The Ten Day Birthday

All my life I have always been all about having an excellent birthday,
maybe it was the parties at Hollywood Bowl as a six year old or
getting fally-downy drunk with my friends in more recent years but
regardless a celebration of my getting older is something that simply
has to happen.

This year however I might just have outdone myself, this year I had a
10 day birthday. In my last post you read about my birthday starting
with the massage Linda bought me on the 1st Jan. It would then last
until the tenth of Jan.

Now this birthday didn’t include an event on every day of those ten
days, that would be sublimely ridiculous but I did manage to stretch
the celebrations out across the first ten days of the new year so lets
take a look at the events:

January 3rd

The day before my actual birthday but a day that both Linda and myself
had off work, therefore it was tagged as the day Linda would take me
out for my birthday meal. Given that it was my birthday it would be my
choice and not surprisingly, given my predelictions for rock music and
burgers, it was one I came to very quickly:

Hard Rock Cafe.

Fancy schmancy french and italian restaurants can suck it, on my
birthday I want hunks of meat, Beatles memorabilia and quality music
in the background. This was my second birthday in a HRC (I spent my
21st birthday meal in New York with my Mom and sis in New York HRC. My
Mum got drunk. So funny.) and it suits me down to a tee. If there’s a
dish on a menu that lists truffles as an ingredient it ain’t somewhere
I’m going for a birthday.

So HRC it was, we got there and were delighted to find out that Coors
was on buy one get one free and then got into checking out the menu.
My main problem with HRC is that EVERYTHING on the menu sounds
DELICIOUS. Its tough deciding what to have, every time. Given that I
decided on the trio combo, giving me the best of three worlds: Pulled
Pork, Barbecue Chicken and Spare Ribs. NOMS.

Linda went with a caesar salad, some fancy spring roll things and we
settled on an enormous plate of nachos with beef fajitas for our
starter. The Nachos arrived shortly after and as usual the plate on
its own would have been quite enough to satisfy two people, main
courses be damned. The nachos were succesfully and satisfactorily
eradicated and my belly’s meek protests at approaching capacity were
summarily ignored.

Then came the mains, my plate came, piled high with the various meats
and looking like a banquet for T-Rexes. Perfect.Linda’s spring roll
things came in something that looked like an oversized margarita
glass, I nabbed one and discovered that they were delicious and that
somehow the rabbit food accompanying them was also delicious too.

Toward the end of my vegetarian’s nightmare my stomach’s protests
became loud and vociferous and were of course fully ignored as I
ploughed through everything to the finish, leaving but a few crumbs
and a couple of orphan french fries destined for the trash. Linda in a
much more sensible display of judgement left some of her salad and had
some spring rolls and chicken boxed to take home.

A Vegetarian's Nightmare!

As we were sat watching food babys miraculously grow inside us over
nine minutes rather than nine months the manager approached and asked
us how we’d liked our food. I was also confused as to how he knew that
I’d been in HRC Singapore until after he left Linda pointed out I
happened to be wearing a HRC Singapore t-shirt. D’oh. Anyway Linda
casually dropped into the convo that it my birthday.

This prompted two excellent things. The HRC staff coming over to our
table and singing Happy Birthday for yours truly and the manager
bringing forth a free birthday ice cream. Now I was full but could I
let good ice cream melt infront of me? I surely could not. So I
attacked it with gusto, assuming, rightly that my body would find room
in some intestine of my oesophagus due to my stomach being fully
booked out.

After that I was truly like a beached whale flopping around on a
proverbial beach, the idea of movement seemed like a cruel and
impossible trick that could be only achieved with magic and/or props.

Eventually after a few burps and a little time the tide came back in
and pulled me back out to sea and that was the end of that. I’d eaten
enough for at least two men and was immensely proud of this fact. Upon
returning home a “quick nap” became a deep sleep and I woke up on the
morning of my actual birthday.

A quick smug couple pic!

January 4th

And so I awoke on my birthday, the food baby having resided and my
ability to move restored. Linda gave me my birthday present, I’d asked
for and picked out an external hard drive to store all my photos and
other files on; the 40gb hard drive on my over 5 year old laptop was
becoming a rather limiting factor, plus its age meant a failure could
happen anytime (which reminds me that I need to get stuff transferred
across sharpish!!!).

I’d decided on a 500gb Acer, very thin with a protective case, in
silver with an orange band around the middle. It was in the sale at
the place I picked it out and I found myself happy with it as when
looking it up online I found I’d paid less for it than it would have
cost back home. Not something which normally occurs in Vietnam due to import taxes and suchlike.

From there a lovely chilled out day was had until I had to go into
bloody work (note to self – from now on always book birthday off).
although in fairness work wasn’t too tough either. My first class had
to get through a couple of pages of the textbook and my second class
began a new DVD lesson, watching the first 3/4 of Hot Fuzz. (which I’d
had a manager sign off on – there’s lots of excellent language in it.)

One of my student had also brought me a present – his family sell
“Glomedic” lamps, a lamp with a big lump of rock salt that are
supposed to improve the air quality of your home, given the air
quality (or lack thereof) I was of the mind to give things a shot here
and the first night I put it on I had rather a good nights sleep,
coincidental or not!

I toured home from work to find that Linda had once again gone above
and beyond in the kitchen; a roast pork dinner with gravy, veg and
most impressive of all given that she’s American and 3 days prior had
never heard of them: Yorkshire Puddings. And she rather nailed them,
the taste was absolutely spot on.

Pork n Puds

At that point I finally found the time to speak my Dad (and wish him a
happy birthday as we share the day) and my Mum. Though my sister has
yet to make it to Skype due to our wildly conflicting schedules.At
that point the day was rather long in the tooth and soon the Z’s were
floating in the air above my head.

January 9th

After going on hiatus for a few days my birthday reconvened at the end
of a weekend full of work, that went rather quickly with something to
look forward to. For the Sunday night my friend Rufus and I had booked
out a floor of an Indian restaurant with seats for 36 for a birthday
meal with the promise of heading out for karaoke afterwards.

I shall quickly slice through the work day, it was long and the usual.
From there I raced home for a quick shower, slammed on a change of
clothes and found the xe om guy at the end of the street to take me
back down to D1 and Tandoor.

Tandoor has a reputation for being both the most expensive and best
Indian in the city, I’m not sure how I hadn’t visited it before but I
shall tell you right now that I will be visiting again and probably
quite soon!!

We had three large tables of twelve people which we though would be
more than enough and in this we were of course wrong, I think around
40 people showed up between me and Rufus and it was a fantastic
occasion with great banter and superb food.

Thankfully I considered that I would need room for beers and didn’t
attempt the kind of largesse I went for in Hard Rock Cafe but the Lamb
Rogan Josh and Chicken Jalfrezi were spot on especially when
complimented by the Erdinger and Tiger bought for me by kind friends.
Also bought for me by my friend Ron form basketball was a Sacramento
Kings headband, a fantastic choice as one of my favourite players,
DeMarcus Cousins, plays for them and it might just stop suntan cream
seeping into my eyes when I play. I will find out tomorrow!

The meal went superbly and at its conclusion some people decided to
bug out and the rest of us cornered taxis and headed off to “Nice”
karaoke. It was rather better than nice, the English song menu didn’t
include a single dish post 1995 which left a string of classics to be
belted out. I’m sure I will be missing some classic performances but
highlights included:

Rufus – In the Jungle
Me – Can’t Buy Me Love (Beatles)
Me and Linda Livin’ On a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
Tom and Tan – We Will Rock You (Queen)
Seo and Sophie – Rubber Ducky
Ron and Billie – Bed of Roses

but my absolute favourite was of course myself and Rich belting out
Elton John’s Tiny Dancer. Magnificent. I am of course completely
biased but as it was my birthday celebration I am of course allowed to
be, so there 😛

Blue Jean Baby.......

The place was shutting down come midnight so the bill came for beers
for around 15 people, probly 40 or so beers, that would be 919,000
dong or £30. Less than a pound a beer. Love it.

Karaoke or I'm a Little Teapot? You Decide!

January 10th

We rolled past midnight and headed on to a bar with a pool table
that’s name I do not remember and I proceeded to show that any pool
skills I might have developed back in the day at Riley’s (which I
think were more related to the small tables and huge pockets in all
honesty) had completely eroded. Some assist must be giving to rather a
few beers not assisting my hand-eye coordination but mostly I am quite
admittedly shit at pool.

A quick jaunt home and after munching down a fried egg sandwich and
drinking a good amount of water I flopped into bed.

Some time later in the morning I awoke and asked Linda for a glass of
water to deal with the milder than expected but not insignificant
hangover. This was given short shrift by Linda stating: “Your birthday
is over. Get it yourself.”

And it was. And so is this blog.

Love and Karaoke

J. Xx


2 Responses to “The Ten Day Birthday”

  1. Darn! Why didn’t you mention about my present?

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