On New Year's Eve night, Izzy was very unhappy. She does not like loud noises. The fireworks have been going off in our neighborhood for hours (it’s about 1 am now). They sell over €100 million of fireworks in the Netherlands. They can legally be set off from 8 pm until 2 am. Many people are walking around with open bottles and glasses. One death so far and many car fires. The fire department has asked people to put out fires themselves and not call them unless it’s a car fire or life is in danger. It is quite crazy. On New Year's day, the news reports the number of injuries, burns: one fourteen year old lost his hand. An opthamologist on TV showed photos of very ugly eye injuries and urged people to use safety glasses, but I did not see any of my neighbors doing so. The sound was amazing. My neighborhood has many blocks of brick faced buildings five stories high, so the sound reverberates. Here’s a little sound file outside our apartment this evening.
Here’s a little sound file outside our apartment this evening.
Amsterdam has lots of lights and and crowds. In Dam, there is a Kerstmis boom (Christmas tree), with lights. Several streets have lights strung over the street. Here's a view.
Here's the tree at Dam. Underwhelming, no?
For as long as I can remember I have felt the same about New Year's Eve: I don't get it. The selection of this day for drinking to excess, spending ridiculous amounts of money, listening to the same corny songs, staying out way too late, driving drunk, is arbitrary. Susan and I have most often on New Year's Eve visited the national wildlife refuge in Concord and walked around the ponds. Traditions can be nice, but I think we should have better ones and maybe we should intentionally examine them and decide what is good and what is not.