Day 8 of 20: My Birthday – Not What You’d Expect

19 Feb

I imagine after reading my blog for all these years, that many of you *think* you have a pretty good idea of what I did for my birthday (2014 edition).

You probably expected me to spend the final hours of my thirties getting drunk with one of my many international friends, wandering around Paris’ 10th Arrondissement, hopping from bar to bar, searching for strange toilets, and reporting to the city engineers any infrastructure in need of repair that we happen to stumble upon during our quest.

You’re probably also expecting to hear about how I spent the first few hours of my forties hungover with two hours’ sleep, in a police station in a completely different country from where I was the previous evening, giving DNA samples (to rule out my involvement) in an ongoing criminal investigation into a recent high-profile train robbery.

And of course you will want to hear about my visiting a museum dedicated entirely to the guy who wrote the theme to Die Hard, my eating of a delicious döner-kebap so huge that it would be impossible for one man to consume unassisted, and my finishing the night with some beers and a whole bunch of very good friends.

Well I know you hate to be disappointed, but that birthday – the one you imagined – that never happened. (And for the record, I am also disappointed. With you. Once more. For being so far off the mark. Yet again.) Nope, my birthday this year just happened to fall at the one-third point of my three-week vacation – the exact same day as my regularly-scheduled travel-maintenance.

Traveling light (like I always do) involves packing only the essentials for a given trip. But despite the numerous advantages, it can leave one unprepared for unforeseen or unlikely events. That is why it is important to periodically take inventory of your travel situation so you can (if necessary) adjust your plans accordingly. It’s been my experience that this maintenance period is also a good time to do some housekeeping, take a night off, and get some rest to recharge your batteries.

So by some crazy random happenstance, on this trip, my birthday and maintenance day fell on the same day. I had planned for a weekly maintenance schedule because I calculated I would need to do laundry after seven days based on the amount of clothing I was bringing with me.

This meant that I ended up spending the day (and eve) of the anniversary of my birth reviewing my various travel checklists, finding a laundromat, washing, drying, folding, and carefully packing all my clothes, taking an inventory of my supplies, reviewing all my travel documents, photographing any interesting receipts, destroying any evidence that could trace back to me, checking the status of my consumable hygiene products (soap, toothpaste, shampoo) and going to bed early so I could be well rested for the remainder of my trip.

And I am happy to report that everything is good, I am now back at 100% energy – vacation: full speed ahead!

And for your enjoyment, here is a photo collage I made for you of a birthday that only ever existed in your imagination.

Your crazy imagination.

Your crazy imagination.


7 Responses to “Day 8 of 20: My Birthday – Not What You’d Expect”

  1. Jill February 19, 2014 at 19:26 #

    Totally sounds like you are in your 40s now…

  2. Lottabot February 20, 2014 at 01:26 #

    Is it the year 2104 already? Holy smokes. Where have I been for the past 90 years??

    • Die Hard Three February 20, 2014 at 04:31 #

      2104 is the total number of birthdays I’ve been involved with – friends, family, my own. It has nothing to do with the year.

      • Lottabot February 20, 2014 at 10:18 #



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