Monday, May 2, 2011

FLASHBACK #4: Super Sweet 21

Following my plane ride back from Taiwan, I spent the evening catching up on homework. The next day would be my birthday (March 14th), and I wanted the day off :)

I woke up, and I have to be honest... I didn't remember it was my birthday instantly.
Not until I checked my email, and saw the date, did it finally come back to me.
... I guess this is what happens when you get old.

So I was officially 21 years old!
Too bad it doesn't mean that much in Hong Kong (since the drinking age is "looking" 18).

The morning started off slow, with  Marketing and Sociology in the morning. 
Everyone I ran into or talked to on the phone was acting very distant.
I knew something was going on...

Around the end of my sociology class, I got a phone call from Jens asking me to be ready to leave my dorm at 4pm... no other details... he just hung up. I had 3 hours to wait.

I suspected something special was going to happen, so I decided to call Rita (my Irish girl pal) to borrow her straightener. SHE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS ONE THAT WORKS WITH THE OUTLETS ON CAMPUS! What a lucky gal :)

I spent the afternoon straightening my hair, getting ready, and responding to the 12093812093 Facebook comments I was receiving (A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF YOU)!

At around 4:05pm, Jens called me sounding a bit stressed... He told me to meet him at the ground floor of my dorm. According to him, we were late!

I rushed down to the ground floor, where he was waiting for me carrying a small pot of flowers and chocolates. My jaw dropped and I ran over to give him a big hug! He told me to hurry and put them up in my room. He had ordered a taxi to pick us up and take us to the next location.

When I returned, Jens was standing outside with a picnic basket and a backpack full or roses. I was speechless! However, I didn't have too much time to appreciate it because Jens informed me that the taxi he had ordered wasn't coming! There had been a mix-up, and we had to walk to the atrium and catch a taxi there. No big deal :) 

Walking to the Atrium to Catch a Taxi

En Route
 The first stop of my birthday extravaganza was at Lion Rock Park for a picnic.
Take a look:

Walking Around the Park

Our spot

Setting up


So it had been a tradition of mine to always go to Outback on my birthday and eat Cheese-fries with my family. However, I knew this tradition wouldn't happen this year since the nearest Outback to campus was far-far-away!
Jens knew about this tradition, and it turned out that at the bottom of his picnic basket, he had hidden a box of Cheese-fries! He had gone into the city to buy them earlier that afternoon...

Outback Cheese-Fries = A++

Trying to Open the Wine!

Setting up for the Sunset


 After watching the sunset, Jens got up from our picnic area and began packing up. He said he had made a reservation to go eat at a restaurant in the city. I wasn't hungry, since I had eaten so much fruit and french fries. YIKES! Regardless, we left the park and caught a Taxi. Jens was covering my eyes most of the way, so I had no idea where we were going!
The taxi ended up dropping us off on a busy city street. I was trying to read street signs and figure out what district we were in but this was the only one I could find:
Me: Where are we?
Jens: Look at the sign.

Jens seemed a little nervous, and we began walking up the road. 
(I found out later that he was killing time... you will see why later)

We passed by a McDonald's and he stopped and said "WE"RE HERE!"
I was about to cry...
A McDonald's, Really? Really?!

Thank goodness he was joking :) Haha.
After walking for a bit, Jens grabbed my hand and led me back to the place we had been dropped off by the taxi. It turns out that the restaurant had been right there and things still needed to get ready...
Ready for what? 
Take a look:

Two tables full of my closest exchange pals were ready to go at the restaurant!
I couldn't believe it. I almost started crying! I felt so thankful :)

Nancy and Mikey-Mai Ordering for Our Table
Peking Duck = A-

Caroline and Honza Ordering

Malte (Germany)  was Ready to Start Eating

The Other Table

From Left: Brian, Jason, Miguel, and Jonathan


Miguel and I :)

From Left: Deniz (Turkey), Jeremy, Audrie, John Dang

Brian and I

From Left: Jens, Malte, and Nancy
Grabbing Some Food!


Seeing what the Other Table was Eating

Caroline and Honza Sharing Noodles

Rita with her Veggie Dish

 After thinking that things couldn't get any better... They did.

"Happy Birthday to You..."

Me: OMG! That's a Red Velvet Cake!
 Red velvet is my favorite type of cake!
It turns out that Jens had done research on a Bakery in Hong Kong that would bake me one for my birthday. Miguel, Jen's room-mate and my good pal, had been left in charge of going into the city and placing the order for it. This is when I found out the Jens and Mikey-Mai had been the master-minds behind my entire birthday party (Jens being the head in command, of course)!

If you remember, I had an entry earlier about planning Mikey-Mai's birthday party with Jens! I found it very sweet that they had taken the role of my birthday planners 
(especially since they had both been in Taiwan with me)! 
Sneaky... Sneaky... Sneaky...


My Cake = A+

Beginning to Cut the Cake


I let Jens Take Over Cutting the Slices...

Everyone Gets a Slice!

Group Pictures With the Cake :)

Silly Group Picture :)

Everyone Digging into Some Cake

After leaving the restaurant, we decided to go out for a drink together. Since it was a Monday night, I didn't want to keep everyone out too late... especially with midterms just around the corner!
I found out that Jens had chosen the restaurant we had eaten at because it was in TST (Tsim Sha Tsui), which is a popular place to go out and have a drink. The restaurant was conveniently located  on a street with many pubs and bars. I chose to go to a Mexican bar and everyone tagged along...

Me, Honza and Caroline Walking to the Bar

Hey, What Are you Ordering?

Dos Equis, Please.

Having a Laugh with Caroline

Everyone was Having a Drink

Other Side of the Table
By the time we had finished a round of drinks, it was midnight and everyone was ready to get back to campus. I made sure to hug each and every one of them before they got on the MTR home :)
See you!
I continued the evening with Honza, Caroline, and Jens at another bar and decided to call it a night a couple of hours later.

It was an unforgettable birthday.

So Thankful,

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