It's downright impossible to believe, but as of today, my life as a 21-year-old has officially come to a close. Today was the big day, Jan Third: happy 22nd birthday to me! I didn't do all that much to celebrate: just the usual hanging out, grabbing dinner, and shmoozing down in the Kabul lounge and bar. I didn't even partake in any birthday drinking: seeing as I was still recovering from an unfortunate lunch, I elected to just sip on water all evening instead. Birthdays are always good: but I must say that as birthdays go, 22 really is something of an anticlimax after the feistiness of 21.
Barcelona is a daym cool place to celebrate your birthday. And Kabul is a great hostel for having fun and partying. And in the mere day that I've been here, I already seem to have picked up quite a few buddies in the vicinity. But despite all that, the fact remains that this is my first-ever birthday away from home, and that being all alone on the other side of the world for your birthday just isn't the same. I'd be a blatant liar if I didn't admit that something was lacking today — and that something was people. As a general rule, I haven't suffered a great deal of homesickness on this trip: but today, I really did feel the absence of my friends and my family around me; and I did wonder what the hell I was doing here, and why I wasn't back home where everyone would be sharing in the celebrations with me. I did of course call my parents — but they're only two of the many people I'd normally see at this time; and besides, there's only so much you can communicate over a telephone line. Having your birthday abroad is an interesting experience, but it's not for the faint-hearted.