Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tim and Cara's 40th Birthday Banquet

Hangzhou 215Last night, my twin sister, Cara, and I had a HUGE party for our 40th birthday.  We are twins, so we had to make our 40th birthday a BIG DEAL, and IT WAS!

We held the banquet at this restaurant, the "Blue Whale Liquor Building" according to the characters on the sign. I invited some friends from the university, other friends from Hangzhou, and ALL of my students!  So, in total we had more than 100 people in attendance for a dinner banquet!

Here are Sue and Olga getting acquainted with some of the handsome boys in my classes.

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We had booked this room, and had 11 tables with about 10 or so people each!  For each table, we ordered 20 dishes!  My sister, Cara is not experienced with Chinese food or the usage of chopsticks, but she did great!
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The wait-staff that was available for our every beck and call!
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We also ordered 4 large cakes to feed everyone dessert.  I was also told that the purpose of a birthday cake in China is not to eat, but to throw at the guest of honor.  Oh NO!  Some of the cakes...
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We lit the Candles of Danger which you have seen in previous blog entries, and stood back to watch them unfold and whistle "Happy Birthday".
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Next, it was time to cut the cake, and in China, the guest of honor serves the guests.  Cara and Sue got very messy cutting all of that cake!
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Cara, enjoying her piece of birthday cake...
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Sue, cake-cutter extraordinaire!
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Some of my students, attacking a piece of cake with their chopsticks.
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Here's the Birthday Boy, having his cake and eating it too, with chopsticks!
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Sophie also got her share, from many of our Chinese friends!
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One of my students is a magician.  He did some close magic for the crowd, which the boys really enjoyed!
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Cara with her new friends "Rebecca" and "Anita".
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This is my student, "Lee", who speaks English well but is very mischievous!  While he was eating cake however he was the victim this time and one of his classmates pushed it into his face!
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Lee got a fresh piece of cake and hunted me down!  I told him I was giving him a surprise English test tomorrow!
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Giving "Andre" a cake kiss...
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A little more cleaned up for a picture with "Smile".  She's a very hard working young lady who is completing her master's degree and she also works in the University administration department.
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They also have a tradition of "toasting" the guest of honor.  A student will walk over with a glass and a beer bottle, and fill my glass with beer.  Then he or she will toast me and I must DRAIN the glass to show the deepness of our relationship.  Ugh!  Many students did this to me - perhaps hoping there wouldn't be class tomorrow?  Luckily I used a) a very short glass and b) I ate a lot of food first so I wasn't too badly affected!

Nearly every student brought a gift as well, some of them were quite large!  We walked to the restaurant, so how to get 100 packages back home, walking, and taking a bus!!  Fortunately, our friend Enrique offered his car and he delivered all of the gifts to our doorstep in Hangzhou.  I have already spent an hour opening them and I still have half of them left to open!  The kids have been a great help in this!

In China, birthday banquets are arranged and paid for by the guest of honor, in this case, me!  The idea is to spread your "luck" around to everyone else around you - well I felt very lucky tonight to know all of these wonderful people! 


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to my wonderful twins!!! Such a blessed Mommy I am!!! Boy you did it up right!! What a fantastic party and so many great friends. I enjoyed every entry in your blog!!! I lapped up all the photos like a hungry puppy dog! Love to you ALL Mom

Bob & Amy said...

Happy Birthday Twin Lewi' - what a fantastic party. We wish we could have been there with the other April 7 birthday boy. Great blog report!!
Amy & fam

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday - sorry you're feeling under the weather now. Good thing Kara and Shawn can transport some of those presents back for you!

Anonymous said...

ha ha the cake on the face pic is funny i have a similar one that features me with cake on my face