I know it's not immediately obvious from the picture but this bag is FULL of shrimp chips. The kind that come with crispy roasted chicken or duck platters in Chinese restaurants, that, growing up in a family of 6 I was lucky if my chopsticks could snag even one. These chips are fresh, enormous and shatter in your mouth. Allan placed an order at a local Chinese place and they were so taken with his cheerful "Mh goi!" that they hurried after him at the door and pressed these into his hands. And now they are mine, ALL MINE!

I know it’s not immediately obvious from the picture but this bag is FULL of shrimp chips. The kind that come with crispy roasted chicken or duck platters in Chinese restaurants, that, growing up in a family of 6 I was lucky if my chopsticks could snag even one. These chips are fresh, light, puffy, enormous and shatter in your mouth. Allan placed an order at a local Chinese place and they were so taken with his cheerful “Mh goi!” that they hurried after him at the door and pressed these into his hands. And now they are mine, ALL MINE!

PHEWSH! Do you hear that? That’s the ‘whirlwind’ sound of the past two weeks. We were in Poland for eight days, returned to London and spent three more days running around London with Henry and Diana (as well as forcing them to do all the things we make all our guests do with us – Go to Borough Market! Eat fish and chips! Play Settlers! Watch zombie TV shows! Okay that last one is a recent development). They left on Sunday and I promptly developed a cold, not one severe enough to slow me down but bad enough to convince myself that I couldn’t possibly go to the gym.

PHEWSH is also the sound of the ‘twenties’ chapter of my life coming to a close, and also the air around me as I hurtle through this day, the last of my 29th year. Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and I always try to make a special effort at introspection on landmark occasions such as this. Instead, I find myself distracted by things like…eating fresh shrimp chips. Crunch.

My Mom sent me a birthday card a few days ago and it startled me to see the number “30” on it, though it shouldn’t; I’ve been anticipating this for a while. But aren’t 30-year-olds supposed to be mature adults? Don’t they usually have mortgages and jobs and kids? I have none of those things right now, but I want for nothing. I am very content and thankful for what I do have and especially for what I’ve received this past year. Who knew on this day in 2012 that I was four days away from deciding to move to London, five days away from being engaged to Allan, and 1 month away from passing my family medicine board exams? In the following weeks and months I would spend time in Malawi and return with a frightening (but now kinda cool) tropical disease, start and finish my first “real doctor” job, plan a wedding with loads of help from Allan’s mom, get married, and then move to London – thereafter chronicling most of our adventures on this blog.

The temperature around here has finally started to increase ever so slightly, and on Sunday we took a leisurely afternoon stroll with Jenn and Stephen. Stephen made a comment about how walking when the weather is nicer makes it seem like you’re exploring London again for the first time, and I think he’s right. The air outside is still cool and fresh but without the biting cold you can almost anticipate the excitement of new life in the air. Like anything is possible. That’s fitting for how I’d like to usher in my 30s: with lots of anticipation for what is to come. Bring it on; I’m ready. I think I’ll even go to the gym.

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