I'm a quarter of a century old now! And if anyone asked me how I envisioned I would be spending this birthday, I would have never even come close to the reality of it. But at the very least I had one unforgettable birthday weekend!
On Friday we celebrated at school. My boss got a cake from the bakery next door and because there were no plates we all just dug in with chopsticks. I think that almost made it taste better. Friday night Jackie and I went out with another co-worker, and other teachers from our building randomly showed up and we all played cards until 4:00 in the morning before ending our night with a McDonalds run (not my idea, but it did taste very good).
Saturday we got a late start (which tends to happen when you go to bed at 5:00), and went shopping downtown with Jess (our head Korean teacher). She then drove us up to a restaurant in one of the mountains to watch the sunset, then we went back to my favorite barbecue place for pork. After that we went to a few places to try to find other people, and then Jess showed us what Korean clubs are like. That was definitely a unique experience - you pay for a table, and then the waiters drag you to strangers' tables because they want to meet you (even though this is very difficult if no one speaks English and you can't hear anything over the music). But in the end, it was at least interesting and there was a lot of fun Korean dance music.
It's hard to believe, but I spent my birthday day hiking! Jackie and I had a "birthday hike" up the closest and smallest mountain, which is a few blocks away from where we work. There was a very pretty panorama of the city, and also a number of strange exercise parks at the top. Apparently the thing here is to climb a mountain in order to work out.
Anyway, now it's the week again, and it's back to the normal routine. Though after all of the money I spent and the late hours I kept over the weekend, having a few normal days is what I really need.