It's a Friday night and I feel like a newborn baby as I've just woken up from a nap. I can't express enough how happy I am that another week has come to bite the dust. I've been working like a dog lately and blah blah blah. Nobody wants to go to a pity party so I'll spare you that and won't go there.
Instead, I'd like to exhaust this free space to express how extremely tops I've been feeling recently. In fact, I feel great at this exact moment despite having cheated gloriously on my "diet" a few hours ago. The high road is indeed paved by demons. And bacon. And bread.
I've turned 22 this month and it's actually probably one of the best birthdays I've had. Prior to moving to Japan, my birthdays back in the Philippines weren't exactly raging yo'. There is something pretty awesome about not being forced to stay home and pre-order food or a birthday cake because establishments are closed on the day, or having to go to the cemetery and be the entrees of mosquitoes while playing with candle wax. November 1st here is a day as ordinary.
Last year's birthday was the sheer testament to that. I went to work, bought myself a gift between work, came home to my mom's fail-proof kare-kare and blew out some candles on a chocolate cake. You can imagine the slight disorientation of myself having been so used to all THAT and then have this year's birthday come.
One of my best friends on earth (I don't wanna get ahead of myself and call it universe, I'm open to bridging gaps between all life-forms) visited Japan for a week right smack for my birthday! I can still remember how it happened. One night Whatsapping back in August:
Minin: Cebu Pacific's got a seat sale for flights to Osaka in October!
Ina: You should come!
(an hour later)
Minin: Done! OMGGGGG what do I tell my parents???
Fastforward to October 30th and I found myself on the airport limousine to Kansai to pick-up my BBG! If the exclamation point isn't doing it for you, let this: HOLY SH*T!!! I was extremely happy, lots of times I felt like punching myself (pinching wouldn't have done it) to check if it was all real.
Arriving in Nagoya from Kyoto just in time for dins on my birthday eve, it was a no-brainer to head to one of the Yamachan joints near our place. Also, we feel obliged to take all our guests there. IT IS THAT GOOD.
|Pretty standard if you know your way through Yamachan. Clockwise: Kushi-katsu (breaded pork skewers with miso), cabbage with black sesame/edamame, tebasaki (peppered deep-fried chicken wings) and of course, draft beer.|
|The humble spread|
|You say it's rude to talk and eat at the same time? We call it skill.|
|I'm pretty easy to please. Get me a pint and I'm all like this.|
|Some snap-happy moments on my birthday eve at one of our local haunts, The Hub.|
|A candid shot by Minin of me when we got back to our apartment a few pints away from being hammered. There's no thrill like getting unexpected presents!|
The next morning felt strangely normal. Read some birthday greetings, read the news, checked Instagram (daaaaah) and this. Probably not obvious from this photo but the toast on top was slathered with Kaya spread which was a gift from Minin, too. Gosh, she gets me.
|Started my 22nd year right with a breakfast plate that could impossibly go wrong. And of course, this photo was imported from my Instagram. Eating just isn't the same anymore, you know?|
|Blowing out my birthday candles. I just remembered that it was quite the effort as they were "sparklers" and we put more than 22 sticks on the cake! No time like the present to look forward, hey!|
|Though I was keen on not having Japanese food for my birthday dinner, I was pretty happy that we had yakiniku. Everyone had to carry their food-babies out of the restaurant in shame. YES.|
|I wish we took a photo before we ate dinner but this was the best one I could source!|
|Pardon the blurry shot but hopefully you could check out the rainbow-y innards!|
This was just the start of the amazing birthday week that was ahead of me. Words are failing me now (IK,R? What time do I stop yapping?) but getting to the point, this birthday reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by family, friends and rainbow cake.
I have about 600 photos from the trip I went on with Minin and though I've sorted them out already, I have other more happening things in my life right now like watching No Reservations and dying of envy of Anthony Bourdain's life.
But take my word for it. My life was a little interesting during my birthday week! See you on my resurrection? ;-)