There are no streamers, balloons or chinese food when you celebrate your birthday in another country. It's possible that this sort of occasion could be very lonely, if you don't have any loved ones around. I'm very lucky that this has never been my experience.
It's not the first time that I've been away from Canada for my birthday. Last year, I celebrated my birthday in Paris with Greg, Heloise and Heloise's boyfriend Tibault. This year, I'm in Ankara, Turkey for my birthday, not quite as spectactular as Paris, but still pretty great all the same. I cannot even begin to describe how very lucky I am to have such amazing friends (and students!) who made my birthday spectacular.
|Birthday dinner at Marco Paschas' in Bachelievler|
On Saturday, my friends and I went out to Marco Paschas in the Bachelievler neighbourhood. We went for dinner and drinks and had a fantastic time chatting away. It was a really nice night. It was sort of warm, so we sat on the roof top floor for dinner.
On Sunday, I went to Colleen's for a study date. Ever since Olympos, Colleen and I have been dreaming about this delicious eggplant and garlic yogourt dish we had at our treehouse. Colleen managed to re-create the recipe and we made it together as a birthday request. It was easy to make and so delicious. I am going to try to make one Turkish recipe per week, so watch for a food blog entry coming soon.
On Monday, the day of my birthday, Colleen brought me a warm breakfast square as a birthday breakfast. It was delicious and I'm definately going to get the recipe from her so I can start having warm breakfast squares on the soon-to-be-coming cold winter days. Later that evening, Barkın, the lovely Turkish man I am dating, took me out for a nice, traditional Turkish meal. I don't know what everything was called that we ate, but it was really delicious and we had a really nice evening.
On Tuesday, Barkın came over and Colleen, Eliidh, Laurel and Koray surprised me with a cake and presents. I got a hamam kit (scrubby cloth, exfoliating mitt, olive oil soap and a scoop!) and baklava (mmmm...baklava). But that's not all...
|My lovely students :)|
My lovely students brought in two delicious cakes from Mado for my birthday, this afternoon. They had closed the door to the classroom and three of them were standing outside the classroom door doing their best to stall me in English. When I went inside the classroom, the lights were out, everyone shouted 'Happy Birthday' and there were two cakes on the desk. I was told to cut the cake, and did the best I could using a plastic knife while the students crowded around taking pictures. I forgot how much teenagers like to pose for the camera and take pictures. We ate the delicious cake, drank Coke and took tons of pictures, which are now on facebook.
So there were no balloons, streamers or chinese food, but I can honestly say that I feel like a total princess for my birthday week. I couldn't ask for better friends or students to celebrate my birthday with. I'm a very, very lucky girl :)