This is my second birthday abroad.

I invited friends here to join me in a picnic at a park on the Han River. We ate junk food and ordered chicken. We flew Loren’s kite and threw his Frisbee. We talked.

The sun set behind us, casting its orange rays on the buildings on the opposite river bay, a beautiful way to close out the daylight. Soon after, the orange moon took the sun’s place near the horizon, baffling each of us with its illusion of hugeness.

Just after dusk, we decided to ride the ferry on the river, a peaceful trip down and back, with views of Namsan, which is this tower in the middle of Seoul, and the 63 Building, which was the tallest building outside North America in 1985.

The highlight of this trip, what made it worth it for me to ride again in the dark instead of the light, was witnessing the waterfall fountain. It shoots water and lights off the edge of one of the bridges to look like a waterfall, all bright in the night.

And then riding the ferry, we rode under it, under the waterfall. The ferry is covered – no one gets wet.

Before getting together, I told everyone not to buy me presents, to contribute to the adoption fund instead. But friends still gave me presents. I’m grateful. They even paid for the chicken and sweet potato cake.

Happy birthday to me!