Thank you everyone for nice words and things for my birthday!

It was not nearly as lonely as I had anticipated. I intentionally didn’t mention it to any of my acquaintances here (sidenote: Russian has a word for friend, “drug”; a word for acquaintance, “znakomyj”; and a third word for someone who’s not quite a friend, but whom it’s still pleasant to see, “prijatel'”. In this situation I wish English were that precise). I figured if I told people, one of two things would happen:

(a) someone would feel compelled to make a big fuss and be resentful of it because they don’t even know me hardly, or
(b) I would try to arrange something, and it would be a lot of work and stress, and then possibly no one would come.

So in order to avoid disappointment, I planned on cooking everything Ethiopian plus a carrot cake and spending the day dashing between the stove and Skype. My roommates caught wind of the occasion the day before, and so when I woke up on Birthday Morning, Fabian had left a package, wrapped in actual wrapping paper (Anna Rose commented, “Wow, how old is he? He really has it together.”), containing Haribo and some chocolate that I still haven’t gotten into, because later in the day Jakob brought a bottle of Sekt (hobo champagne) and MORE Haribo, plus a chocolate bar filled with one giant Oreo, with a newspaper from February 2014 hastily crumpled around it. Fabian may have it together, but Jakob is more like my people.

The Oreo bar is disappearing at a rate that would make my GP scowl.

The Ethiopian food was delicious. I had dinner while I talked to my family. Then Jakob came and asked, “So are we going to eat together or what?”

Awwwwwww. So I pretended that I had not eaten. They both liked the food, and both seemed surprised at this fact. I was a little insulted, but I’m still not sure whether it was on my own behalf or on the behalf of Ethiopia, or on the behalf of lentils and cabbage. We had a nice time hanging out, which we almost never do, followed by a large quantity of carrot cake for the roomies, and a carrot cake free, yet still uncomfortably full evening for me.

Here’s a birthday song, shared with me by Carmel, but composed by Thorin:

Happy birthday to me, I’m a hundred and three.
I’m still in pre-school, and I miss my mommy.

My mommy’s at work. She works with a jerk.
That jerk is a monkey and he ate my homework.