For a start, to those who have invited me to their birthday parties that I have not been able to attend, let me just apologise, and that I would have loved to make it but I'm handicapped by living far away out west in Henderson, and am stuck on a restricted license which means I have to be home before 10pm. My mum still doesn't even trust me to drive outside of Henderson either, so I have to rely heavily on public transport which isn't exactly very flexible!
Fortunately I have been able to attend a few 21st birthday parties during the last half of this year:
- During mid-semester break it was Estee's 21st birthday so we had a surprise tea party for her! We were all asked to dress up and bring a tea-cup to the party. Once again I was running late, which is not so great when it's supposed to be a surprise party, so I had to forgo trying to get a present and went straight to her house to meet-up with the others and prepare to surprise her. I had to park further down the road so she wouldn't see my car.
We were all upstairs when she came home with her boyfriend Pita, and I have to admit we didn't exactly know when she came home! I'm sure she was surprised though as she wasn't expecting anything!
We all had some tea and finger-food before we sang Happy Birthday and ate some cake. We also had a look at this really cool book with photos and little quotes that Estee was given as a birthday present from her parents. It was pretty cool, I think I was in one of the photos....somewhere!
The costumes people came in were pretty creative! David was dressed in black and white, and came with a top hat and walking stick, while Nick was dressed as a Viet Cong. I only managed to come up with a grey cardigan-like jacket and tie with a little hat!
- A couple of weeks into the second half of semester was Shrikkanth's birthday. I came out of my dispensing lab and got a text message from Shen, asking me if I'd like to join them for dinner at the BBQ King to celebrate Shrikkanth's birthday, so I jumped on the bus and made my way back into the city to join them in the engineering building. We all went down to the BBQ King together.
The BBQ King which was a small little Chinese restaurant was packed (especially since it was around dinner time!), and so a few couples were asked if they could share tables with others just so they could find somewhere for all of us to sit!
I ordered this dish with barbeque pork that was quite difficult to chew (my jaw is a lot weaker than it used to be too) and had quite a bit of fat. I ended up eating the meat part of it and Shen kindly ate all the fat! He was telling me I really should eat the fat because I'm so skinny!
- At the end of that same week Toni and Joanne had a combined 21st birthday in September. Our group from Rutherford showed up in force to celebrate their birthday! I also met Szelin, my neighbour which was a surprise! It was interesting hearing stories about Joanne and Toni's childhood and some of the funny moments in their lives. There were also quite a few lesbian jokes too! (Just for clarification, Toni and Joanne are definitely not lesbian!).
What made it more special was that I've known Joanne from way back in primary school and so it was quite cool to celebrate her 21st after knowing her all these years!
After the speeches and the cake-cutting we just hung out talking and doing a little dancing before my mum rang me and ordered me home (courtesy of Aonghas my driver!)
- 10th October was the social highlight of the pharmacy year - the Pharmacy Ball/Formal Dinner (combined this year due to the recession I'm guessing). I was really tossing up whether to go or not, as two of my closest pharmacy friends told me they weren't going after I had bought my ticket, and I didn't know if I'd end up being a loner or not. I also had exams to study for (or maybe that was just a convenient excuse in favour of not going?) I wouldn't have been able to get a refund anyway so I ended up going, and I definitely don't regret it!
Doors opened at 5pm which is probably the earliest for a ball I've attended! I ended up arriving at about 5.30pm. I only sorted out my dress at 5pm! I ended up dressing up completely in black (decided to try something different).
The ball was held at the Hilton Hotel this year, and because I didn't know where it was, except that it was on a wharf, I looked for the nicely dressed people when I got out of the car and followed them...from a distance...The Hilton Hotel was flash! There were stairs at the entrance with an arch made with balloons and waiters and waitresses standing on either side holding plates with drinks on them!
Once I got in I discovered most tables were all taken, well the good ones anyway. I caught up with a few other 3rd years who hadn't found somewhere to sit yet and joined them in the search for a table (while taking photos along the way of course!). We managed to find a table on the side of the room that was opposite to the stage. Once again I was sitting behind a pole and so I didn't manage to see much of what was going on on stage! At least we were close to the food and the bar. That meant I constantly had this waitress coming up to me asking if I wanted another drink. At first she presented a wine bottle to me, but I asked if she had something non-alcoholic and from that point she constantly refilled my glass with diet Coke!
I was really looking forward to dinner because I hadn't eaten and I was starving! Once we all got our dinner though, it was time for a the formal part of the night to get underway. One of our lecturers gave a speech on behalf of the staff, before some of the APSA (Auckland Pharmacy Students Association) executives gave some speeches and some of the 2010 APSA executives were announced! Not all of them were announced though due to complications with the voting process (I'll explain in a later post).
Once dinner, speeches and dessert was out of the way, it was time for the dancing part! I was surprised at how fun it was! I sorta joined in the second year circle for a little while before I slowly drifted to the third year circle. It's cool how you end up talking to people you don't usually talk to in such a setting!
One problem was that on that same night was my good friend from high school Jacqueline's 21st birthday party as well! She's invited me to her birthdays each year for the past several years and this year was no different. I didn't want to miss it either! I discovered it was at a nearby club though - the Zen Night Club. Now before that night I had never stepped foot in a night club before, mainly because my parents don't like me being out so late at night, especially in the city. However, this time I was already in the city and it was before midnight. The ball would continue till midnight and there would be time for plenty of dancing, so I decided I'd leave the ball for a while and run up to the club to celebrate Jacqueline's birthday, or at least be there for the speeches!
When I finally found the club, there was this guy standing by the entrance, who I think must've been the bodyguard. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do so I asked him if I had to show my ID to him, but he just let me in! When I finally got into the really dark room and caught up with some of my high school friends sitting by the bar, we just hung around talking till it was finally time for the birthday speeches. It was slightly different to what I had imagined. I always imagined night clubs to be huge warehouses with heaps of people packed dancing close together, but most people were standing around by the bar with only a few people on the dance floor! Then again it was only 10 at night, so it was still quite early.
Birthday speeches began for the other girl who was also celebrating her birthday with Jacqueline, before it was Jacqueline's turn. Shen and Larry gave the birthday speeches, with Shen going first. It was really nice! Jacqueline was also in tears I think! Larry did a Kanye West and interrupted Shen for a moment.
After the speeches I made my way back down to the Hilton to continue the dancing at the ball. I left half an hour before it was due to finish though because Shen was offering me a ride home and it'd probably be easier going home with him than having to get someone from my family driving all the way to the city to pick me up.
- Later that month on the 21st was Sarena's birthday. It happened to be on the night before my pharmacology lab test, and so it would be a bit of a risk going to her party, but she's one of my good friends and I wanted to be there at least for some time!
Because it was at a sailing club in Pt Chevalier which was on the way home for me, I was able to catch a bus there...after I did all my study of course! Before that though, I did a little quick shopping to buy Sarena some chocolate as a temporary IOU birthday present, and a couple of plastic bags for my costume...we had to dress up in the occupation we wanted to aspire to when we were younger. Because of convenience and time, I just cut up and wore plastic bags, and drew on them. I could just dispose it afterwards before I went home! (Oh, I forgot to mention, I hadn't told my parents about the birthday party either because I knew they would frown upon me attending it when my test would be held on the very next morning!).
Other people were a whole lot better dressed. Amy was dressed as a policewoman, Ellyce a fairy, Shrikkanth a gangster (I think!) Shen a...cowboy or one of the Village People? I can't remember! haha
There was plenty of food at the party and a lot of Sarena's family and friends. It was soon time for the speeches. Kat, one of Sarena's longtime friends gave a speech which brought back memories from intermediate school! Kat, Sarena and a few of us were all in the same class in year 7 at Rangeview. Shen followed with a speech which brought back memories of high school as well as singing to her! Shrikkanth gave a bit of a speech too.
After that there was dancing and bubbles everywhere! It was approaching 10pm and I had to get home so I could do some final study for my test tomorrow!
Boy, the year of 21st's has been busy!