Friday, December 12, 2008


Over the course of our four month stay in Jinan we have made some wonderful friends. Two of these are students we met on campus: Emily and Angela. They are so fun to be with mostly because of how excited they get about everything. 'Oh we are going to the restaurant' (screaming and laughter!#@#) 'All-RIGHT!!' LOL, it's makes even the simplest things entertaining.
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!


Mike Danley said...

The picture really doesn't do the cake any justice huh...

Brent Danley said...

Good job, Mike! And Happy Birthday, Kim. Your hair looks amazing, Kim.

Haven't you learned Chinese YET?!

sparkyballet said...

We actually do know quite a bit of broken sentences and words. We can get along fairly easily. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Mike, Angela, and Emily all did a great job.

Kathy Longacre said...

I love reading about your exciting travels
You have a great talent of expressing and relating Kim
Thanks for sharing!