I remember semi-ruptured eardrums from an enthusiastic Chinese firecracker contingent on a back street in frozen Amsterdam, on my first year out of Australia.
Talk about a baptism of fire: it was so cold the canals had frozen over, and those canny Dutch skimmed home like swans over the ice, while the rest of us land-bound foreigners trudged cautiously back to our sticky-carpet hostel rooms along iced cobblestones. The next morning, the quiet streets were strewn with frozen bicycles, ice-cycling obviously discarded as a deeply dangerous idea at 4am.
There was the year we watched fireworks over Belfast, the New Year’s Day swim in Dublin, many frightening house parties thrown by someone you’d never heard of, and the backyard bonfires of Australia (when it wasn’t a total fireban). One year, we celebrated in the car somewhere behind the pyramids of Saqqara, driving from one gig to the next, to find that every single one had been closed by the police.
Each year, you think it’ll be the year you have a penthouse eerie looking down over fireworks with someone who adores you, and 100 of your closest friends grooving to the DJ, then you end up potting metal ducks in a tacky carnival side-show. Or you give up at 11.30pm and pass out beneath a pile of empty plastic cider bottles. Oh, you don’t?
Where’s the most bizarre place you’ve found yourself on New Year’s Eve?