My birthday got off to a good start, as I was awoken from my nightmare of having ‘Happy Birthday’ chanted to me by a Japanese cult, only to find that there was a torrential rainstorm outside. On the way back from school my umbrella decided that it was long enough for this world, promptly turned itself inside out and became bent beyond recognition. It was a good 300m before I was able to walk into a convenience store to buy another one, and I got soaked. If I had been wearing new suit then I would have been able to construct this sequence in Japanese, as it is pretty much a verbatim account of a character from one of our textbooks. This was little consolation to me as my feet slowly filled with water.
Thankfully things took a rather dramatic turn for the better in the evening. My friend Sarah had very kindly booked a table at an Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) restaurant, and so I celebrated my birthday with a large group of friends and had a truly fantastic evening. A special mention must go to Yulia who made me the most beautiful and delicious cake, and which combined with the amount of food that I ate (it was an all you could eat deal) means that I will probably not need to eat again until my next birthday! I feel incredibly privileged to have met such a wonderful group of people since coming over here, and whilst I am a very long way from home, with friends like these I never feel like I am very far away at all.