I actually liked bringing in cakes for other people on my birthday, the British vice-versa routine. It was fun. It even felt unselfish, you know?
I had one of my top birthdays ever here. My colleagues bought me prezzies, which are always nice, and turned out in full force for cocktails at the Sheraton. There was champagne! And nice words spoken! There was even a lengthy recitation of a poem I recall as being Gaelic, to my delight.
And as I looked around at more than a dozen people, from all around the world, none of whom I knew two months ago - all who I really, really like - I thought to myself "this is worth it. This moment. No matter how long I stay or what happens or how homesick I get. I am glad I came."