Anyways. As some of you may know, I turned 22 last Wednesday (July 31st). So far I'd have to say that the age of 22 is pretty unexciting... I can't do anything that I couldn't do last year!
The morning was the best morning I've had here- mostly thanks to a card shaped like a toilet from my mom and orange juice. yes. orange juice. I scoured the city the day before to find orange juice, because I really just wanted to wake up on my birthday and drink OJ. Let me tell you, it was the best decision I've made here!
The day was pretty dull and miserably hot (more on that later). The class I teach English to sang happy birthday for me, so that was cool. And I got to tell everyone that we were doing what I wanted because it was my birthday. That was cool too.
For dinner, my host family let me invite over a few of my friends and cooked me a special birthday dinner (with my favorite* food of course). The party at my house was really nice. Bibijon let me bring a bottle of vodka to the party and the rest of the orange juice helped with the vodka- didn't I tell you the orange juice was the best decision I've made here?
Funny background story here. My host family a few days before had agreed to the party. When they were discussing the party with me, they abruptly switched to Russian and were obviously planning something that they didn't want me to know about. You know what's funny about Russian though? Cognates. You know why Russian-English cognates are funny? Surprise. Yes. In Russian, surprise is "supreez". So I'm listening to this Russian conversation not understanding a thing when suddenly I hear supreez. I immediately alerted my host family and we all had a good laugh...
...but I digress. They surprised me with presents (a tea set, a hat, and some really cool traditional wooden spoons) and a tasty ice cream cake.
After dinner we headed to a bar called Monroe. This particular bar is named after Marilyn Monroe and is, of course, a karaoke bar. We met up with a few other friends there and celebrated my birthday the best way possible- Russian karaoke.
Now you might be asking, "Nick, did you learn Russian?" or, even, "Nick, shouldn't Monroe be an ENGLISH karaoke bar?". And while these may seem like reasonable questions, they are of course silly questions. I still have not learned Russian and it's Tajikistan so everything is in Russian- even karaoke bars named Monroe!
So you can imagine what this scene was like, I'm sure. It becomes even more exciting when another cake arrived (thanks Eric, Joe and Nick!). The most exciting part was the power going out though. That was fun!
So all in all it was a pretty fun birthday. I actually had a great time and that was only possible because of all the great people that came out to celebrate with me.
*I'm of course referring to my favorite Tajik food, here.