If you can believe it, I almost did nothing for New Year’s. Traveling for 5,493 hours (approx) will do that to people, make them want to crawl into bed at 9:30pm fully clothed and drooling before their head hits the pillow. Besides, I felt like I had a lot of cons working against me.
- Residence in a suburb, which requires extensive public transportation to get into Sydney, and more difficultly, to get back at night
- Totally packed downtown area (people start reserving their spots at sunrise on the 31st)
- Because of a totally packed downtown area, it’s hard to guarantee we could find a place with a view of the fireworks
- I was Exhausted (capital E)
BUT THEN, I was reading online that Sydney has the second biggest new year’s celebration IN THE WORLD (after Rio de Janeiro. NYC and London tie for third.) They set off nearly 80,000 fireworks, both along the bridge and six points along the harbor, and draw in 1.5 million people (20% of whom are from other countries. Holla my international brethren!)
This got me feeling like a Loser Major. How can you be in Sydney and NOT see the fireworks? The friend I’m staying with was all about watching them on TV (lame, dude), but I give him props because when the call came, he put the show in gear.
The call was from a girl I’d never met, but she was a friend of a friend and also happened to be in Sydney for NYE. She invited me to join the party she was crashing because the apartment overlooked the bridge and the harbor–it was prime real estate for the fireworks show.
I could go through the massive problems my friend and I had trying to get there, like:
– the internet did not show the special NYE train schedule, so we had to call the transportation center to figure out when the trains were running;
– we had to call a taxi to get to the train station, which was fun because taxi drivers here come on a voluntary basis;
-the kiosk at the train station didn’t work, so it took four people and ten tries to get two tickets (which we got only seconds before the train arrived);
-the train doors didn’t open at our stop, so we had to ride the train until the track ended and it turned around;
-then we had to walk to the apartment, which Google maps estimated would take four minutes, but actually was at least a mile away, and in heels, it took much longer than four minutes
HOWEVER, I’ll suffice it to say it was an adventure!
So we arrived at the party at 11:30 p.m. (holla!) and this apartment was WOW (and, okay, the doorman had a Scottish-sounding accent, which automatically made it awesome. Granted, he was in his 60s, but I would have kissed him at midnight if I could.) It was a third story apartment on a hill, so the view of the harbor was superb. This is pre-fireworks.
We didn’t have to wait long for the show to begin, since we got there at 11:30, and I somehow found myself right up against the balcony rail for the fireworks (I went outside to “scope out the view” and then got blocked in by everyone else, which sounds strategic, but it wasn’t). My camera, of course, doesn’t do the display justice, but here are some shots.
And Here’s an “it’s a small world (after all)” moment for you. The girl who invited me to the party, who is from North Carolina and went to school in Florida, dated a guy from ROSWELL. And I know who he is.
I’d like to say I danced all night long (or rather, danced at all), or found the drag queen new year’s eve party that some other Americans crashed, but the Exhausted (capital E) returned as soon as the countdown to midnight was over. I fell asleep on the train, like a true narcoleptic, and when my friend woke me up to say “this is our stop, get up, get up,” I stumbled bleary eyed and stupid to the taxi corner.
Q: would I have regretted not going to the second biggest NYE celebration in the world? YOU BET. I’m very thankful to Jackie (holla!) for calling me to crash the party.
Happy 2012 everyone! (now that you are all caught up in America 🙂 )