Lynn had let it slip that October 23 is her birthday, and her assistant teachers told her students, who told their parents, who bought her presents. Almost every student had a card or present for her. One student even had memorized a poem! She received mostly flowers and chocolates. How sweet!
We rode the bus home with Lynn and two other teachers, and as we were heading towards the main road, where they would veer right to head to the apartment, and we would veer left to head to the supermarket, Sophia asked if she could go home with them instead of going to the supermarket with me. They said yes, of course, and so I was able to go to the supermarket unhindered. How nice!
In the end, it was an embarrassing experience, as I didn't have enough cash on me, and they do not accept credit cards. I had to return half my items. How frustrating it is to have enough money to buy something, but not be able to buy it because you don't have the cash on you!
I returned home, put away the items, and then walked the 9 flights from my floor to their floor. I noticed that the entire door handle and lock were out of their front door, and I could look into their apartment! I'm not the only one with things that don't work!
I knocked on the door and was let in to a warm and cozy atmosphere. All 5 Philippino teachers were there, including the two who had been out sick that day. A young Kazakh woman, who had met the male teachers at their residence, was there too. Food was cooking and there was a cake on the table--a celebration of Lynn's birthday! Sophia was eagerly awaiting the cake.
I ate tuna fish pasta and drank a little bit of wine; everyone talked and laughed and had a good time. The cake was yummy, although Sophia didn't like it, and the chicken took a long time to cook but was delicious. They called it "fried chicken" although it was entirely different from Southern-style fried chicken. It was fried in oil, I think, and not breaded and deep fried. It was moist and delicious.
Sophia went into the living room/bedroom and soon was wrestling Eric, the really tall Filipino teacher. She wore him out. Then she learned that she had permission to jump on the bed, and very excitedly jumped over and over. When it was time to go, she hid a stuffed animal and tons of shoes behind the couch. I was embarrassed and showed the teachers and offered to force her to put everything back. Instead of being upset, the others laughed and took out their camera to take a picture.
The next evening, we called and wished my dad a belated birthday. Like just about everyone else, I was a little sick and had lost my voice. For about 1000 Tenge ($6.67) Sophia talked for nearly 20 minutes to my parents. She was in a very good mood and very excited to talk!
More birthdays coming up!