A new year has begun. While most of us looks at a new year like a new start with full of vigor and new promises to ourselves, I only look at how the new year started. I am glad the new year kicked off without any untoward events. I can safely say so because I didn't sleep through the countdown. Nor was my iPhone snatched from me. Nor did I have to wait in the rain for 2 hours for a taxi. It was a non-event. The good thing about this year was the London fireworks. The fireworks set against the London Eye. Sometimes, it was like London Eye was shooting fireworks over River Thames. As for me, it is a location change combined with fireworks on the New Year's Eve. Paris prefers to have the fireworks on their Bastille Day and has relatively meek New Year's Eve.
Getting near the London Eye on a New Year's Eve is a more daunting task. Though the road on the opposite bank is cordoned off to prevent vehicles, the people who pour in from the city, it's outskirts, other parts of the country and also other parts of the world make it impossible to navigate to a suitable vantage point. Despite all this, imagine yourself finding a place with Big Ben to your back and London Eye to your front. It is a special place because you can look at Big Ben for the countdown. When the countdown is done, you turn to look at the London eye for the fireworks. The world's famous clock is your timekeeper.
There are still other things to be glad about. There are no checks for alcohol when you get off Westminster station to the Victoria Embankment. So you can carry your favorite brand of potion in your bag without any worries. Imagine Paris. There is no way to get into Champ de Mars without the cops making you pull all your items out of bags and confiscating liquor bottles if they find any. Yet people manage to smuggle liquor bottles in. This is another matter. In London, there is not enough space to move thanks to the crowd it pulls in. You are pushed in the direction where the strong is moving which means forward or backward depending on your luck. The experienced come with folding chairs to ensure their legs aren't too tired. The whole place filled up by 7:30 pm. So you can imagine the need for a place to sit down. If you don't get here before 9 pm, you better go somewhere else.
The funniest sight is yet another one. This is a common sight all around the world when a large crowd convenes for something special as this day. It is the queue in front of makeshift so-called high-tech toilets. After consuming your favorite band of potion - alcoholic and non-alcoholic - accompanies by low temperature of the day, it is natural your bladders are overworked and are begging for a relief. When you hit the urinals located near the Westminster Abbey, there is a long line of people who are experiencing pressure on their bladders. Incidentally, this is also where the true equality of sex is achieved. Men and woman are straddling on their feet waiting for their turn. Some are even hopping from one feet to another. There is absolute silence. There are law breakers who do not care for the rules of the queue. But nobody has the energy to protest. Men and women take part in this misery equally.
Tags: Musings,New Year's Eve,London