It’s now 2011 and I had a good time ringing it in. I don’t think I did anything remarkable for 2010, but I know that from my freshman year of college to my senior year, I had decidedly limited New Year’s Eves due to the Rose Parade. Since 2011 marks the 100th year of the Republic of China, I set my mind to seeing a spectacle, and in spite of all the warnings, I went into the city with my roommates.
They had an idea to take the bus to a key MRT intersection and find a club or bar, but I was going to see the fireworks at 101, no question about it. They decided that it wasn’t a bad idea, and we rode the bus, going slower and slower as we approached the road closures around Taipei 101 and the city hall.
While on the bus, we noticed the masses of people streaming past us, often faster than the traffic, so we knew that it would be as crowded as people said, but once off the bus, the feeling of an oppressive and too-dense crowd never really kicked in. Not until the fireworks were over was it even crowded in a bad way, and even then it was still pretty orderly.
- seeing the night sky as starry dark blue with sparse clouds instead of as an orange haze as it’s recently seemed in Xinzhuang
- using a squat porta-john (most pleasantly fragrant portable toilet I’ve ever encountered)
- walking right down the middle of Zhongxiao E. Road, a main thoroughfare
- cramped and undoubtedly freezing belly dancers on the smallest stage in the world
- crowd control in a 7-11 and my resulting grapey-vodka drink (I forgot how much I liked grape juice!)
- waiting around and seeing the various ways people were occupying themselves
- counting down the New Year in Chinese, which was disappointingly difficult and made me sympathize with the kindergarten kids I have made do this in the past
- the excellent fireworks all around the 101 area and up and down the building itself
- guarding my alley-peeing roommates and almost slipping off the curb playing with a sparkle-stick I had found on the way to said alley
- witnessing an engagement or even extremely casual wedding go down on the median
- walking 5 MRT stops but getting good seats and then taking an affordable and comfortable taxi home, frequently recognizing what I thought would be an unfamiliar area