Growing older happens not only too fast, but it can also be pretty exhausting especially if you are abroad for your birthday.
My birthday celebrations started on Friday when I partied with some of my InternChina friends. We went to a huge club area in Chengdu where we enjoyed some free drinks with many Chinese people. Club-hopping was amazing but we were out till about 4am. So I was able to catch some sleep until noon the next day.
I was a bit surprised that my host-family did not wish me “Happy Birthday”. Later though it turned out that it was only a cultural misunderstanding. In China birthdays are usually not given special importance until your 60th birthday. Bearing this in mind, I was happy they ignored it since my 60s are still some years ahead of me. Although they did not congratulate me, they invited my friends to come over to our flat for a party. During the day my host-sister Sophie was preparing hand-made cupcakes, milk tea and biscuits as well as rearranging the furniture to make sure all my 20 international guests would fit.
It was not only a birthday party but also an International Food Feast. Every intern as well as every Chinese guest brought one home-made dish and we shared all the international food: Bangers and Mash, Chicken Wings, Spaghetti Carbonara, American Pizza, Schnitzel, Bratkartoffeln, more mashed potatoes, Chinese vegetables, fried Jiaozi and dessert. I totally enjoyed having all this delicious food at the same time.
After dinner someone started blowing up balloons. It was lovely and colourful to begin with and distributing them all over the room reminded me of childhood birthday parties. Somehow the balloons found their way all around our living room landing on people and food. Soon the peaceful party took a different turn when people started throwing balloons at each other. Thankfully no one was seriously injured during the balloon fight =).
After the party I skyped with my family in Germany and went to bed already excited for Sunday, when we had decided to see the Giant Buddha of Leshan.
It was a terribly busy but amazing weekend. Since I am leaving tomorrow I wanted to say goodbye and thank all my new friends here in China. Hope to see you soon!
生日快乐! (Sheng ri kuai le!) Happy Birthday!
Ben, a Chengdu intern turned 21 yesterday. Such a big thing: he is American.
Therefore, he has all the freedom of an adult now (though he would be alowed to drink beer in China since he is older than 18)
To celebrate Ben´s birthday the InternChina team & Ben´s lovely host family met to have a really nice Chinese BBQ. Ben´s host family was hosting the party and therefore we spend a terrific evening above the rooftops of Chengdu.
The food was absolutely merit a 21st `birthday. We had a lot of local dishes, different meat, nicely cooked vegetables and awesome seafood. Nevertheless, I need to mention Ben´s German birthday cake, which was obviously very tasty.
Ben really enjoyed celebrating his birthday with his host family. After staying with them for 10 weeks, he really feels home here in Chengdu. Next to your internship you do in China – which is obviously nice for your CV – your host family and the InternChina team really become your 2nd family. Hence, celebrating your birthday in China becomes very special.
Spending an evening with three generations of Ben´s host family was a really good experience for the other interns as well. We taught Ben´s “host-brother” some more English and applied our new Chinese language knowledge while talking to Ben’s “host-grandparents”
All in all we had an awesome evening and we wish Ben all the best for the future!
If you want to enjoy some cultural experience as well visit our website www.internchina.com for more information!
My name is Philipp and I’m the victim of Bens sleep attacks 😉
I think everything has been said by Ben, so just a short summary:
- great beer
- excellent Chinese food
- beautiful city
- nice people
- and cheap, you can really live like a King