast Club, an American-style diner, then get some beer samples at a microbrewery nearby. We met up with Cameron at the restaurant, and though I’ve been craving some good American food, I got a chicken pie with mash. An odd choice for at an American diner, but a good one. Since we were in Shoreditch it became essential for us to stop by the bagel place on Brick Lane to pick up some late night/next morning snacks. Enthusiasm had been dwindling to continue our night out, so we instead chose to head back to my flat and drink there!
We picked up a bottle of vodka and some cider, and holy cow, drinking here is expensive. I wouldn’t be able to do it on a regular basis, which is probably just as well. We intended to play some good old fashioned American drinking card games, but that idea went in the scrapper when we realized none of us had playing cards. Not to be discouraged, we googled to find drinking games related to movies (i.e. when a certain character does _____, everyone drinks), and found one for Hercules, the Disney movie. We half watched, half visited, then we went ahead and watched Mulan! Anna also brought a cake, so we had some more cake as well. I had intended it to be an early night but time escaped us and all of a sudden it was around 3:00am! We were all feeling pretty tired so the party disassembled from there.
I slept most of the next day, partly due to a hangover (though not even close to the worst one I’ve had) and partly because why not? It was a birthday present to myself. I even managed to sleep a full night last night! So now I am very much in the green with sleep, and back to the daily grind! Except there’s no class today. But I’m as back to the daily grind as one can be without class!
Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, and an extra special thank you to those who sent a card and/or gift! 🙂 Your generosity will not be forgotten, and expect a postcard sometime within the next couple of months! 🙂