I never liked the fact that my birthday is in the middle of Summer, more specifically, the middle of August. This has several implications:
1) it's in the middle of summer vacation so as with vacations, people lose track of time and forget what date it is - therefore forgetting that it's my birthday. (I must admit, I've forgotten myself.... so I can't really blame others, can I?)
2) no one was around anyway, they were all off enjoying their vacations, so no parties for me when I was a kid;
3) most shops were also closed for the Summer (especially in Rome) so I sometimes got no cake or presents;
4) unless you were at the beach, it was just always way too hot to want to do anything anyway.
* I must admit that living in Japan now... I was moaning about nothing at all. Tokyo Summers are a whole different category of HOT....
Basically, birthdays were a total non-event or worse a total disaster.
  • I remember trekking around Rome with my mother, just looking for an open store to look for something that would even resemble a party decoration. It was a desert town. I'm not sure what the Italian equivalent of tumbleweed would be, but it was there... All this in 40-degree heat. 
  • Or not so long ago, a group of friends and I decided to organise a picnic by the river here in Tokyo. We spent the afternoon making trips to the nearest supermarket to get ice to literally chuck on ourselves and the whole evening feeding the mosquitoes... 
These less than perfect events which may have caused bitterness in the past, have now dulled with age and become distant memories which bring a smile to my face.

And of the many memories, I was reminded of a birthday which can't have been that long ago, but feels like almost (OMG! 1O YEARS!!) a lifetime ago. It was in Namibia, I was there with my family to volunteer over the summer while my dad worked there. We spent my birthday at Halali Game Lodge in the Etosha National Park. For one who usually has no cake and no party, I was in for a surprise. A grand total of twenty elephants came to 'our' watering hole, three jackals joined us for our BBQ dinner and my parents surprised me with a birthday cake out in the middle of the sticks. And what a birthday cake it was! It was one of the hotel's three cakes. Big enough for 30 people. We were a group of 5.... Let's just say, I ate enough cake then to make up for all the previous birthdays without. (moral of the story: be careful what you wish for!)

namibia safari

Since then, things have changed. I've started working and summer vacations are no longer a parentheses in time....

All this basically just to say... That's why I've been on a mini hiatus again!

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