Usually, I don’t like my birthday. Between too much attention, January not being in pool season, girl drama, losing my piñata bag, and a debilitating back injury, my birthdays are never outstanding. I was prepared for my 21st birthday celebration after only 7 days in Switzerland to be rather lackluster. My only goal was to not spend it alone in my room, drinking wine and watching a movie.
To my surprise, it was easier to work into conversation that my birthday was coming up. “How old are you?” “I’m 20 now, but my birthday is on Thursday!” Thus, plans were formulated. My birthday was also the day of our class’ tour around Lausanne, which I was excited for as well. It was going to be a full, day but a good day!
The day before my birthday, I met some international students who were going to the bar where I was to meet my friend at 5:30 for my birthday. For some reason, the bar closed before 9 so our night was still very young. We decided to go back to a girl’s apartment to keep the tiny party going. Apparently cooking and eating after 10pm is a thing here because they decided to make pasta when we got there. I wasn’t hungry because I ate at six like a normal person, but ate to be polite. And that’s how I got food poisoning.
I’m well aware that puking is part of the rite of passage for turning 21, but usually it’s from alcohol, not from undercooked meat. The morning of my birthday I felt like merde, but stubbornly thought that I needed to go to school so people didn’t think I skipped just because it was my birthday. I stuck it through the entire day and even through the walking tour of the very hilly city. At 3:30 I made it back to my apartment and there I stayed for the rest of my birthday. No night on the town, no drinks at 5:30, no little cake with a candle.
Surprisingly, I’m not completely distraught from my 21st birthday being overshadowed by my first case of food poisoning. Maybe it’s because I’m so chill or because I always keep low expectations. Maybe it’s because everyone was so nice: my professor gave me a bar of chocolate, a girl in my class gave me candy, the exchange students here said we’d celebrate when I’m better, my WU friends said we’d party when we’re reunited, the little cake and with a candle from my Swiss friend, the silly e-card of a cow from my parents.
Nevertheless, stay tuned for “Jordis’ 21st Birthday: Round Two!”