I like New Year's Eve. I like it a lot. I'd almost go so far as to say that I'd take it over Christmas. It's the anticipation, excitement, freshness of the day. It's the celebratory way in which we bid a fond farewell to extra-special year, or perhaps a gleeful "sayonara sucker" to a year that we'd rather forget.
I've found that the best way to enjoy this last day of the year is to make no plans, to have no expectations, and just wait for the night to unfold.
Mr. Chef was working, as is the lot of those in hospitality, so my girl and I, we just went where the wind carriedus, and we had one of the best nights in aeons.
One of the busiest roads in Jakarta was closed from late afternoon until well into the night. Streets that are usually gridlocked and honking were now gridlocked and honking, but of a different sort. People, packed into so tightly there was no possibility of movement, blowing horns, lighting fireworks, and shouting greetings well into the night. And everyone was so happy, despite the drizzle.
In place of cars and busses were food stalls, fiery woks and glowing charcoal.
Things deep fried and delicious.
Steamed peanuts and steamed corn.
We met this little girl, dancing her heart out in the central fountain. Scores of people were blowing bubbles, plastic cups of dish detergent and pipe cleaner wands sold for a few cents turned the air to magic.
Stella got in on the action. And was thrilled.
I only pass my kid off to random strangers on special occasions.
And here, she's amazed to be set free to wander through the streets and dart in and out of crowds without hindrance from her mother.
All of this was only the pre-party. Rain started coming down heavier by 7 PM, so my girl and I took refuge inside.
More adventures to come!