I was so lucky to celebrate my 28th birthday in Japan!
This will certainly go down as one of the birthdays I never forget. Like my 7th birthday when my mom gave the head of the unicorn on the cake to my childhood friend instead of me. Even though I was the birthday girl.
No, not like that though. This birthday was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L! See how I spelled it all out in caps like that? Must be true.
As a sushi-loving-fanatic, I had decided that I would of course get some sushi for dinner. Japan can be crazy expensive though so I was only going to do something small, but nice.
A few days before my birthday, I was contacted by one of my readers – her name is Erin. I know Erin through a company we both used to work for. Our time overlapping there was short – only a few months. Erin worked in another department too, so we didn’t interact too much but when we did she was always so bright and positive. She’s actually always this way with everyone (even though she’s going blind).
Erin wrote me a beautiful little diddy about how my blog has inspired her and that she would like to contribute to my trip via a donation. I was so happy that my blog has been able to resonate that much with her that it would move her to reach out to me like this!
The night before
Instead of just getting something small and simple, with Erin’s donation, I was able to really enjoy myself. I went to a place called Kappa Kappa sushi in Nagoya and went wild!
It was delicious and amazing. The conveyor belt runs around where you can pull sushi off (you pay per plate) and eat it. Alternatively, above the conveyor belt is a small touch screen menu. If you’d like something particular, say multiple chocolate parfaits, you can order them on the touch screen. I’m a spice wimp and wanted to get some sushi without wasabi. I placed my order on the touch screen and sent it.
Then I started to panic.
“Is it going to come on the conveyor belt? Will someone bring it to me? If it comes on the belt, how will I know it’s mine? What if someone else takes it?”
As I’m having a little social anxiety attack, I hear a train whistle and my screen starts flashing. Up pulls a mini-Shinkansen!
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I literally squealed when this happened! Aww a cute little train delivery!!! The lady next to me looked startled LOL!
After plumping myself up on sushi, I went home and had an amazing nights sleep.
The day of
I had gone out the night before so that I could spend my actual birthday kickin’ it at the Airbnb I was staying at. Staying in, taking naps, and watching anime all sounded like a good birthday plan to me!
My brother calls me on FaceTime for a video chat. On the screen is a Nintendo 2DS – exactly what I asked for! I’d been harassing him with craigslist links and eBay listings but turns out he was way head of me! He’s helping me get Pokemon Y now so I can play with my sister when I get home.
I admit I missed having someone there to physically say to me “Happy Birthday!” and share the day with me. I was getting plenty of messages via Facebook, but was still feeling kind of lonely. I had no right to complain though – I’m in Japan!
Up in my room relaxing, I hear my host yell “Zoom! Zoom come down here!” and I wonder what’s wrong. I knew she was going to have a guy come to install a fire alarm, but was it that time already?
I start to get my pants on, because of course I’m pantsless on my birthday, and head downstairs. When I open the door she yells “Hurry Zoom, it’s melting!”
Making it to the bottom of the stairs, I see her with a big smile and her going “Happy Birthday!” On the table there is a small white cake – the frosting seems to be sliding off, but there are candles lit, ready to be made into wishes!
I’m so touched by her thoughtfulness and in my stupor look up at her. “I noticed on your passport that it was your birthday today! Hurry, we have to eat the cake the creme is melting!” I blew out the candles and we dove into the cake.
It was a stack of hotcakes with whipped cream on top – which had begun to melt. We ate the whole thing while talking and laughing. While we were still kind of strangers, I felt this made us friends. I was so happy to have someone to share my birthday with. I also love surprises and this was beyond the best kind I could have expected.
They say that at some age your birthday just becomes another day – but I’m not there yet. Maybe because I’m in Japan I got granted one more year of birthday loving. I am so happy to be where I am in my life right now, that I’m thrilled to be alive – and I’m going to freaking celebrate that.