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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birthday Wife!

*This is our 200th post on Blogger!*

Whether it is by coincidence or design it is really hard to say, but we celebrated the wife's big 3-0 in San Pedro de Atacama, one of the driest places in the world.

I am not kidding about the place being dry - Wikipedia says the average rainfall here is about 1mm per year (compared with Singapore's 237cm), with some weather stations never having received rain at all before!

So, the driest place in the world also means that there's plenty of dust flying around. You feel grimy the moment you step out of the private room in the hostel. It's not a feeling that is very conducive for romance.

Our year long trip on meager savings also mean that all our money is shared. There are no private funds as compared to the days when we were both at work. So anything I buy, she will know, and vice versa.

While San Pedro de Atacama seems relatively safe, a couple of bad incidents, plus what we have heard from other travelers have left us extremely wary about walking around alone. So, there is no free time to plan any sort of surprises.

Everybody speaks Espanol here. While I know enough to ask for rooms, toilet paper and towels, I am nowhere near the level of proficiency that allows me to pull aside a waiter at a local restaurant to whisper to him it is my wife's birthday, and to help me plan a celebration for her.

So, what to do, what to do?

Fortunately, I have a lifelong partner who is fairly easy to please. No need for lavish dinners and fancy jewelery. No need for branded bags (though she now seems to be fascinated by Kate Spade from US Premium Shopping Outlet Malls) or shoes that cost a few months' salaries. All I had to do was the following:

1) Add some color to her day
Think about it, we are in a freakin' desert town, where everything is brown, gray or some shit-like color in between. What would make her heart sing? Seeing some green, of course!

So, lunch was right beside the only green spot in town! How's that for something different?

Thank you, o' inventor of astroturf!

2) Add some music to her meal!
It is a good thing I used to read the Lone Wolf adventure books when I was younger. With extensive reading and learning, I have managed to attain the Kai Grandmaster skill of Animal Mastery. With a thought, I summoned an a capella trio of songbirds to attend to us while we had our lunch.

I am glad that they performed admirably, and would recommend this trio to anyone else who is looking for mealtime music.

The Tweety Tweeters gave the Rockin' Robins a run for their money in Birdies Got Talent!

3) Explore the universe with her
We booked ourselves on a day tour out of San Pedro that departed in the afternoon. Initially, I was concerned that we were going to Valle de la Muerte (loosely translated to Death Valley), but it turned out that some ancient Frenchman made a spelling error when told of this landscape wonder. In fact, we were going to Valle de la Marte, which means 'Valley of Mars".

I pride myself on being fairly resourceful, but there was no way I was able to bring her to the real Mars and yet be back in time for my own birthday, so this seemed like the next best choice.

To sweeten the deal, we also made a deal with the tour operator to bring us to another luminary body - the Valle de la Luna - Valley of the Moon.

"First to Mars, then to the Moon. And tonight, I am going to bring you some heavenly bliss too, baby!" I grinned as I told her the itinerary for the day.

"But don't worry, we will not be going anywhere near Ur-anus."

Ha ha. Oh, witty me :p

The pockmarked surface here resembles what you would expect to see on Mars

A GIMP'd image where I replaced the blue sky with black, and darkened the image. And added stars. Now even the imagination-impaired can enjoy what we saw!

A volcano in the far distance

Across the universe for you, baby!

Take me to your leader!

Camwhoring on the moon

In the future, the moon will be terraformed so that humans can live, work and play at the Lunara Bay - courtesy of the LBDA, of course!

4) Pray for a spectacular sunset

As the day wound to an end, we were brought to a little knoll on the Valle de la Luna for a sunset to die for. Though she ripped her pants as she squatted to take a picture, I still reaffirmed my love for her, a blazing love just like the sunset before us.

Sunset at the Valle de la Luna

A little too crowded (and cold!) to be a lover's point!

5. Stuff her orifice

It is really difficult to find cakes in a town like San Pedro de Atacama. We were actually promised a cake at a restaurant that was being promoted by a street tout the day before, but when we arrived at the restaurant, no one knew of any special order for a cake.

Filled with remorse (and rightly so!) the street tout told us of another restaurant that might have cakes available.

Unfortunately, it was already closed for the day.

As luck would have it though, we found a nice cosy family-run restaurant nearby that offered great home-cooked food at reasonable prices. The birthday wife enjoyed a huge serving of spaghetti while I had beef with rice and quinoa.

The birthday wife loves quinoa, so I made an exception and shared my food with her. It's her birthday, right?

Filling her tummy with the white stuff

She took some of my meat and put it in her mouth too

No cake, but a simple dessert of pineapple cubes with cream seems to be a pretty nice substitution

Thank you for falling in love with me

6) The Hands Get Busy!
Remember how I was saying that San Pedro de Atacama is one of the driest places on Earth? And how I also promised to bring her to heavenly bliss? Well, the planned route to heavenly bliss was via the Massage Way. Armed with a huge bottle of moisturiser, I rubbed my lovely wife all over, kneading away at the tight muscles on her neck and shoulders, and caressing her smooth back, all the while moving lower and lower...

And then she fell asleep. Awwww.... she blissed out way too early!


I love you baby. Happy Birthday!


Tracy Su said...

This post is mostly sweet, a tad disturbing. I almost feel like it'd be inappropriate to comment on it, but hey! since everyone else is being too polite to say anything, I will!

Andy ses, 'That's far too much information, don't they want their privacy?' hehehe

Dannie said...

Haha... the post might look frivolous, but a lot of thought went into it! There isn't anything in it that gives too much info about our private lives... other than Yi Lin ripping her pants!

popcorng said...

Happy Birthday Yi Lin! =)

And great work Dan, considering the lack of time/space to plan =p

Yi Lin said...

Hi popcorng,

Thanks for the bday wishes! :) I had a great one. And yeah, Dan did a good job. Now I gotta figure out what to do for his bday in Dec. Problem is, I don't even know where we will on that day yet!

Water filter said...

Hey, Yi Lin, Happy birthday to you. I know I am late for to say that but not too much.

Yeepster said...

Very creative birthday planning! And also the planning of the innuendos... Glad both of you enjoyed the celebrations!

Dannie said...

Yeepster: I don't plan innuendos. I just see opportunities to use them much faster than the average person! Haha!

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