Monday, October 8, 2012

Birthdays in Foreign Countries

Brazilian Style Birthday Candle!

So today is my birthday.  That's right, according to my good friend Burt, I am now 29-3 (32).  I was laying in bed last night thinking about the last several years and where I have spent my birthdays.  So let's take a quick look.

2003 - Richmond, Va
2004 - Richmond, VA
2005 - Baumholder, Germany
2006 - Ramadi, Iraq
2007 - Mosul, Iraq
2008 - Mosul, Iraq
2009 - Atlanta, Ga
2010 - Alberta, Canada
2011 - Atlanta, Ga
2012 - Recife, Brazil

Impressive I think.  Six of my last 10 birthdays have been spent in a foreign country.  Odd places too!

Birthdays are a bit different here in Brasil. They are much more of an event than they are in the US, or anywhere else that I have been for that matter.

I threw Sarah a surprise party for her FIRST birthday in a Foreign country back in March.  It was great, but it was a Brazilian party for sure.  We had little munchies, dinner and a bar set up.  Everyone who came was dressed up...much more than we were, and they all brought presents!

Then in July, we went to my cousin Artur's, a Brazilian child, second birthday.  Let me tell you what a blow out it was.  First of all it was at a party house.  Yes there is a huge business here in Brazil for party houses.  They are almost as common as Drug Stores.  

So we showed up and the first thing you see are the THOUSANDS of balloons in all sorts of shapes and lining the entrance.  When we entered there were more balloons.  It was quite impressive

Once inside there was every imaginable game you can imagine.  They had slides, video games, basketball, a Ferris wheel and a tilt-o-whirl.

There were waiters serving  juices, water, 12 year old scotch, and various wines.  The other waiters were serving finger foods and then the main entree!

I would guess there were 300+ people at this party for my cute cousin.  Every kid got a gift when they left.  It was truly a production.

It is not unheard of for parents to spend R$3000 for their kids birthday parties.  They are truly events.

But adults have good parties too...usually not as extravagant, but sometimes.

So for my birthday, I took my Grandma and her friend out for lunch.

What have you done for your birthday when in a foreign country?


  1. I have a real issue in the months before my Brazilian kids' bdays. I get mega family pressure to have a big party. it is so much work and so much $$$, I just don't get it. Of course I have done it ;)

    Happy Bday!

  2. Rachel-

    I thought I had replied to this but I am having internet problems today. Oh well.

    We don't have kids yet, but it seems so crazy to spend so much money on these little kids every year. It is such an's literally close to planning a wedding every year on some scale.

    What is really weird to me is that most of the parties the kids won't remember...they are just little why go through all the fuss?