Campus Life, China, Food

Birthday Festivities

My birthday intruded itself upon our last weekend before the end of the semester. I rallied some of the FT community to have dinner at a local Italian place.

I spent the whole afternoon before baking a fabulous cake: yellow fudge marble with custard filling and butter cream frosting. I was in the interesting position of having no powdered sugar, which is the only way I know how to make frosting. Some research on the internet showed me that there are, indeed, other ways to make frosting. So I very carefully whipped up a frosting that is part boiled milk and flour and part creamed butter and granulated sugar. The final product was fantastic—highly recommended and very doable with some patience and care.

Why bake my own cake? Two reasons: one, I genuinely love baking and have few opportunities here; and two, most cakes I’ve had from Chinese bakeries have been all looks and no taste. Not what I wanted for my birthday.

The dinner itself was very enjoyable, but with the crowd of people we have here that’s never enough. Night is still young and all that. So the questions arose of what was next on the agenda. I wasn’t particularly interesting in hitting the clubs downtown, so that left us with . . . KTV.

For the uninitiated, KTV is private karaoke—all the rage in Asian countries. You go with your friends to a KTV, sing all your favorite songs, eat snacks, drink beer, dance—and it’s all in the privacy of your own little room. So different from karaoke in America, which I’ve explained as something only the incredibly talented or the incredibly drunk do.

KTV had struck me as something relatively enjoyable in the few times I’d been previously, so I was willing to give it a go. What followed after that was an extremely enjoyable several hours belting out songs and dancing foolishly among some really excellent people. We all agreed that it was a great time and I went home feeling my birthday had been celebrated in proper style.