Birthday Celebrations in China…

iPod Touch
Image via Wikipedia

Today is my husband’s birthday… and I think the only one excited about it is me.  It seems that in China the only birthdays that are of any importance are the ones that end in a round number,   10, 20 30 etc.  So, Since my husband is turning 28 no one really cares about it but me.  On these birthdays, most people just eat dinner and maybe have a cake.

Well, that wasn’t enough for me.   If I am happy about something.. everyone needs to be happy about it, in my eyes.   So, began the preparations for a party.   I am determined to get these Chinese people to celebrate more often and have more fun in life and not worry so much about working and “face”

It began with me finding a gift for my husband, who is very picky.  I did buy a sweater and a USA Soccer team Jersey for him but I felt that just wasn’t enough.  I needed something big so he could show off to his friends…. hummm…

So, the day before his birthday I was sitting in the office and the little Chinese folks were all a flutter about something.  I quickly asked them to explain in English so I would know what was going on.  They informed me the big news that the I touch 4, had made it to China and it cost 1900 rmb.  They could not wait to get their salaries so they could buy one.   I, being a little out of touch, asked them what exactly is this I touch.  They quickly showed me websites and photos and told me how “Out” I was for not knowing what it did.

So, I said… and this shocked them all… Lets go get one.   Everyone froze .. NOw… I said.. yes now… I will buy one for Michael’s birthday tomorrow.   They told me it wasn’t salary day yet… and I told them… uhhh… I don’t need to wait for salary day.   This seemed to impress them a lot.  (how saving money impresses people I don’t know .. but okay).  So off we went on the buy the I touch adventure.

Since, we were sneaking out of the office we decided to take care of some other things also.  I had my fellow American co-worker come along.  He wanted to make a poster out of a photo that he had taken of another friend who was having a birthday soon.

As we stopped for him to go get the photo made, I noticed a shop that made winter coats.   I really needed a winter coat, I have frozen to death for 2 years already in this place without a coat.  So I went in and argued with the woman about my measurements, color, style, and kind of fur I want around the color.   Nothing can be easy here.  Finally, I got that started and ready to pick up on the 1st of the month.  450rmb is not bad for a handmade coat that is made for me, with lambs wool inside of it.

We continued on to the Apple shop.   Once there I quickly tried to turn on the charm to reduce the price.  However, it seemed he had been warned ahead of time that I was coming and had already reduced the price by 50 rmb.  I kept trying though… by telling him ..” I love you”… “your handsome.”.. and any other words I could remember in Chinese.  However, 50rmb discount was all I could get out of it.

After about 30 minutes of fussing with the I touch guy… we were walking out the door… and my American co-worker said very calmly to our Chinese co-worker who had driven us…. “is that police officer giving you a ticket?”   We all looked up and started running to the officer letting him know we were coming and not to write the ticket.  Parking ticket in Yuyao is about 250rmb.

We were back on the road heading back to the school….thinking that it almost became the most expensive cab ride we ever took.

We agreed to plan a party at KTV on Halloween and invite as many folks as we can to make them party like rock stars.

At the office, I quickly called my husband and told him I had a really big surprise for him.  That always makes him think about it all day long.


Later that night, when I got home he was jumping around trying to get me anything I wanted.  I told him… I cannot give you the gift because your birthday is not until Midnight and now it is 10pm, so you have to wait.

I think that was the longest 15 minutes he has ever waited in his life… he was getting on my nerves so I caved at 10:15.   His eyes were so big and his hands were shaking when he saw it.   He could not even speak.  After a few minutes he said to me…. I don’t even know how to use it.   I couldn’t help him… because I had just found out what it was a few hours earlier.

Lucky I remember where I bought it, and told him to go there tomorrow and they could help him.

But I could tell he was overjoyed.  One half down and one half to go….Should I make them all come in a costume?  hummm


until next time….


8 thoughts on “Birthday Celebrations in China…

  1. Ami

    Wow what an adventure 😀 This man had BETTER appreciate the wonderful wife that he’s got! That is wonderful news and please post about his reaction to his birthday party and gifts. How exciting!

  2. Avastacia

    i really liked this post; it reminds me so much of my own “family” (i use that word loosely). we don’t celebrate birthdays either… or any other holiday/family “functions” for that matter. when i buy a present for one of them they just say, “what’s this for?” or “why’d you bother?” and they take ALL the fun out of it (i don’t even think they realize it). i get presents, but from my friends; is just nice to know there’s someone around that truly gives a damn, you know? *^_^*

  3. pearls

    You are so funny! You both are too cute! hahaha


    I say YES to wearing costumes…I want to see pictures!

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