Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthday-fest

Yesterday was the second time I've celebrated my birthday in Hannover. The first time was back in 2003 when I was coming to a collaboration meeting here. That day involved such fun birthday activities as traveling through Heathrow airport, where I had a birthday pint and bought myself a digital camera as a birthday present, and spending the evening alone in a hotel room. So I had slightly higher hopes for yesterday's Hannoverian birthday experience, although being the ripe old age of 28 I didn't really expect it to be a major event. A large portion of my day was spent trying to stream Olympic coverage from the BBC website. Another chunk of time was spent in the gym. Both of these eclipsed the previous airport experience, so anything else was bonus. In the evening a select few of us went for dinner at the Bavarium Bavarian-style restaurant in town (I'd visited it several years before for its infamous "Mountain of meat" dish, which was indeed exactly what it said it was). Their kitchen was under renovation, so they had a smaller menu than usual that unfortunately didn't include any meat mountains. It was a nice place, with a pleasant beer garden, some rather camp waiters, and tasty food, but after being served we noticed other tables were getting given far larger plates of food that didn't seem to have been on our menus! I think that the locals were a bit more in the know about what to ask for, or else we'd just been shafted! This was followed by a drink in the old part of town, where we managed to take in some belly dancing and also stumbled across a whole square filled with people doing the tango. The night was finished off by the Earth, Sun and Moon getting into alignment and providing me with a partial lunar eclipse - they really shouldn't have, I mean it's just too much effort to go to for little-old-me's birthday.