Just a side-note, things run like clockwork in China, everything has a schedule. Breakfast is 7-9, lunch from 12-2, and dinner is 6-8 and after a few months of being here it's begun to catch on. Shortly after arriving home from my Friday evening class I asked Mike where he wanted to go to dinner. He said that we should just ride our bikes and find a new place. It was freezing and windy out so I hesitated...only for a minute. Mike picked a restaurant that had big windows and was very busy, and knowing they wouldn't have English translations at a place like this I mentioned as we walked in "I guess we can just pick at random off the menu."
When we got in the waiter escorted us to a booth where Emily and Angela had a huge birthday cake and home-made card waiting. 'Happy Birthday!' I know, my birthday is still a month and a half away but because we will be leaving soon, they wanted to celebrate it with me before I left. Both of them come from rural villages with a limited income and the cost of the dinner and a cake was a big expense and I was touched by their thoughtfulness. Mike has never orchestrated anything like this before either so I appreciated his efforts to make sure I had a good birthday.
As per Chinese tradition, a bowl of noodles was served to the birthday guest. The noodles (because of their length) symbolise a long and happy life to be lived.
The cakes are so cool here! The frosting is more like a whipping cream but compliments the airy consistency of the cake. The crown comes with the cake and MUST be worn! They even had a candle in the shape of a flower and operated like a firework, as the petals unfold on the flower/candle it sings 'Happy Birthday'. It was a great night with lots of delicious food and great company. Best birthday ever!