My 27th birthday was the other day, Tuesday the second, and I had a great time. Last year I was traveling in Thailand just after spending a few weeks (including Thanksgiving) with my family in Thailand but this year I was at home in Chengdu. I had been thinking for the past week or so of something fun to do on my birthday. Not that it’s a big deal at this point, but something I would remember would be nice. I decided to eat a good meal, head out to a spa, get a massage, and watch a movie at home with some friends. I woke up at like 1pm (later than usual) and went out to get my favorite breakfast at a local Tex-Mex Restaurant in Chengdu. Steak and eggs plus nachos!¬†The breakfast was super delicious and everything looked extra presentable. Jiao Jiao got a photogenic chicken salad, too:

After an awesome breakfast I decided to go to the computer district and get a new laptop I’ve been eyeing. I had been thinking for a while about getting this Lenovo ultra portable laptop for a few weeks, but hadn’t gotten it until now because it’s not a necessity and the 12″ laptop that I’ve used for almost 3 years has worked flawlessly since I got it. Since I’ve had a huge influx of gigs in the last few months (in contrast to the post-earthquake period where I had very little work) I’ve been making an effort to not spend too much money on things I don’t need. Anyway I got the laptop and it’s excellent. It’s a 10″ ultra portable and it is tiny, even in comparison to my 12″ Dell which is already reasonably small. I’m using it now in a coffee shop. Here’s a comparison photo, the new laptop is on the right:

12″ Dell 700m, 10″ Lenovo S10, 42″ LCD in the back

Later in the evening Callum and Jovian dropped by and together (with my girlfriend) we went to the same spa that I took Dave to a year ago. It’s a pretty outstanding place and outside the building it says RelaxationBy Spa Happy in huge letters amid an expolsion of neon lights:

We swam in several different pools, hung out in steam rooms and saunas, and ate at the buffet restaurant inside the spa complex afterwards. When you enter the spa the first thing you do is hand over your shoes and then go into a locker room where you change out of your clothes and into either swimwear or pajamas. The entire place is filled with people wearing the same pajamas, milling around drinking tea in between various places of relaxation and entertainment. Here are photos of us in the dining area:

Also when you go to the spa in the evening included is a place to sleep, but you don’t get your own room. On one floor they have about a hundred single beds arranged in a massive circle (probably 200 feet in diameter) where everyone is sleeping or lying watching TV. The lights are off but the room is illuminated by the glow of small personal TV’s which are attached to each bed. Some people are loudly snoring.

A highlight of the spa was the fish pool thing. I don’t even know what it’s called. It looks like a pool but it’s filled with small fish that pick at your skin. There are thousands of these fish in the water – I don’t know what they’re called but apparently they’re really hungry. As soon as you enter the pool they swim all around you, but they don’t actually start to bite you until you sit down. It doesn’t hurt but it tickles a lot. I remember having been in a pool like that before but didn’t remember feeling the fish bite me as much. It was hard to remain still, every 30 seconds or so I would shake my legs uncontrollably sending them all swimming in different directions. After 10 minutes I was getting used to it and there were hundreds of them all over both legs. Here are some photos:

After the spa we returned to my house where Coffee was playing xbox 360. We hung out for a few hours, playing some games online and messing around on the guitar before Jiao Jiao pulled a giant cake out of nowhere. I made a wish and blew out the candles.

During the day my phone was constantly beeping with messages from friends on Facebook. I got twice as many facebook messages as I got e-mails on that day. I’ll post the link to this entry on facebook, so for anyone who sent me a note, thank you, I appreciate it!