So my birthday on the 25th was the final birthday in the team during this month and also towards the end of the assignment. There are both pros and cons of such a situation. The team is intimate so there is a lot of affection (thanks Sue, for having been there at midnight!! You made my day!), but then energy levels are low due to the grueling work schedules. Anyway, the battle weary 11+2 made my mid-week birthday quite a special occasion. There was good dinner followed by a little bit of clubbing.
|I replaced Emperor Dan as Emperor for an evening
|Pretty cake (it was from the 14th Feb lot with a heart and all, and available on a very good deal)
|Pampered by the team... gifts for me and Club M
|Li'l Frooti wanted the Indian touch... what the hell... back home it would have been worse anyway
I've been unkind to a lot of folks in the team and my blog has not always been sensitive. Thus on the eve of my birthday, the had a group meeting (minus me... of course).. to figure out how to get back at me in a subtle but effective manner. "Whatever be the gift", it was recorded in the minutes of the meeting, "it has to be something that weighs at least 15 kilos and gets him into massive baggage problems". Some sinister laugh was also recorded as part of this exchange and I happen to have a copy of this in wav format.
|The team's gift... thank you guys... I'm really croaking...er.. choking with emotions.
|The birthday team in attendance
The boys have bonded well on this assignment (much to the discomfort of the girls), and there seems to have been forged a special relationship that typically takes much longer under ordinary situations (but hey, we're here under non-standard circumstances, in a challenging environment, in unstructured space!!). My first birthday gift from Dan and Tom was given almost a week earlier. After I had given up on trying to lip-read and body-language-read the 41 Chinese TV channels, I went and bought a media player for myself. Impressed by the purchase, the business case, and convinced by the brown man's intelligence, another 6 folks went ahead and bought the same. During the course of my sales' pitch, I had talked a lot about WiFi connectivity and convenience etc.. so the team went and bought wifi dongles too. D&T gifted me a dongle to show appreciation.
Why the hell did I not spend more time talking about the Samsung Galaxy Tab instead? We Indians just don't have what it takes to dream big!!
So while I have the dongle.. and am grateful for it, with no wifi on my floor, it's pretty much like a box of tampons for me (pretty intriguing, but essentially of limited utility currently). Just kidding guys..!! thanks a ton! :-)
|The first gift!!
And hey.. thanks Sue, Frooti, Lucy for your sweet tokens!!