Sunday, 21 February 2016

A (birth)day full of surprises

Louise invented a new game for my birthday celebration, Ilo made me wafers for lunch and Silvia came with both a secret message and a scientific cake. I HOPE all the three cakes will last for several days. 
*phone rings*
Olle: Suppose I would be outside your front door and had to get inside. What would the code be?
Me: XXXX.
Olle: Aha. Suppose I would want to know which floor you live on, then what floor would I have to go to?
Me: YY Y.
Olle: And suppose I would have to ring the bell on the right door. What name is on the door?
Me: Q.
Olle: Ah. Actually, never mind.
*hangs up*
....and comes seconds later with a painting of me made of spaghetti and beans that he and Claire had made last midnight.
I also had three singers from Senegal singing for me live on Skype for half an hour, including "Happy birthday" in five languages. A TOTAL surprise, as you see on the picture. Anne and I wore the same sweater, by the way. She came in the middle of the night and since her phone did not work in any way, she had to use one of the oldest methods to get inside the house: screaming JANA so that all Janas living nearby would come out. Almost like a Romeo and Juliet scenario, winter edition.

What I had done was to suggest everyone to make surprises for me, instead of planning my birthday celebration myself. Wise with experience, I now know that an effective method is:
- suggest hours to your friends when they can surprise you
- start a chat where you connect everyone with everyone and then leave the group (so that your surprises do not become un-surprised)
- don't panic. If times do not match or ideas are hard to realise, just ask everyone to come for dinner in the evening. In the end, all you want is a good time with your friends. Adrenalin or chilling can be decided there and then.


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