Saturday, January 01, 2011

Gleðilegt Nýtt Ár/Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Reykjavík, where everything is sparklier than the rest of the world.

New Years' celebrations here seem to last for a week! This is just what happened last night.

I went to a bonfire down by the seacoast. It was enormous. It was a giant pile of all the wood that's being trashed, and a sort of philosophical 'throwing away' of all the bad mental junk that accumulates in one's life.

That's a perfect tie-in to my goal for 2011- not quite a resolution, but my goal is to stop worrying about goals! Seriously, I always obsess about what's coming next that I sometimes don't get to enjoy the process of getting there. I'm hoping that whatever happens in the next year happens more organically, and that I will try to enjoy the results of my normal hard work and times in Iceland.
Back to the bonfire, where the whole damn thing was doused with some gasoline and up she went.

I went to my friend's mother's apartment to watch the annual TV show that mocks the year's events in Iceland, in a sort of SNL style. There were a lot of jokes involving 'Inspired By Iceland', the clever marketing campaign to get tourists to come back to Iceland after the volcanic eruption. We lit some sparklers and then it was off to the main event.

The view of a gazillion Icelanders lighting off thousands of fireworks is a sight not to be missed. Thankfully the kids watching have protective eyewear. There is no company that lights a show from a particular place- instead, the whole city is ablaze with individuals setting off their own fireworks.

My friends brought some champagne, some sparklers, and we joined in the fun!

Next in the evening (yes, there's more) was a drink at the Danish Pub, where we met some random Welsh people who just decided on a whim to come to Iceland for New Years because they Googled 'Top 10 Things to Do for New Years' and 'Go to Iceland' was apparently Number 1. I met up with other friends after that for a drink in a fancy loft apartment, then to end the evening and settle in to one place, I attended a fabulous party at Barbara and Trúno, the two gay bars in the city. The crowd was good and there were thankfully few screaming teenagers, and I got to dance to some hot jams. Before i knew it I was pretty drunkxorz and it was near 5am. Time for bed, indeed. Now that the next day has passed and I wasn't completely useless or hungover, I can say that the New Years in Iceland was totally worth it! Fits right into my 2011 goal of enjoying every bit of it fully.

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