Birthday culture, as I know it

It's funny that after living here for four years, you still find yourself alienated by the smallest rituals.

The thing that struck me recently was birthdays.

Now, there are things I have come to accept:

  1. It is the worst luck ever to wish someone happy birthday in advance. Big no go. Always on the day or later.
  2. You have to bring your own cake to work on your birthday. Don't expect anything from your colleagues.

So those are (weird) stuff I got used to. But there are just some others that I find it hard to live without.

Without them I was not just visually unhappy on my birthday, I was also verbally unhappy.

Let me explain:

  • Birthdays only count when you have a birthday cake with candles on it.
  • There is preferably a physical present wrapped with wrapping paper.
  • When you have the birthday cake in front of you, others must sing you a birthday song.
  • This is closely followed by the request that you make a wish with your fingers intertwined and eyes closed. You're not allowed to reveal what you wished for.
  • Then you blow out the candles, all at one go.
  • And you make sure you make the first cut on the cake. Whether you end up separating the pieces is secondary.

After making the most amazing cake a few days later, submitting to my tantrums on my birthday, my husband wondered aloud why I blew out all the candles, thus making the room extremely dark.

Oh honey, you don't know anything about my culture.


Ruining Good Moments with S

A few days ago (which is a few days late), S’s card for my birthday arrived.

He had led me to believe that I was only gonna get a card. I didn’t think anything else. But I did know that he had put a lot of effort into writing it – it was a lot of words!

He had asked that I don’t open it until we Skype. (We have a ritual of reading each other’s cards to each other upon receiving them.) And I thought, it was just a card so I opened it to look at it, I wasn’t gonna look at the content!

But it had a whole bunch of things between the card and one thing caught my eye as it dropped out. He bought us a weekend getaway!!! They were train tickets and hotel bookings!!!

Oh gosh, I instantly felt super guilty! My reaction to it was an almost-cry. It was filled with oh my god and squeals. He would’ve loved to see it. (Oops!)

And then later, I acted as though I haven’t seen it. (He knew I saw it.) I studied the holiday for two further when he said…

S: this (present) is on one condition!
I: yes?
S: you have to take me with you! You can’t take some guy from language class!
I: but it’s my present, I should get to choose!
S: nooooo!

I’m so good at ruining romantic moments, I should watch out.

Or I should start a How to Ruin Good Moments book.


My dad is a perfect man. I’m not kidding.

He’s the reason why finding an ideal guy is so difficult. He is patient, he does household chores, he fixes things, he carries the groceries, he pays for everything, he gives in to me all the time (except when I refuse to shower till late), and most of all, he constantly gives positive reinforcements and tells us he thinks we’re great.


Unlike most men, he does not argue, does not make a big deal out of things, does not have an over-sized ego, does not get sarcastic. He is always smiley, always positive, always on everybody’s good side. Everybody loves him.

And so do I. Happy birthday and happy retirement, pops! 🙂

shout out

a big shout out to the girl who was there through it all. the first birthday, the first movie, the first starbucks coffee, the first chinese composition class, the first swimming lesson, the first crush, the first boyfriend, the first break up, the first fight, the first make up, the first christmas, the first new year, right down to my first mango top. LOL.

i love you babe, have a wonderful birthday. (:


may we get drunk on more caffeine, watch jason mraz live again and travel together in winter (:


It was my brother’s birthday yesterday! (:

He turns a really old age. =\ Which I will soon turn. *sigh* The ageing worries. (lol)

Anyhow, a big shout out because he is probably one with the most amount of influence on me in my family. In terms of financial wise, academic wise, love wise… he’s still got the biggest hold on me and he was probably the one who steered me in my current situation, wherever I am.

Even stuff like when we go shopping, I tend to buy stuff he says is nice because his taste can be trusted. Sadly we don’t go shopping anymore because his bimbo days have been phased out.

(Though he still watches The Hills. Speaking of The Hills, the last episode was HILARIOUS. Okay, digressed.)

And we’ve both been so busy and I hardly see him anymore because when I’m home, he’s not and vice versa. But when we’re both at home, he’ll still strum the guitar for me to sing and go EEK at my singing though I’m sure he’s just being a big brother. Heh heh.

Best brother ever…

(I think.)

Many (many) years later…