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How I spend my birthday in China

By Shark Minnow | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-24 16:04

How I spend my birthday in China

The cast of Half a Sixpence surprise Cameron Mackintosh on his 70th Birthday at the first rehearsal in Noel Coward Theatre, London Featuring: Cameron Mackintosh, Birthday cake Where: London, United Kingdom When: 17 Oct 2016.[Photo/IC]

Another year gone, another year to reflect! (That's what old people do on their birthdays, or so I was told when I was younger. Ha!)

As I lay in bed last night thinking about my birthday today, I thought about the past year, and all its highs and lows, and what my birthday will bring to it now that I am entering my 39th year.

Yes, my birthday is today, and I just thought I would share what I do on a typical birthday in China.

I woke up in our spare bedroom and had my wife come in and kiss me good morning to say "happy birthday". I then went into our main bedroom to snuggle up with our 5-year-old for 20 minutes before I actually had to "get up". My mother-in-law wished me a happy birthday as well which was a nice surprise and I kissed her and our youngest 1 year old and was off on my scooter to school. On my way, I noticed how blue the sky is today and how crisp and clean the air seems.

I arrived at school and will most likely go through my five classes scheduled and return home about 4:30pm. I like listening to some of my favorite songs always on my birthday and just listened to Cat Stevens' 'Father and Son'.

I had a good discussion with my Senior 2 students in a session I call "Real Talk" (modelled on Real Time with Bill Maher for those of you familiar). For lunch, I'm hoping the cafeteria has something to my liking. (La zi ji would be great!) Anyway, I'll get home about 4:30pm and pick up my son from Kung Fu a little later. In between, I'll most likely read a book and maybe meditate afterwards. I asked my wife to bring home a cheesecake (my favorite) and not to worry too much about dinner tonight. I'll ask my mother-in-law to make noodles which is a must-eat birthday food in China. I have a friend arriving in Beijing tomorrow so I will be celebrating with him and other friends and colleagues on Friday night in San Li Tun.

I received an iPhone 6 as my gift (as per my request) from my wife and have been playing with that all day. I've been getting messages on WeChat and Facebook wishing me happy birthday. It's true family and friends really make life worth living and happiness is not so much found in what you get, it's what you give.

As my son's birthday is on Friday, we usually celebrate our birthdays together as a family. For the first time we are going to have an actual party at a restaurant (Kro's Nest) for him with his friends, so I'm excited as a father about that!

I think it's impossible not to feel good on your birthday, so I just wanted to share some good vibes with all the Forum readers here. Thirty-eight years today, 12 of them in China. And I'm a pretty happy guy these days, I must be doing something right!

Have a great day all! :)

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