Reasons to celebrate

There have been a slew of reasons to celebrate lately; my boss got married two weeks ago, Josh got a job, and I officially started the last year of my 20s.

Beccofino Trattoria
Beccofino Trattoria

But let me start with the best news of all: Josh’s new job! He’ll soon start working for an NGO doing truly commendable work here and in the US. Not to mention that he’ll be based here in Chiang Mai so, thankfully, we won’t be a commuting couple which was a definite possibility. I’m also thrilled to bits because I have long been wishing that Josh gets work experience outside of a large bureaucracy and do something more grassroots. We were so happy on Monday night that we went to Beccofino Italian Trattoria, a fancy restaurant a few streets away to celebrate with four seasons pizza and a carafe of white wine. Buonissimo!

(Our choice of dinner really says something about how easy it is to live here, and how cosmopolitan this city is because we could have been eating anywhere in the world. Well, except for the monsoonal rain that came pouring down at the end of our celebratory dinner.)

As for my birthday…in general, I don’t make a huge fuss about my birthday. My parents have rarely celebrated my birthday and these days, never even remember it! But occasionally I’ll make a big effort. I’ve had two big parties in the past decade, and they haven’t been for obvious milestones (24 and 28) – though they were both partly motivated by the fact that I knew that the birthdays following would be spent living overseas. I seem to make a habit of spending my birthday overseas, but this year in Chiang Mai was one of the best–and most relaxed–celebrations yet.

Vieng Joom On Teahouse
Vieng Joom On Teahouse

For my boss’s wedding, my workmates and I all chipped in and bought a big present from Vieng Joom On Teahouse by the river. We drove there one day after lunch and as soon as I walked through the doors, I knew straightaway that I had found a venue for party. It’s incredibly lavish and beautiful inside; the perfect place for a big get-together – and to fulfill a secret wish to have a high tea party. I invited a lot of the people I’ve become friends with recently and more than a dozen people came. I booked a big table and ordered cakes, sandwiches, and lots of pots of tea. I was thoroughly spoiled with all sorts of lovely gifts; but most of all I appreciated everyone being there for me.

Petits four
Petits four at VJO Teahouse

It’s been so nice to realise that after three months here, I have started to make some wonderful friends. The low point of this year was when I was dumped by a friend and that incident truly shook my confidence; but now it feels that that is truly in the past, and I can looking forward to a future where all the people I choose to associate myself with accept me for who I am. When I looked around the room full of people who happily made the effort to celebrate my 29th birthday with me, it made me believe that I must be doing something right in this new chapter of my life.

With two of my lovely friends

2 thoughts on “Reasons to celebrate

  1. Dear Sheila – a belated happy 29th birthday to you too. I have been part of your weekly emails and have really loved reading what you are doing and your impressions of your new place. While I do not know you that well it is a very generous opportunity you have given me to be a recipient of your weekly letters ‘home’. You are an excellent and true correspondent and I love being a small part of this ‘journey’ of yours. Best wishes for this last year of your twenties – I enjoyed mine thoroughly and it was also part of a new beginning for me way back then. Great news that your partner Josh has landed a good job in Chiang Mai – and the tea house looks marvellous as does Beccofino Trattoria. Happy times ahead – with much affection, Imelda

    1. Hi Imelda, so nice to hear from you! Thanks so much for reading my blog posts and I’m glad you’re enjoying them. I’m happy that you can be on my journey with me too, that’s why I have a blog after all, to share my experiences. Sometimes I have to mentally pinch myself that this is all really happening! I never envisaged that my 29th year would be what it is — but I’m not sure what I expected really.I’m going to Bangkok for a long weekend this week so stay tuned for a recap of our adventures! Hope all is well back home xx

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