On my birthday, I went to work as per normal. I had an idea of what to expect when I got to work, but I am still surprised by the lack of excitement that surrounds birthdays here. I only got one unprompted happy birthday (though I tried very hard not to prompt anyone this year). Still, I knew that everyone would help me celebrate in their own way. I got three presents: chopsticks from one of my English teachers (with a sheep on them because I’m a sheep in the Chinese zodiac), a special Pokemon keychain from the Pokemon Center, and a tin full of chocolate truffles. Then, like the past two years, I got a cake.
I left work around 3:15 and booked it back to my apartment. I grabbed my suitcase, dropped my school bag and waited for my taxi. I had reserved my favorite taxi driver. She brought me mochi as a New Years’ present and I gave her a box of chocolate cookies I had made.
I had a late evening flight and arrived at the hotel around 9pm.
I had a “super healthy” dinner from the vending machine before crashing.