02 January 2007

Happy New Year!

London is rumored to be one of the coolest places on earth to celebrate the New Year. I have certainly never experienced anything like this or seen so many (crazy) people before!

Silvia, Nancy and I set out at 10.30 pm for Trafalgar Square which is one of the Hot Spots to be at the turn of the year, apart from Leicester Square, Picadilly, Big Ben and the London Eye.
Already in the tube we saw evidence of the fact that the british lifestyle certainly is "le binge-drinking", compared to the french "savoir vivre", the italian "dolce vita" and of course the austrian "Gem├╝tlichkeit". When we got out at Trafalgar station, there were already masses of people that wanted to get out but that didn't prepare us for what was to come later.
As you can see, I shared an escalator with superman and superwoman.

When we get out, all the streets were cordoned off and there was police security everywhere, whether on foot, on helicopter or on horse. We made our way to Trafalgar Square where there was a huge video screen with a live feed from Buckingham Palace where there was a show going on. We found ourselves among people that we had never met before that kept wishing us a Happy New Year! Fortunately, there were hardly any crackers fired by the people in the crowd, probably due to (fire) safety restrictions. Unfortunately, we didn't see any of the great firework that is broadcastet throughout the world and originates at the London Eye simultaneously to the chime of Big Ben which is the reason why a lot of people try to get as closest to the river bank as possible!

After the event, Silvia headed home to get up early the next day, she later said that she couldn't get into the tube station and therefore went all the way back by foot (~ 1h). Meanwhile, Nancy and I were tipped on the shoulder by some italian guy who spread his arms invitingly and said "Auguro!", he then leaned in to hug and kiss us both on the cheeks and then we three and a friend of his posed for a group picture that was taken by his girlfriend! *lol*

Nancy and I wanted to get to the water to see if there were would be some more fireworks but the stream of people were all controlled by the police so we had to take a detour. I have to mention that I was sooo fascinated by the police horses that were wearing armoured visors, first time I saw something like that! They used the horses to create a sluice on the Strand (a wide main street where traffic is usally to heavy to cross the street on foot).

Slowly but steadily, Nancy and I made our way to Waterloo Bridge, wherefrom we had a fantastic view of London at night and at a nicely dressed group of people (one was in a smoking, his friend in a leopard fancy dress, such as used for leaflet distribution) and decided to do a nightly sightseeing session, to exploit the waiver of tube fares during this particular night. Right. The problem was just to get into the station, as hundreds of people wanted to get in but policed had closed off the entrances. We were squashed from all sides like sardines, an elderly woman in front of me started shouting at people to "Stop pushing!" and when I bumped into her unintentionally, she shouted at me and I shouted back "I am not pushing! I am being pushed!", there was a short silence before she spat back "Then push back!" Since I didn't appreciate her shoving her arse into my belly (she was doing sth like a hula as a preemptive measure), I let myself be moved away from her by the masses. It was a nightmare, police was everywhere and the officer kept shouting unintelligble announcements and directions at the crowd without a megaphone. For around an hour, we were stuck in limbo. There was a guy that kept shouting "Pregnant woman! Pregnant woman! Please let us through, we have a pregnant woman! Her fruit's broken!" to let him and his friends through and hula woman stuck her head pugnaciously forward and remarked angrily, "You don't look pregnant!" When Nancy and I got close to the station entrance, I wanted to get us even closer and crossed over a free space within the throng where a woman was bending over, believing that Nancy would follow close behind. But then the woman started puking, Nancy stayed where she was and we got separated! I kept waving my water bottle, so we would know where we were but to no avail. We would meet each other another hour later inside the station. She had been pushed inside by a police officer after the same had been instructing her otherwise in violent speech only seconds before that. Since I was standing 20 metres away next to another police man that kept shouting, "Please move on, do not stop here! YOU WILL NOT GET INTO THE STATION THROUGH THIS ENTRANCE!", I had to walk all around the building and entered Waterloo Station from behind. It took a while for Nancy and me to realise that. Meanwhile she witnessed how a guy was being detained brutally by five police officers after slipping on the floor and touching one of them while falling while at the same time another guy was peeing right next to the ticket machines. I witnessed a woman who had passed out on the floor next to a puddle of an unidentified yellowish liquid and was surrounded by several police officers and paramedics. It was absolutely crazy!

After a hearty reunion of Nancy and me we dropped the idea of going anywhere else that night and decided to have some breakfast from Costa's (Tiramis├╣ Latte, mmmh!) where there was something that looked like Linzer Augen in the vitrine. When I pointed that out to her, she looked at the description and said, "It is Linzer Short Bread!". Back at Dinwiddy we had a second breakfast before we took a nap and took a third breakfast later that day.

All in all, a very memorable experience! Next year then, I will know where to go in order to have the best view on the fireworks!
N/B: Thanks to Silvia for providing her pictures for this entry. The first pic is from the net.

4 courageous comments!:

Stacia said...

"I witnessed a woman who had passed out on the floor next to a puddle of an unidentified yellowish liquid..."

Wow, sounds a lot like our family in the sims :)

Heidi Jahn said...

If I'd blog about our crap toilet and shower at Dinwiddy, that'd probably go well with this entry (you wish - or not - haha, but I won't)!

Can you actually get drunk and puke in the Sims? And if, do other Sims have to puke too, if no-one cleans it up? Hm...

Kat said...

the things you guys talk about... *shakes head, grinning*

Heidi Jahn said...

Wanna be part of our Sim's family? *g*