Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday - Indonesian style?

To celebrate John's birthday weekend, we had a party at our apartment on Saturday night. It was a fun time and a lot of people showed up. One great thing about the foreign service is getting to know people from all over the world. Of course there were Indonesians and lots of Americans there, but also Australians, British, Irish and even some Italians. There is a quintetto of 5 Italian women playing violins, viola, cello and piano who are here for a six-month stint performing around Jakarta. Three of them showed up with one of our guests after their show was over, and even played a bit of music for everyone!

The highlight of the night was around midnight, when we tried to celebrate John's birthday, it being Sunday at that point and his actual birthday. However, four things happened at once. I flipped the light switch a couple times and tried to get people to sing Happy Birthday. One of the Indonesian girls came out of the kitchen with a flaming banana(?) One of our guests on the patio wanted to come in and see the festivities, but instead walked straight into our glass patio door which was closed. She was fine, but unfortunately almost everyone saw her do this and started laughing hysterically. While everyone was laughing, John was suddenly doused with water and wine, which some of the Indonesian girls poured on him and completely soaked his hair, face and shirt! Supposedly it's an Indonesian tradition to do that to someone on their birthday. Needless to say he never got his birthday song or even the banana! However, it was one birthday celebration he won't soon forget.