18. Happy birthday, my love

4th of June 2020
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My Samirah deserves a very big party. For all the things she does for me on a daily basis. For all the things she does for me and others and which at times I don’t even realize.

Today is her 34th birthday and also her twin sister’s birthday. Evianne and Samirah always spend their birthday together, but this year it is not meant to be. The borders are still closed because of the pandemic and there is no possibility for them to be together. They are both sad about it. In The Netherlands, Samirah’s family accompanies Evianne on her day and my girl and I will celebrate her birthday just the two of us. Today is Thursday and being a weekday, the logistics of the celebration are a bit more complex, so we will celebrate again on Saturday with my family in Malaga and at the same time my cousin’s birthday which is 2 days after Samirah’s.

I booked a table at a restaurant for dinner. It has been about 13 weeks since we last set foot in one – incredible! As simple as it may seem, for us it is quite the event, since due to the confinement and the measurements for Covid this little pleasure was forbidden for several months. 

We put on our best clothes for dinner. Before leaving the house, I help Samirah put on the little silver necklace I gave her for her birthday. A silver flamingo is showing above the white collar of the green and white striped dress she is wearing. I also offer to fasten her bracelet, which in addition to the silver necklace was her birthday present, but she says no. She puts it on by herself and proudly shows it to me. A row of silver balls of different sizes decorate her wrist. She is happy with her presents and I am happy to make her happy.

As usual, we are late leaving for the restaurant. I have to rush my wife a bit because it is 19:30 and we are still at home, while the reservation is for 8 pm. I have already been ready for half an hour, but Samirah has a video call with her twin sister to witness her getting the Ray-Bans we bought her for her birthday. Evianne has been asking me to sell her my old sunglasses for at least a year because she loves them and I always give her the runaround. We looked for new ones online and together with Jordana gave them to her as a gift. They are quite an old model, but we knew we were going to make her very happy with this gift.

After the success of the surprise, we set off for our own celebration. The restaurant we go to is in Benalmadena and it takes fifteen minutes to get there by car. At the time we arrive, we are the only customers in the restaurant so together with the friendly waiter who serves us, we test the new Covid protocols for the restaurant.

We chose to sit in the terrace, better to be in the open air. Several orange and lemon trees decorated with tiny white lights provide shade. The waiter, wearing a mask like us, leaves a small cardboard triangle on the table with the name of the restaurant and a QR code printed on it. At first we don’t understand, but then it dawns on me that by scanning the QR I can access the digital version of the menu, so we don’t have to hold a physical menu. Better, less things that can transmit the virus.

The menu is quite sophisticated and not just because of its electronic presentation. The restaurant serves fusion food, from the Italian cuisine to the cuisine from Malaga.

We order a bottle of Valpolicella Ripasso to celebrate the occasion. We start with some starters, take our time and enjoy the evening on this special Thursday night in June.

The food is fantastic. Faint flavors mingle in our mouths as we eat without any rush and enjoy the evening. Only a rebellious young lemon is able to snap me out of my state of culinary contemplation, as it detaches itself from the lemon tree and smacks into the top of my bald head hard. Samirah can’t stop laughing after hearing the sound it produced when the fruit hit my bare skull, while at the same time rubbing my head to ease the pain. I am laughing with her and rubbing my bald head together with her hand.

It was a memorable birthday, one that no circumstance can cloud. Not the Coronavirus, not breast cancer, not gravity, not anything.

cumpleanios samirah
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