I found out last week that on Tuesday (today) our first day of classes, one of my new classmates had a birthday. Well, for the past year, I have been spoiled by a generous soul named Annie, who insisted on surprising anyone in my improv class with a birthday cake, snack or present on their special day. It sort of became a habit, so my first instinct when Susan said it was her birthday was to make her something. I had a lot of studying to do for class, so I went to my favorite quick snack recipe, the rice krispy treat. I got the cereal (its called Rice Bubbles here) and the butter, but when I went to find the marshmallows, they only came in tiny bags, and they were pink and white. Thus, I made pink rice krispy treats. As I presented them in class, I joked that they were an American gastronomic delight, because everyone knows they are just a no fail quick dessert. I never expected to get the response that I did! Now, my class has roughly 5 Americans, 3 Aussies, and around nine people from varying Asian nations. So most of them had never had a rice krispy treat, and I got several requests for the recipe! Even more interesting were the talks that ensued about birthday celebrations around the world. Most places I was surprised to find had very westernized traditions of a birthday cake, but some had special traditions they did in addition to the cake. Australians occasionally celebrate with a cookie known as chocolate crackle. In Asian countries, like Taiwan and Hong Kong, they have a celebration known as the longevity noodle, which is a really long noodle you eat to symbolize your wish of a long life. Another tradition for Asian nations seems to be a red hard boiled egg, red being the color of celebration. Most of my classmates confirmed that the red egg was more for the birth of a first child, but some still used the red egg to celebrate birthdays. And to think, all of this from a simple little gesture of a pink rice krispy treat. Just one of the many reasons I LOVE the program I am doing. Everything revolves around food, and there is always something new to learn!