Happy Birthblog!

As some of you may know, Sunday was my birthday. Sadly, while those of you back home have been enjoying consecutive 4-day weekends, here in Korea we haven’t had so much as a Bank Holiday Monday! This didn’t stop me from having a lovely weekend though, which I will tell you all about now.

The birthday treats started on Saturday night. David and his friend Dan (who came to visit for 10 days) met me at a bar and David, being the sweetie that he is (LOL!) gave me my first birthday treat. It was the cutest muffin I have ever seen and it was pretty darn tasty too! What a lovely surprise J

The next day was really sunny and warm, as it always is on my birthday. Even when I’m halfway round the world, Mr Weatherman keeps the tradition alive. The first part of the plan was to go to the aquarium with a few friends. Seeing as it is actually located on the beach, Dave and I took the opportunity to have a little picnic and enjoy the sun before meeting everyone for the fishtivities. But before we bought our tickets, Dave had another surprise in store – another cake! But this time it wasn’t a panda, or even technically a cake. It was a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake!
Well this was a first for both of us and I’ll tell you now, it didn’t disappoint. Cherry and vanilla ice cream with chocolate-hazelnut frosting and they even threw in free candles! As delicious as it was, Dave’s favourite part wasn’t actually the ice cream…the cake was given to us in a polystyrene box and to keep it cold, there was a small bag of dry ice taped inside. So of course, as soon as we had devoured the cake we hunted down the first body of water we could find! Since we were a mixed-sex group, a toilet wasn’t a good choice and as much as Pete wanted to take it into the aquarium, we opted for a drain instead. The result was reminiscent of one of my favourite scenes from The Labyrinth…no not Bowie’s bulge! I was thinking of The Bog of Eternal Stench! It didn’t smell, but it was bubbling and smoking (or steaming?) and the bits of leaves and crap floating in the water just added to the effect. So we stood and watched it for far longer than anyone should ever stare at a drain, and then headed to the aquarium.
I was so very very excited about the aquarium, much to Dave’s annoyance. But it was my birthday so he couldn’t complain (in theory). It was a fun couple of hours, although it wasn’t really any more impressive than any other aquarium I’ve been to. But there were a couple of things I hadn’t seen before, including a sun fish, which they were mad about and had a whole section devoted to! It was a weird looking fellow and actually seemed quite pathetic, using all it’s energy just to stay afloat, just a couple of inches above the bottom of the tank…Poor Mola Mola…One very cool thing, that I didn’t partake in, is that you can scuba-suit-up and for a mere 70,000won (about 35 quid) you can get in the coral reef tank with loads of fish and a couple of zebra sharks! Oh and by the exit there was a car that had been converted into a fish tank…we were all very tempted to try the door handle but managed to resist.
Ok so once the 7 of us had had enough of the aquatainment, we headed back to the beach to do some people watching and have some magoli (Korean rice wine, it’s delish!). A couple of other friends came to join us and then we headed to the restaurant to meet everyone else for dinner. I chose an Indian restaurant by the beach that had been recommended by several people, and it didn’t disappoint. The portions were a bit on the small side but there was a good variety and it tasted just right. Dave got everyone to chip in for my meal which was nice, and then I headed home for a much deserved (football-free) early night.

Although that was the end of my birthday, it wasn’t the end of my birthday fun! Yesterday Dave game me my present – tickets to see a dance as part of the Busan International Performing Arts Festival. I’ll put the link to the performance here (http://tinyurl.com/44uzbpu) so the likes of Hazel can read more but basically it was called “Passivity and Headache” and consisted of 2 dances – the first being about the strong and weak in society, and the second being about God, with relation to the disaster in Haiti. They were both really good and I was very impressed with the dancing but we both preferred the first one. When it started, it looked like there were 4 people on stage but after about 3 or 4 minutes we realised there were only 3 people, and one life-sized doll! They made the doll walk and dance and it was really freaky but dead interesting. Then after the show we had dinner (teriyaki chicken, if you must know), and again headed home for an early night.

So there you have it, my birthday weekend J And what’s more, this morning I arrived at work to find a lovely little gift on my desk from a certain Sandbach-based family. Thanks! And thanks for all the facebook messages. I wish I could have celebrated with all of you at home but thanks to Dave I had a lovely time here.