06 September 2008

Mon anniversaire

I always thought my birthday fell at just the wrong time of the year. The beginning of September is always a time of transition – whether it was starting school, moving into my dorm or, in my present situation, getting acclimated to a new and foreign city. But over the years I’ve managed to have some pretty good birthdays; although, I think this year’s tops the list.

My official start of my birthday here at 12:00 a.m. Paris time was marked by my loyal (and wonderful) boyfriend who made sure to send me a message via Facebook chat. But by morning, I was feeling a bit nostalgique [homesick] especially after seeing a few birthday e-mails and e-cards from home. Sauf pour my host mother joyously telling me “ ’Appy Birthday” (the French always drop their H’s) the morning passed as normal.

It wasn’t until déjeuner [lunch] that my first day to no longer be a teenager truly revealed itself as special. My friend Hannah suggested that we head to this bagel place she had seen earlier for lunch (I would soon learn that, although she undoubtedly loves my company, this was intended as a distraction). We ate our bagels (quite good for bagels being practically unheard of in France) happily, and then Hannah suggested we return to Reid Hall. We returned only to find a horde of smiling Smithies in the salle à manger [dinning room] ready to sing “Joyeux anniversaire!” and present me with chocolate cake and
Tiramisu. It was fabulous to be able to celebrate with everyone.

Later that afternoon, while shopping at a nearby H&M (three stories, mind you), I bought myself a très jolie [very pretty] scarf as a birthday present à moi [to me].

For dinner, Madame had asked me to invite two friends pour fêter [to celebrate] my birthday so Hannah and Jamie gladly joined us for a veritable feast beginning with an aperitif (champagne, of course pour fêter) and ending with a fruit-topped cheesecake. The whole meal was excellent! Parfait [perfect]!

Afterwards, Hannah, Jamie and I went to a cinéma just next to Hannah’s apartment and only a couple blocks from mine. It’s an art-house-type cinéma (meaning no French-dubbed Kung Fu Panda or Zohan) and after surveying the numerous tempting choices we settled on Metropolis, a German Expressionist movie from the 1920s – again, excellent!

In all, I’m happy to be 20, and although I couldn’t share the day with the people with whom I am truly the closest, I had the best birthday imaginable.

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