Yesterday, on my birthday, August 28, I was invited by my colleague, David Thach, to dinner at his apartment. I, of course, accepted.
David and I worked in the office until about 18h30 and then closed up and walked to his apartment. It is about a 20 minute walk if one walks at a brisk pace as David does. On the way, I bought some flowers, alstroemeria, as a thanks-for-inviting-me gift.
I met David’s wife, Mia Sakamoto, and his two children: Emma (aged 7) and Hugo (aged 5). David met Mia in Seattle, WA, when they were both foreign exchange students. They managed a long distance relationship for 3+ years until David finished university in Paris and got a job in, and moved to, Japan. They have been in Paris for a little over 2 years now after David took a job with our company, SAS Fermat.
We had a wonderful dinner. Mia cooks largely in a Japanese style; it helps her to live comfortably in France. We had rice with some (raw, I believe) fish, egg, and roe on it. Lightly cooked pieces of pork with bean sprouts. Green beans with sesame seeds. And a soup. It was quite a repast. My usual dinner, prepared by myself, is much more modest. There was plenty for all. Emma always wanted extra roe on top of her servings of rice.
After dinner, a bowl of cantaloupe was bought out and tea was being made. But, the surprise was a birthday cake for me!
It was a cheesecake-like confection from a local bakery. Strawberries in it and both raspberries and strawberries on top of the strawberry-flavored fondant topping layer. And, three candles. Emma, Hugo, and I got to blow out the candles together.
Such formalities done, Emma brought out the Connect-4 game. I did not play to lose, but am no good at strategy or games and Emma did win. She got me into one of those places where you have to block one set, but that enables connecting another set.
She put that away and came back with a card game to play, but it was late and I needed to get to the Metro and to my apartment. That put Emma into a dejected state as I had not played enough games yet.
David, Emma, and I walked the 2+ blocks to the closest Metro station. Emma immediately put her hand in mine and thus we walked for the entire journey.
It is a great family and I had a great birthday dinner.