Monday, April 25, 2016

My Twenty-Seventh Birthday

I had a great 27th birthday here in Russia. I am so thankful for so many great friends who celebrated with me. I started my day by meeting my friend, Alesya, for lunch at Эврен. She only had an hour break so we just met for a little bit, but I was so grateful she took the time to meet with me. Russians are seriously the best with birthday wishes. I was surprised but how long their birthday wishes were. I'm used to the American, "Happy birthday," and that's it. Hopefully, some of the Russian well-wishes will rub off on me so that I can make holiday wishes more sincere.

Afterwards, I met Anton and we took a bus to Лесопарк лесоводов Башкирии (Bashkortostan Forester's Park) because I really wanted to go to the Forest Museum, which I will write about in a later post. After we saw the museum we walked to the park because they have animals there. I don't like seeing animals caged up like this, so I asked whether these animals were here to be cared for. I'm told SOME are, but it is unclear whether it's the case for all of them. We went to this museum in the winter but all the bears were hibernating, so I'm glad they were out and about. It's been so beautiful and warm here lately! I wasn't expecting it, but there were four bear cubs! They were so stinking cute! They were barking and walking on their hind legs and even trying to climb the fence. The animal keeper came to bring them to another building and the first two ran right up to him. The second two were giving him such a hard time, and the last one refused to come out. They were so cute. I almost died from cuteness overload.

We then walked over to see the big bears. At first it was pretty uneventful, but eventually the bears started moving. The one I called the "wife" made the bigger bear (the "husband") get out of the water tub. Then the husband came over and was trying to get in too. He sat on the wife and they started fighting. They were chasing each other too. It was cute and funny. I have never seen bears act like that before. It was like they were trying to put on a show.

We spent a lot more time at the park watching the bears than I thought we would. By the time we were finished I needed to get back to the center of the city to meet my two American friends, Elizabeth and Katherine, for dinner at Cafe Barashki. I really like Georgian food and wanted to try a new place for my birthday, so I suggested we go there. I wanted to take a picture of all my food, but I was so hungry that I forgot to snap a picture of my main course. It was really good though! For birthdays in the past (like in college) I'd always invite so many people because I felt bad leaving people out. It was so nice just to have the three of us. We sat and talked at the Cafe (and eventually moving to coffee shop) for four hours! I have to suggest that if you ever live abroad you should definitely find other expats. It's nice to talk to other people who are sharing the same experiences as you.
I finished off the night by talking to my parents. I hadn't really talked to them much since Christmas, so it was good to be able to hear from them again. It was such a great birthday. The next day I was so sore from all the walking I had done in the park, but it was definitely worth it!

How do you usually celebrate your birthday? Do you have any particular traditions?


  1. Sounds like a fun birthday! I wish we had fun traditions, but we just get to pick what meal we want my mom to cook for us and have a dinner sometime that week.

    1. That was our tradition too. We got to pick our dinner and what we wanted our ice cream cake to look like.


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