an Aussie birthday celebration
23.05.2009 - 25.05.2009 23 °C
I had quite an international birthday affair...
On Saturday, four Italian students (Francesca, Eleonora, Lara and Alice - they ALL live in Geegal and our birthdays are within 2 weeks of each other's!) and I had a big BBQ party in the Geegal courtyard. It was awesome: in addition to all our friends from Geegal and the other two residences (Bulga and Gumal), there were tons of people from my Malaysia trip and other UTS students milling around, chatting in all sorts of languages (there were actually quite a few Italian students, so I heard a lot of "Buon Compleano!" (Happy Birthday.) Since everyone's been pretty overwhelmed with uni work over the past couple months, this was a great opportunity to get everyone out of their flats and reunite them all in the name of...well, my (our) birthday. Haha. Mother Nature was on my side that weekend - the only time it rained was Saturday afternoon! (Mind you, northern New South Wales has been flooding, so that says something.)
My friend Vikash (who's from Holland, but I actually thought he was American when I first met him - his accent is ridiculously similar to ours) gave me the ultimate birthday present - red party cups! so difficult to find in Australia - so a group of us immediately set up a game of Flip Cup in my apartment. (Basically, you line up red cups filled a quarter of the way with beer on either side of a table and team up, then it's a race to chug and flip your cup over before your opponent. Good fun, but we've experimented with several other types of plastic cups and they just don't flip like the American style ones.)
That night, a bunch of us from the BBQ caught the train out to The Rocks for some bar-hopping fun. Sydney bars can be a bit annoying when it comes to dress codes so it was tough to get everyone into the same places, but I ended up having a blast with Paddy, Vikash and my friend Luke from my old restaurant job.
Monday was my real birthday, and I woke up to Miriam and Anja's crepe paper streamers covering my door and Paddy's idea of an "American" breakfast: pop-tarts, with a small bunch of daffodils. Awa brought me coffee from a little cafe across the street, then I headed out to Manly to visit my friend Elise (who happened to be visiting from SF - she used to lifeguard with me at SF State and had a couple journo classes with me before transferring to CU Boulder last semester.) We shopped around and had this great (cheap) Thai lunch overlooking the crashing waves (under a cloudy grey sky, but it wasn't too chilly), then made our way over to the beach house she was staying at with a friend's family.
I almost missed the ferry back home (had to run in my sundress and sandals!), but I was able to quickly get ready for my birthday dinner - Thai again, but this time at a fabulous place in Newtown - with a bunch of Geegal friends: Paddy, Rob, Anja, Miriam, Awa, Shellie, Will, Devini (my Sri Lankan friend), Sanyukta (my newer Indian flatmate - the only other non-Aussie), and Francesca. Before we left, I was nearly drowned in generous gifts - silver earrings, scarves (that's become my signature accessory, along with bracelets), the HOTTEST black peep toe pumps from my flatmate Will (most impressive is the fact that he guessed my shoe size by comparing a shoe in my closet to his forearm), a James Squire t-shirt (shout out to my favorite Australian beer), a photo album of mine and Miriam's epic trip to the Southwest (complete with her witty comments) and a signed photo collage of a bunch of my Aussie friends and silly things we've said over the semester, put together by my flatmate Shellie. It was pretty overwhelming and I was beyond touched by all their efforts.
After dinner, most of us headed across the street to Kuleto's, a cocktail bar that serves up some of the most ridiculously tasty drinks I've ever had. I ordered a Red Corvette and a Japanese Slipper before Paddy and I left to grab amber ales down the street at Marly Bar.
I'm truly lucky to have such incredible friends on both sides of the Pacific.