Monday, April 24, 2017

Birthday Celebration

The last two years for my birthday I made it a point to go somewhere I'd never been before. This year it was kind of hard to do that. First, it was because I had a lot to do on my actual birthday. Second, my birthday snuck up on me. I'm one of those people who will annoy you and tell you my birthday is a month away. I think I was so focused on spring weather this year that my birthday felt so far away. Either winter lasted way too long or I am just old and forgetful. Both are quite possible.
I had just a small get together this year. I told everyone not to get me anything because I don't need anything, and after living here for two years and understanding that the Russian salary is nothing (like I make less than $400 a month), I really didn't want people spending money on me. Against my wishes, I was given gifts. According to Russian tradition, if someone invites a group of people out for the celebration they are responsible for paying for everyone's food and drinks. Apparently I forgot about this because I just looked back at this post and saw that I had written about this very thing. I bought tea for everyone but not the food. I felt really guilty when Anton brought it up later, and I still feel guilty now because of the fact that everyone got me a gift. I'll file this under "Awkward Cultural Differences."
All-in-all it was a great birthday. I'm looking forward to many more! :)


  1. It looks like you had a really nice time though, and I'm sure you are forgiven (at least a little bit) for being a foreigner. This is a Czech tradition (to pay for everything if you invite someone out) as well, which is why I haven't been doing so much inviting (of locals, at least) out to eat in the last few years... womp.

    1. Usually I invite people to my house and tell them we're going to do an American-style pot luck so I'm not in charge of all the food ;)

  2. Glad you had a nice birthday dinner! I know how you feel about those awkward cultural misunderstandings... I have some that still haunt me to this day!


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