Saturday morning came early as usual, but since it was my birthday the normal routine of housekeeping and trying to catch up on sleep was scrapped. I sipped hot chocolate and ate corn flakes next to my heater reading a James Patterson book for probably the sixth time. A surprise came at 10:15 when Mom and Dad called to wish me happy birthday. I didn’t realize how much I wanted to hear someone say those words and it made it seem more real. It had been easy to let Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s to slip by on the calendar… those day aren’t celebrated by anyone here. Birthdays are different though. Everyone has them, everyone celebrates them.
The call got me going and I was up and out the door before 11:00. My plan was to walk to town and pick up some souvenirs… spend a little of the money I have been so protective of since I got here. What better way to spend my birthday than getting myself a birthday present? Unfortunately the Handicraft Emporium was closed since the family went out of town to celebrate the New Year on Sunday. I wandered into the market and picked up some grapes and a Sprite for a bit of a treat.
My walk home was shortened when Rinzin saw me walking and offered a ride the rest of the way. After a quick text message to Kinga to confirm our plans for the evening, I took a Saturday afternoon nap. I splurged on buying lunch instead of cooking… red rice, potatoes with chili and cheese, spinach soup and a Coke cost me 95 ngultrum (just over $2).