Last Friday night Marcus and I were heading to Hermes Palace BBQ which, for a time, was a Friday night ritual for us with the beloved Jonathan. Jonathan wasn’t here this Friday so Marcus and I decided to go it alone. We’d been planning to swap music for a while too and decided to do that before hand at my house. Marcus came over but didn’t have his computer so we didn’t swap music but instead just had a drink and waited for a car to take us to the BBQ. Time passed and we decided we were hungry so we ended up eating at home. Simone was at her place (she lives with Marcus) and called to say we should join her for a couple of drinks. A Friday night hanging out with my besties, seemed perfect! Marcus and I walked over to his place and I was going on about how I would fall asleep on his couch within minutes of walking through his door.

But when I got to the door I saw this:

Michael and Lucy

Michael and Lucy as the welcoming Romans

And this:

Artist's rendition of actual events

Artist's rendition of actual events

Well, not exactly this but I was too busy being shocked to whip out my camera.

Thankfully Jess was on the case and took some other photos of me walking through the door to find a surprise farewell party for moi!

"uhhhh...what's going on guys?"

Take note of Alice’s arm in the right of the photo. They are the hand gestures of someone yelling “surprise!”.

Sarah looks like a dork with her laptop on her back

Sarah looks like a dork with her laptop on her back

Is it really a surprise part for me?!

Is it really a surprise part for me?! Marcus...were you in on this the whole time? What about Hermes Palace BBQ?

Simone...I was going to have a nap on your couch!

Simone...I was going to have a nap on your couch!

No this party for me?!

No this party for me?!

Oh my god, I can’t even write this post without a huge grin on my face and getting a bit weepy.

A little bit of back ground, a few weeks ago Jess and I were talking about mumus, those drapey dresses that originated in Hawaii (Wikipedia taught me that), and Homer wore in the episode of the Simpsons that he got really fat. Ibus in the village get right into them here, but I think they’re more commonly known as dusters (or something like that)…Anyway, we were talking about them with our AYAD pals Alice and Eve and somehow a plan was concocted that for my farewell party we’d all get dressed up in mumus and go to the beach. It wasn’t long after we made that plan that I vetoed it. I decided it would be a bit too much of spectacle (read: Sarah is a big square chicken).

What happened next I’m a little unclear on but it turns out that my friends decided to have a surprise party, Jess was able to convince everyone else of the greatness of a mumu party, and they convinced Jess of the greatness of having it behind closed doors (I’m adding in a lot of assumptions here). Mumus turned into togas and there we have it: a farewell surprise mumu/toga party for Sarah. Lucy, being the brains behind pretty much all social events in Banda Aceh knew how to send out a facebook invite that was private and voila a party was had and Sarah had no idea!

There were a couple of keys to the surprise not being spoiled.

1. When Enda said “I’ll see you tomorrow night” and Michael unsubtly pinched him on the leg I thought they were having a gathering that required fixed small numbers. My mind went to “How to Host a Murder”. You can’t let too many people know about that because there are only so many characters. It didn’t occur to me that no one has played How to Host a Murder since 1995. I guess the key to this was my dumbness.

2. When Marcus was acting weird on Friday night I DIDN’T GIVE IT A SECOND THOUGHT! He’s always weird.

3. Even though Jess thinks she’s not a good liar, I am going to hire her the next time I need to do something illegal. That girl can lie without an inkling of visible guilt (even though she carries around more guilt than anyone I know!)

Just because these photos are so funny, here are some more. I could keep going forever with these (but the internet is so slow today that I will eventually have to stop).

Did you guys know about this?

Did you guys know about this? Alice and Cat in flowery designs (you can't see the designs, but trust me)

very happy sarah

very happy Sarah with the leafy thing on my head (I have no idea where they found these in Banda Aceh)

Please excuse me while I get a little bit mushy. You can only hope that this post will replace a “leaving Banda Aceh” post (but I’m already composing it in my head, so not likely).

You meet plenty of fun, interesting people as you go along in life, but every once in a while you strike it lucky and find someone you hope to keep with you after you part ways. In the last few months I’ve found more than my fair share of those people. Sas moved into my house, Jess turned up as an AYAD, Simone moved in with Marcus. They just appeared in my life! It was so easy and I knew I was lucky to have stumbled upon them. But then they got together and planned me a surprise party and only then it struck me that they felt the same way about me.

Jenny Lewis sings “you are what you love, not what loves you back” and I’ve pondered that a few times, changing my mind as to whether I agree with it. But when I think about how much it means to me that these great people love me as much as I love them I’ve decided that Jenny Lewis was wrong and that it’s probably just a combination of both: I feel somewhat defined by who and what I love, but I also feel defined by who and what loves me back.

The best dressed of the night, Michael (who shared the prize with Lucy) + Marcus and Simone, two of the party planners

The best dressed of the night, Michael (who shared the prize with Lucy) + Marcus and Simone, two of the party planners

Simone with Jess, the other party planner

Simone with Jess, the other party planner

3 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Lara

    What a lucky girl you are and likewise what a great way to send off a great chick. I haven’t spoken to the girls here about a themed welcome home party but we could possibly organise one….!

  2. yvonne

    a post that quotes miss jenny lewis is a good post in my book. too bad you were saying you disagreed with her. and also there were togas. call the aceh police! (maybe they can come on the highway in their car!)

  3. Marcus

    Always weird!?!?! Really… Ok, fine.

    Consider this a celebration post, btw. UNORC compound can finally access wordpress sites. It took an executive order from yours truly.

    Anyway, this was a great and sweet post Sarita. We all miss you and we all love you. It’s just not the same here without’cha.

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