An exercise in memory: trying to recall where I spent the last ten or more New Year's Eves.
The so-called "Millennium/Y2K" event! This was when I was in third year university. There was a place on McCaul Street at Baldwin here in Toronto which housed a brigade of proto-hipster from University College, where I was a student. The house hosted many parties: several of the occupants were DJs (he was one of them). This NYE was supposed to be a masquerade party but only my friend Anisa and I showed up in masks. I was also wearing my mother's amazing floor length kilt in the Culloden Ancient tartan. I wish it still fit me. So, because I was in a costume, everyone at the party offered me some of whatever they were drinking, which I accepted. It was a terrible combination. I remember watching the Y2K fireworks from the fire escape with Anisa then several hours later, I woke up on a couch in an empty house. I did not feel well. In fact, it was the worst hangover I'd ever had. I started walking back to my room through the deep snow. A sympathetic taxi driver gave me a free drive, for some reason. Later, riding home from Toronto to Waterloo, my brother had to pull over on Highway 401 so I could puke on the roadside. What a night!
Another party at the McCaul Street house. I suspect this one was more subdued. All I can recall was that I wore my hair up in Bjork buns with a homemade crown of silver foil stars.
This was my new Year's Eve in Osaka. I had spent the day doing errands, zooming around on my much loved 'mama-chari' bike. I remember my mailbox was filled with 'nengajyo' (new year's post cards). That's a tradition I really like and perhaps I should continue it myself? That night, I met a group of expat friends at Bar Isn't It? in Shinsaibashi. Later, we moved on to a club in Nishishinsaibashi for a 'nomihodai' (that means an all-you-can-drink event). This would be illegal in Canada but it's completely normal in Japan. We had just a couple of mugs of beer each, midnight passed, then I suddenly got extremely ill. At this point in my life, I could hold my liquor like never before and never again - my friends suspected that someone had slipped something into my drink. I don't know myself but it was a bit of a surprise to be so unwell after only about three beers. Anyway, the next stop was a back alley ramen counter. I remember sitting in front of the most luscious smelling bowl of ramen ever but being too unwell to eat even one bite. Later, my friends and I took a taxi all the way back to the suburban town where we lived. Despite my condition, I was apparently able to give clear directions to the cabbie in Japanese. January 1st was a lost day. I did not rise from my futon until 7pm when I had to get myself into shape to board an overnight ferry. I was off to spend a week backpacking around Kyushu. I did reach the Kobe ferry port in time. When I stood on the deck, gulping in the sea air as we sailed below the massive Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (the longest span in the world!), I was refreshed and excited for a new adventure.
I was home on a break from studying in England. I don't remember if I did something with friends or family. No idea. I may have stayed home with the dog.
Unemployed in Waterloo: I stayed in. My parents had just returned that day from several months in Australia. I did some kind of New Year's Kendo thing on the 1st.
I spent this night with my buddies Antoaneta and Anisa. Just music, snacks, drinks and no boys.
I helped out at the restaurant run by the father of my then-boyfriend Vince. Then, we went dancing at a club on College Street. Not a bad night, and I got a free mahi-mahi dinner for my trouble.
I was visiting my then-boyfriend Hikaru in San Francisco for a week. We got some Coronas and a pizza from Fat Slice on the Haight and stayed in watching 'Kisarazu Cats Eye'. It was better than it sounds.
I was staying at a cottage in the Kawarthas with my then-boyfriend Thomas. I enjoyed skating on the frozen pond in the moonlight. There was so much snow on New Year's Eve that the cars all got stuck on the unploughed cottage road the next day. I had to be back at work on the 2nd so I ended up hitching a ride as far as Pickering with some strangers who had a truck, then I had to get a late train back from there with all my winter gear. Ugh.
I was in Varadero, Cuba with my then-boyfriend Rich (notice a pattern here?). This remains my best New Year's Eve so far: deserted beach, warm sand, crashing waves, fireworks, distant Cuban live music, a dome of stars above and a genuine pina colada in hand. Perfection. We spent January 1st in Havana on the 50th anniversary of La Revolucion.
Stayed home in Waterloo with my brother. Toasted midnight with Kir Royales. Early to bed.
Stayed home in Waterloo with my parents. Toasted midnight with Kir Royales. Early to bed.
This year, I find my friends aren't in town and my dating status is indeterminate. However, I just got an invitation for dinner and a party with people I'm acquainted with only through social media connections. So, I will be breaking in 2012 with a different crowd. It's good - one of my resolutions is to be more social and meet some new people so I'll be getting a head start on that!