Friday, April 24, 2015

My Second 21st Birthday

On Saturday, October 11, 2014, I celebrated my 21st birthday with my closest friends in the city that I grew up in. This was the second of 2 celebrations organised for the occasion and this one was timed to end on my actual birthday which was the day after.

It all started with a group dinner at a Chinese restaurant in town called Red Hill. I'd organised for a group of around 20 of us, including myself, Clemmie, Campbell, Linda and 16 of my friends to meet up there for food and some drinks before unleashing upon the city bars.

Our venue decision was based largely on the central location, cheap dinner prices and B.Y.O. nature of the restaurant and it turned out to be the perfect place to start our night.

Clemmie and I coincidentally ran into Campbell and Linda on the bus into town and the four of us were the first ones to arrive at the restaurant. The place had an interesting looking cocktail list so we sat and ordered some drinks while we waited for other people to get there.

As the others began to arrive, we all just sat around chatting over drinks until all of the seats at the table were filled. Once everyone had arrived we ordered food and ate. I think I ordered the Kung Pao chicken which was delicious. Most of the others brought wine with them so I had a couple of glasses of wine over dinner.

My rough plan for the night was to cruise through a few of the bars in town and end up at The Fringe bar for karaoke to cap it all off. After dinner someone suggested we go up to a park near town and drink up there for a bit. I hadn't done the park party thing since I was in high school and it felt like a good way to get the night going so we convinced the group that it'd be fun.

We stopped at the supermarket on the way to pick up booze and some snack food, I should probably mention that at this point I was dressed in a lion onesie that Clemmie bought me for my birthday which I put on in the restaurant after dinner and continued to wear for the entire night. A friend of mine who works at a pizza place in town stopped there to make some pizzas to bring up to the park as well which was awesome.

Up at the park we had spotify going through someone's phone blasting out of a little speaker thing so we had good music to accompany our juvenile festivities. We managed to get through about half of our supermarket provisions before everyone decided that they'd had enough and that it was a good time to go down and do the karaoke thing so what was left of our group stumbled down toward town to do that.

On the way to town, I checked the time and noticed that it had ticked over onto October 12. It was officially my real birthday!

I don't remember all of the karaoke but I do remember my first song. I did "Forgot About Dre" and absolutely nailed it. People kept coming up to me and telling me how good it was. I'd like to remind you all at this point that I was still dressed in a lion onesie so just let that sink in for a bit.

We had about 6 of our group left with us this late in the night and we all cranked through a couple of songs each. I got talking to a guy outside and told him it was my 21st so he bought me a beer which was nice of him. When we'd all had enough if drunkenly singing in front of strangers we decided to call it a night, so I said my thank - yous and goodbyes to everyone and hopped a bus back home with Clemmie.

The next morning I used the last little bit of money from the party fund to take Clemmie out for a much needed hangover curing breakfast and coffee date at one of my favourite Wellington Cafe's "Sweet Mother's Kitchen." I highly recommend their breakfast burrito, it's absolutely glorious, particularly the morning after a big night.

True to my usual style, I did my 21st in a slightly unconventional way. It was great to be able to celebrate with my family and people who have known me my entire life and I think it worked well holding that as a separate event. It was also fantastic hitting town in the city I've always known as home with the amazing people I've been blessed to have as my close friends.

As is typical of birthdays for me, I feel hardly any different at 21 than I felt at 20. The only thing I can guarantee is that on October 12th 2015, there will be a lot of Taylor Swift playing at my party and I will definitely be feeling 22.

The next post here will be about the excitement of my 2014 slam season and the New Zealand National Poetry Slam.

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