The same guys on the header, Yamazaki and Misaki from Welcome to the NHK
If I had it my way, birthdays will be treated just like any other day. I turned 18 last March 31st and it wasn't much, there was lots of food but it seemed like its my family who celebrated and not me. Some asked, "You don't have friends who'll come?" and I marvel at how much I don't have a life. Then I got a surprise visit from a high school/college(in UP) schoolmate. Which isn't really a surprise, since I met Roy earlier at a mall and he remembered my birthday, and I prefer that than a hundred internet greetings from Facebook.
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In a small city like ours, hang out in a mall long enough and you'll surely meet someone you know. One day I was only walking around when I met high school classmates, and later I'm already in the funeral wake of the father of an ex-classmate, engrossed for hours in a card game.
We talked about recent debut parties they attended, with dances and eighteen roses, everyone dressed up and alcoholic drinks passed around, and I see how lame my own birthday was but its alright.
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In the former university I attended, far away from home, its like large-scale social interaction with drinking was the norm. Yes, it is the norm. I'm the one who doesn't go out until now. I realized one of the reasons I left was I can't get used to living in a room with others, and I believe at some point of my stay there I was going insane.