"So this is where they have been hiding!" As soon as we entered the recently-opened Japanese restaurant, we were shocked to see eighty-percent of the guests were Filipinos like us. Now this wouldn't have been much of a surprise when one is in California, where fellow Little Brown Brother seem to be all over the state. But this was Maryland; you could barely find a big-enough community that speaks Tagalog in the area. Perhaps it's because of the weather: we're so accustomed to the all year-round tropical heat of our country, we couldn't handle the cold winters of the East Coast. In any case, I was pleased to be lunching amongst Pinoys and be able to hear the familiar accent once more.
We then got going to two consecutive birthday parties: one for the three-year-old daughter of my aunt's officemate and the other for Joey's eight-year-old classmate. I enjoyed Christina's princess-themed party as the overload of pinks and tiaras were reminiscent of birthday celebrations from my childhood. That, and photographing little children brings me so much joy. Not only are their expressions genuine, their laughter and delight are also quite infectious. At the party we also tasted the Central American version (El Salvadorian or something, I forget) of the Paella which was yummy and filling after a few spoonfuls.
Later we headed to Josh's party where we were in a room full of massive inflatable slides, bounce houses, and obstacle courses. I had to stop myself from taking my shoes off and joining all the fun. (This twenty-year-old stranger has the right amount of respect and shame left in her.) After playtime, while the kids had their pizza, I snacked on some fruit slices and a tiny part of the chocolate-strawberry cake. And then my relatives and I went home and ate some more.
Oh October 20th, you will always be remembered as the day I began overeating...