Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Happy Birthday

To Dan.G who has, I noticed over on CodeProject, attained the majestic age of 40. Well done mate! Wait till you're 50 though . I found the saying is true; life really does begin at 40 - at least mine did.

Alas, Dan, you're going to have to share the limelight with some observations. Would you expect it to be otherwise?

Tonight, at the hotel here in Baguio City, Philippines, a birthday celebration was held. There was one last night too. You know the drill; the lights dim for a moment and the restaurant staff stand around the embarassed party singing Happy Birthday. They used English words which isn't surprising; this part of the Philippines thrives because of the US businesses it's managed to attract and almost everyone I've met here can speak English, at least English of a sort. Their English is much better than my (non-existent) Tagalog so I wouldn't dream of quibbling.

What struck me though was a pair of recent memories, both of which passed almost unnoticed at the time.

The first is of a similar event that occurred in a small restaurant in Beppu, Japan, January this year. A group of Japanese singing Happy Birthday. Not a word I could recognise but the tune was unmistakable.

The second is of a similar event that occurred in another small restaurant; this time in Nice, France. Once again a group of people singing Happy Birthday. I think I recognised a few words though I'm not sure of the spelling - 'naissance?'. But it was the same tune!

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