With Grace and Vichea’s birthdays only 5 days apart we decided to kill two toddlers with one stone ( so to speak ) and have a joint birthday party. Of course we all had very different ideas of what a suitable party might mean and I had to deftly weave my inter-cultural magic to ensure it did not turn into a production larger than a Rolling Stones concert. I set Leakhana a budget ( which of course blew out by 100% ) and we sent out SMS and email invites with a few days to spare so had no idea how many people might attend. I took the Friday off so I could organise a few things but due to a Thursday assault on Naga Casino with Sindre, all I could organise on Friday was some Panadol and sleep. Ahem. Leakhana and Phalla ran around all day shopping for food and Friday night we all sat in the kitchen marinating chicken, peeling king prawns and having a few red wines to relax.
The next day was party day and we wend in to full swing. I went out and procured 10 slabs of beer, slabs of soft drink and bottled water, 30 sticks of bread and 70kg of ice. Rob lent me his 200litre ice boxes so there was no shortage of space. The yard was swept and soaped down and tables were set up with buffet heaters. The Balloon man arrived with 4 tanks of helium on his moto and 200 balloons were inflated ( $11 ). People came, people went and before you say hey….it’s 3pm and it’s party time…….it was PARTY TIME.
For the first time in my 4 years here in Cambodia EVERYONE was on time and for about 30 minutes there was just a constant stream of families with kids flowing in through the front gates. I have never seen so many kids and thank god we set up Grace’s play room because all the kids were herded in there like a flock of sheep. Parents grabbed drinks,Karma ran around wagging her tail and the music played. Grace was looking resplendent in pink fairy dress and ballet shoes and Vichea was very smart in cargoes and t-shirt.
Just as we were about to do the cake thing it started raining which meant only one thing. More drinks until the rain stopped ! Luckily it was just a short shower which freshened everything up and we were soon ready to go with not one but two cakes. Children clambered for prime spot in the cake zone, parents poised with cameras and away we went with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday and thousands if poppers and streamers going all over the place. Grace was a little perplexed by it all but was soon grabbing hand fulls of cake and licking her fingers in glee.
As the first wave of guests left, a second wave arrived so it was non stop BBQ action and no shortage of beer and wine. Around 10pm Leakhana and I called the family together and gave them the news that we are pregnant again – YES ! LEAKHANA IS PREGNANT ! which made them all very happy and at the end there was a core crew of about 8 people sitting ( almost falling ) on their seats solving the worlds problems. I had to sneak off around midnight as I just did not have the energy left to kick on . A top bloody day all round. Happy 2nd Birthday Grace and a big thank you to everyone who made the effort to come along with generous lovely gifts.