I turned twenty-four last week. That number seems so adult, so mature, and so arbitrary. Everyone keeps telling me that I’m going to love twenty-four, that twenty-four was a great year, as if it’s a darling puppy that’s going to bring me good luck, unconditional support, love, answers to trivial life questions, and endless jars of Nutella and occasionally make mistakes on my floor until ::inhale:: bleghtwenty-fiveblegh rings in next September. Sure, twenty-four isn’t old, like, at all (though, I know more than a handful of Indonesians who would beg to differ, suggesting daily that I should just quit life and get married here, after all, my eggs aren’t getting any younger. Ew); the majority of my tenacious twenties patiently await my next jig into legitimate adulthood. I still have awhile before the gray hairs germinate. And until I’m twenty-EIGHT, fifteen year-old me will continue to grace my current American identification card. It’s become more obvious every day that with nine months remaining in my time here, that the post-service possibilities are plenteous. That’s a reassuring thought, one that I’ll share soon enough.
Four of some of my best friends (refer to attractive photos above) made the arduous trek over to Dawar, if only for one night, to celebrate my ulang tahun desa-style. After becoming fluent (not by choice) in the goyang à la Dawar, it was only fair that I let my guests relax and get their equilibriums back in order to prevent further internal vertigo. That road is bad!
What was on the agenda for the rest of the day?
- set up the hammock (thanks, DPs)
- watch various silly videos (ahem — David Bisbal pirouetting and Shuffle 101)
- round up bikes for epic adventures to dried up reservoirs with the village tots
- **unexpected bonus! Cut my foot on a cracked mud path, ouch, shed a little blood like a champ & slowly savor the sunset as friends alternate between dragging one another on bikes via bungee cord because a chain decided to get kinky**
- as night ensues, gather cheap Chinese fireworks, head to the sugarcane fields, blow stuff up, malam exploration/enjoy full moon
- head home to set up makeshift movie viewing area and expose John Hoban to the heroic childhood hit that is Heavyweights. A very underestimated Ben Stiller film, indeed.
The next day, we headed to visit my school where teachers surprised me with cake and endless Indo-hugs. I got a little teary, but most of it came out in the form of snot, as I was also battling an epic Indo-cold, that left me voiceless just days prior. Before I knew it, we were turning things up a notch and boarding a veryyyy crowded panda-clad bus bound for Surabaya to continue the celebrations with more wonderful friends. Everything that should happen when one is in Surabaya, happened: slushies, canoodling, Italian, G&T’s, cake, rooftop dance party. For some, birthdays are just ordinary days that come and go but not for this lady. That just isn’t my style. Thank you to everyone who welcomed my twenty-fourth with me and made it sangat special. I am blessed to have wonderful friends both at home and abroad.