A Dandy Dunedin Celebration (or “how i turned 20 and the wild events that happened therein”)

On this the 20th anniversary of my birth, my liberation from the womb, it is fitting that I should celebrate with liberation from the conservative bonds of my genteel, American upbringing. In other words, turning 20 signaled my rather late-blooming and short-lived foray into the “wild child”/rebellious phase. I figure, I’m living in New Zealand, my birthday suddenly falls in the wintertime instead of spring – basically everything is backwards, so why not try something new?

Actually, I’m pretty sure my extended “birthday party” had less crazy stretched over two days than most Uni students manage to pack into a few night hours. For starters, my birthday morning consisted of turning in a final essay and beginning studying for the approaching exam week (speaking of which – finals seems to walk the fine line between “terrible” and “a joke”; one test can be 66% of your total grade and/or be almost laughably easy. Plus, the weather had become so cold that I’d already basically checked out mentally, all my brain power funneled into keeping my core at a subzero temperature).

Wintertime in Dunedin. This photo taken just before a freak hailstorm.

Wintertime in Dunedin. This photo taken just before a freak hailstorm.

The first installment of my birthday was rendered unforgettable by the sneaky and combined efforts of my friends, Lindsay and Tuna. In the morning, they took me to the delicious, seaside Starfish Café. Chocolate was sprinkled on my cappuccino in the shape of a starfish; I was thrilled. I was also blessed with a view of the ocean, a view that refreshed my ocean-deprived, homesick soul. The effects of the heartening view faded and I began to feel uncharacteristically blue, probably as a result of the quarter-life crisis I was entering. My ever-wise mother comforted me: I called mommy and told her I didn’t feel like an adult; she responded that I didn’t need to be an adult. My friends subsequently lifted me completely out of my funk. How? Well, like any good friends, they kidnapped me and forced me to wear a hideous, gaudy, light-up button that proclaimed me the birthday girl. We drove to one my favorite restaurants, Fleur’s Place. My delicate fish dinner was paid for, various presents appeared throughout the dinner, and I was surprised with a cleverly smuggled cake decorated with real flowers that made me feel like a special little fairy.

IMG_4843 IMG_4844 IMG_4868That night, I made use of my new gifts (a giant mug, chai mix, a striped onesie, and a scented candle) during our finale event of viewing the season finale of Nashville.

The following night my birthday was used as an excuse to extend the partying. This is where the craziness comes in and I transform into a little rebel (not really). Some super wild things that happened:

  • We went to a club (for about 5 minutes)
  • I drank some absinthe (it tasted of liquid fire and nasty black licorice)
  • I danced in my new onesie (party animal!)
  • I witnessed the creation of special brownies (extra baked)
  • And lastly, Mum and Dad, I’m sorry you have to find out this way, but as a birthday present to myself I got a tattoo. Don’t worry though, you’ll like it: it’s a sloth riding a unicorn and saying “I * heart * mom” – permanently inked onto my torso. JUST KIDDING. About the last part.
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