Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bamako Birthday


I actually wrote this on Saturday 12th May, so a week ago, but the internet in the guesthouse has been down so only just posting...

So it way my birthday on Wednesday, and I think this is vying with the one where I was trying desperately to finish the mémoire and the one where I was petrified of impending finals as the least rock and roll birthday ever. When I tell you that the most memorable part of the day was the euphoria when a particularly tricky contract management issue resolved itself then you get the idea.

But people wishing me happy birthday on facebook was nice, and my colleagues managed to dig out a cake from the Lebanese restaurant in the quartier (tasted a bit old, but was distinctly a cake). And I left the office at 6:30 and Stefano, who is Italian and therefore a chef extraordinare, cooked dinner, and he’d managed to dig up some gin and we all had some beer, so generally it was a nice evening.

More importantly, two years to go till the big 30. On my list of things to do before I’m 30 there remain:
- Go to a music festival
- Go to 50 countries (7 to go)
- Run a marathon
- Speak three languages well
- Read Ulysses
Of those, number 2 is on track. Number 1 I need to sort out, and number 3 was on track until I moved to a country where it’s too hot to move. I’ve found a Spanish-English language exchange in Dakar so when I go back that one should be OK. The last one I just need to harden up and do. But yes, let me know if you’re going to a music festival and I will try and come too.

Yesterday there was another team birthday, so I went down the Lebanese place to buy a cake. Worryingly, there were four cakes when there were previously five, and going back today for lunch there were only three. I am now considering taking bets on how long those three stay there for, and if the two they’ve managed to sell ever get replaced. Still, gift horses and all that…

Update: a week later there are still three cakes, but they are a different three to the old three. So there is obviously reasonable cake turnover, which is a relief.

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