Monday, September 19, 2011

Raise your glass

Hej hej :) 

I shall fill you all in on most of the details concerning the celebration of my 21st birthday...European style! To be honest, I had an absolutely wonderful birthday.  The only thing that could have made it better would've been the presence of all my family and friends from back home.  And, it almost felt like everybody was there with all the cards, emails, and nice words I received from all you back in the USA [thank you!] So, I'm going to give you a bit of a log of my whole birthday, so you can feel like you were living it up with me, I guess :) 

It began when the clock hit midnight on the 16th...I was doing laundry in the basement--yes, I know, a great birthday activity--when a number of the people from my house rushed in at exactly midnight and started singing happy birthday to me and giving me birthday hugs! It was a great start to my day and I hadn't even gone to bed yet! 

The next morning, I headed into school and after my first lesson, a group of the teachers that I work with had a mini birthday celebration for me.  It was complete with tea/coffee (of course), streamers (blue & yellow--yay Sweden), a birthday card, a sort of coffee crumble cake, & naturally, a birthday cake.  However, this wasn't just any kind of birthday cake.  It was called a Swedish Princess cake (English translation)--naturally, I was the princess.  It was green on top, and had a delicious mix of cake, raspberries, and icing in the middle.  I wish I had a picture of was positively delicious! 

Upon my arrival back to Tenhult, I was greeted with a splendid cake cooked by my roomie, Zgintya, and a delectable sweet roll cooked by another girl in the house named Alex.  Once again, those housemates that were there sang happy birthday to me and there were even candles to blow out on the cake!  My housemates had signed a card for me and there was a giant bottle of champagne/cider (something of the sort) for all of us to share :) It was lovely!  And, some of the girls in my house even bought me a small pot of flowers...they're still sitting on my windowsill!   

And lucky for me, I didn't even have to cook dinner!  A couple of the people in the house were having some friends over for dinner and invited me to join.  I was treated to Mexican appetizers (salsa & gaucamole) and a great German meal.  Ham, sauerkraut, and potatoes.  Yummy [except for the sauerkraut, I'm just not a fan]!  I even got to sit in the birthday chair...complete with LOTS of balloons! 

Now, onto the evening... a few of my housemates and I went into town (Jönköping) to celebrate because there is literally nothing to do in Tenhult, especially past 10 o'clock (when the grocery store closes).  We also met up with a couple of my friends that live in town.  I was determined to have a typical, American 21st...despite the fact that I was in Sweden and had been legal from the time my plane hit the ground!  

So checklist for the night (with some additions)= 
-Picture with first "legal" drink (check)
-Get the guy at the door to check my id & get a picture (check)--[and yes, my id= my passport!] 
-Find somebody else with the same birthday & get a picture (check)
-Get free drinks (check) 
-Get a picture with my friend, the bartender (check) 
-Get free drinks from my friend, the bartender (check) 
-Tell as many people as possible that it was my birthday (check)
-Finally wear my new heels in Sweden (check) 
-Get turned away from a club because you have to be 25 to enter...weird (check) 
-Drink a Budweiser, like I've always wanted to on my 21st...toasting to Fafa :) (check) 
-Have a great time with my new foreign friends (check)...[corny, I know] 

So, I began my night at a small, local pub called Sam's. The owner is actually Canadian, but has been in Sweden for a while.  It's one of the only places in town without a cover charge and with somewhat reasonable prices.  We weren't at Sam's very long when we headed to an Irish pub called Murphy's (again, no cover charge--bonus!).  We stayed at Murphy's for a good was easy for a lot of people to sit, and the bartender (my bartender) was great! After Murphy's, we tried to go to another "hip" place in the city, but were turned away because we were under 25 (weird).  So, we headed to a place called Harry's/Sliver''s kind of a 3 in 1 place--it had a sports bar, a dance club, and a kind of chic, modern lounge.  There was even an American football game on TV (though it was last weekend's--Cowboys vs. Jets).  So, it was really a great time, all around! Everybody here was so good to me...they let me play up my 21st birthday the American way & I loved every minute of it! I fell asleep happy...even if I didn't wake up as excited about my 8:30am train to Gothenburg :) 

Sorry if that was too much of a play-by-play, but I hope you get a feel for how my 21st went...even if I couldn't celebrate it with all you lovely people back home! I will include a few pictures of the people/places I was talking about :) Love to all... I will write about my Gothenburg adventures from this past weekend in my next post! 

Couldn't get enough of how blue the sky was on my birthday :) thank you Sweden for the present! 

Some of my housemates on my birthday afternoon [in the kitchen] :) 

In the birthday chair with the cake in front of me & a little present from my roommate! 

Yup, made the bouncer take a picture with me & my passport at Murphy's! 

Some of the Tenhult crowd at Murphy's! 

Already in my coat, but had to grab a picture with the nice bartender! 

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