For as long as I can remember, I have had school or exams just before my birthday, on my birthday date itself or right after. This made it difficult to do much of anything besides cut cake and have dinner with my family. While I absolutely love this tradition, this year I wanted to try something just a little bit different.
I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday in a different country and this year, the very special year where I turn 21 years old, I finally managed to make it happen. After my sister finished her exams on the 15th of November, we flew from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, and then from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh the very next day.
On the very next day was my birthday.
After spending 9 hours between flights at the airport, I was extremely tired. My cousin woke us up in the morning to get ready. It was time for us to start the day.
We attended a traditional Vietnamese wedding party. It started at about 11am in the morning. We had to leave the house at Bình Dương at 10am to get to the city on time. It was a really interesting experience for me because it was unique and I knew that not many people would be able to experience something like this in their lifetime.
I thought it was interesting that majority of the people there were dressed modern and not in their tradition ao dais. Those were only worn by the older women and all the youngsters were in dresses and jumpsuits. I certainly felt out of place as besides my sister, I was the only other person below the age of 40 that was wearing an ao dai.
The second thing I noticed was that they had a karaoke session where the mic on stage is available for anyone who wants to go up and sing. However, the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that every single person who went up on stage to sing in a whole of 3 hours, were all males. At no point did a female go up there and sing.
Finally, the food was absolutely amazing. It was a five course meal for each and every table. In Malaysia, they’d just have a buffet table you’d have to rush to once they announce you can eat. We had an oyster porridge, nestum prawns, hotpot and so much more.
I decided to take a nap in the middle of the day, on my birthday. I never do this, but after the previous day, I was too damn tired to do anything else. After my nap, I woke up and decided to carry out my daily morning routine that I never got to do that morning. I wrote in my gratitude journal and then wrote in my travel journal.
To my surprise, I was given a huge bouquet of flowers and even bought a birthday cake. I hadn’t expected any of it. I was told to get ready as we were about to leave for dinner. It was quite a casual place that was fancy as well. it was open air but you knew it was going to cost you a little bit of money.
They managed to convince me to try raw oyster which was certainly an experience. It was not too bad but I don’t think I would ever want to try it ever again. On top of that, we had muscles, crabs, mixed vegetables, two types of prawns, two types of fish and two types of rice. Vietnam seafood truly was delicious.
After that, we cut the cake and ate it as well. It was one of the best tiramisu cake I have ever had. I loved it and ended up eating it for breakfast every morning that I was there after that. Overall, I had a really good birthday and look forward to having more birthdays like this.
Here’s to being 21!