When You Ask for an Adventure on Your Birthday... Part I: the Zona Colonial

This past weekend I turned 22. It was my second time celebrating my birthday abroad and my first time doing so away from my family. In recent years, I've decided it's best to stop entering into the occasion with lots of expectations. I enjoy the day so much more when I just let myself be surprised with whatever happens. That is to say, it's easy to get frustrated if you pay too much attention to who remembers and who forgets your special day, or even, whether things go as planned, and so I just don't focus on those things anymore. I try to keep a spirit of celebration, regardless of those factors. This year, my birthday was entirely different than I imagined, and I'm quite alright with that.

On Friday afteroon I went out to the Zona Colonial with some friends. We met up with coworkers and ate at a new pizza joint for lunch. Since I've been here this summer, I've had such a craving for pizza. It's inexplicable. I wanted to try this place for a while, but I was quickly disappointed. In short, our dining experience was less than agreeable. Note to self: Letting the waiter know that it's your birthday doesn't always mean you'll get better service. The pizza was almost frozen when they delivered it to the table, and that was after an hour of waiting. Halfway through eating the pizza I thought about telling the manager that it was cold. Funny how that works.  

After lunch we decided to brave the heat for a bit and explore the zone. A few days ago, I made a deal with my coworker, Tanya. In exchange for a free photography lesson, she'll teach me how to make authentic Pad-Thai. I absolutely love Thai food, and so I can't wait to learn how to make this delicious dish. Anyways, we explored some old churches and museums in the area as I guided her through her camera's settings.We definitely blended in with the swarms of tourists, as we brought out our DSLR cameras at every possible landmark. After a few hours though, Tanya left to meet up with her husband.

Suddenly, I was alone in the Colonial Zone. I decided to call some other friends to find out where they were at. My phone died as soon as I typed in the number. I exited the Museo de las Casas Reales and realized that I was stranded in the Plaza de la Hispanidad. The sun was scorching and, of the people nearby, no one seemed to have enough minutes to let me make a call. You can imagine the looks I got from strangers after asking to use their cell phones to call my friends. I ended up wandering over to a nearby street, and looking pretty down-trodden, took a seat on a random stoop. I wasn't there long, maybe 15 minutes, but that was enough time to get some concerned looks and questions from passersby. Thankfully, by some odd coincidence, my friends soon rounded the corner and came walking up the street I was on! Imagine my relief!

That evening, my friends and I brought in my birthday with loads of popcorn and a classic film. I saw Casablanca for the first time. The movie was wonderful, and the script especially left me inspired. "Here's to looking at you kid." 

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