Celebrating my birthday in Leeds

Hi everyone! My name is Daniela and I recently became a little bit older. In other words, I celebrated my birthday. You should know that since I was a child, my birthday is for me one of the best days of the year, and this was the first year I was going to spend it away from home, away from my family and my friends.

I must admit that I was nervous at the beginning, I did not know what to expect. Especially because of all the diverse cultures that my friends and classmates have, including mine. I decided to host a party in my house with my closest friends (I could not invite everyone because of the limited space #SadStudentLife). I am Mexican, and most of us really love parties. So, I got lots of candy, snacks, a piñata with the shape of an avocado, decorations, and of course, tequila. The party was on a Saturday, so I woke up early to get everything ready, and then the night came…

You should also know that in Mexico we invite people to come early expecting the guests to arrive one or two hours later. In this case, being aware of the cultural differences, I set myself the goal of being ready to start the party on time and I am so happy I almost achieved my goal because just 5 minutes after the set time, my first guests showed up. So, I was ready, but the punch and the snacks were not ready. Fortunately, my firsts guests helped me to have it ready before more people came into the party.

After that, my friends started coming in and I had one of the biggest surprises: they all had a gift for me! At least where I live, we are not very used to receive gifts on birthdays from friends. That made me feel very appreciated and happy, but more than the gifts, what made me happier was that they thought of me and took the time of getting something for me. The party was a success! I had a lot of fun, and I think my friends had fun too.

The party was on a Saturday and my birthday was on Monday. So, for my actual birthday, my housemates and I planned to have dinner at my favourite burger restaurant in Trinity Leeds. It was like being with family. We ate until Giulia (my Italian housemate) and I felt dizzy of eating so much, but who can say no to sweet potato fries and an Oreo milkshake? Then we met up with some friends in the movie theatre to watch Avengers: Infinity War.

Celebrations did not end there. The day after, I had dinner with some of my Mexican friends, who cooked a delicious mole (traditional Mexican dish), rice, beans/frijolitos, and had a cake for me to sing “Las Mañanitas”. It was the long version of the song, which is very long (here’s the link if you do not believe me: https://youtu.be/UVM_zqUtO0g); imagine hearing the full song while your birthday candles are melting, and you have a tempting cake in front of you. That’s love, ladies and gentlemen!

I have nothing left to say, but to express how loved, thankful, and happy I am of being here in Leeds and have met all these awesome people who made my birthday a special day, even being far away from my family, because my friends are now like my family in Leeds.