Well, it's official. I'm 21. Thanks to Behrooz and some of my other friends here, I had a really memorable 21st.
After our class ended, I headed to the computer room to check my email and Facebook. There, Behrooz and co had organized a mini birthday celebration complete with cake and tea. After listening to the very long Tajik birthday song, it was my turn to cut the cake.
Now, I know some of you have seen my cake cutting skills, but for those that haven't: it's not good. Luckily for me, the Tajiks have a brilliant method to cut cakes. I don't even know if its Tajik or if people do this in the US, but I have not seen anyone do it until yesterday. Azim (our Tajikistan program director) took a cup pushed it into the middle, and then pulled it out. Then, from the empty center of the cake, I cut the cake into quarters. Then I cut the quarters in half; the eights in half; and so on and so forth. I guess it seems really obvious, but it was the easiest cake cutting I've ever done.
Before you ask, yes; the cake was dry (though delicious).
Afterward, a few of us set up a projector in a classroom and watched the film Gladiator in Russian (we couldn't find this movie in Persian/Tajik). I know it seems random; but ever since my brother told me he used to watch this movie for his birthday, I have done the same. Anyways, despite the horrible dub job, this was a nice getaway from the Tajikistan life for my birthday.
In the evening, my host family through a small party for me and my close friends. My professor also came. Sharnoza made all my favorite dishes (and, boy, did she make a lot of it) and the biggest cake I've ever seen in person. We all ate until we were stuffed, and then I got two gifts.
My host family gave me a new pair of light nike flip flops. It was really a great gift because they had been telling me to buy a pair of these since day one, as my shoes were not light enough for around the house/light walking. The best was my professor's gift. I wish I could describe the reactions of my friends when I opened up- because it was literally priceless. My professor got me a small, maybe foot long, sword. Yes. A sword. It's awesome, and curved, with a sheat and everything.
Afterward, almost all of the students in CLI went out with me to the Irish Pub. After some interesting (and some unsuccesful) cab rides, we found ourselves in our own private back room of the Irish pub. I had my first "legal" beers and vodka shots and we all enjoyed some rare drinking in Dushanbe for about two hours. Don't worry mom, I didn't get drunk.
All in all, I had a really great birthday. Thanks to my friends and family here it turned out to be one of the most memorable birthdays I've had.
I have another blog written on my iPad, so as soon as I get WiFi I'll have another post up!