Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years Eve is Stupid

Happy New Year, y'all!
Well, I must qualify that. I had a most lovely New Year's Eve dinner in Madrid last night at the Marcos' family home, where I was welcomed with such warmth and delight and I had the best Basque dinner (and my first one ever) with my lovely friends. That was the high point of the evening, and indeed a high point of the year.
The stupidity comes later.
I have never been a fan of New Year's Eve. When younger, because I was a total miserable nerd and felt excluded from the great time everyone else was supposed to be having. I guess you mature when you know that everybody else is having as terrible a time as you or worse, except they work really hard at making it seem like they're having a ball. The obligatory nature of partying like crazy on the last night of the year has always struck me as stubbornly idiotic and the best New Years' I've had have been, few and far between, low key affairs with those very close to me.
Yesterday, after the lovely dinner, we decamped for a party that promised to be very happening, but that for reasons we couldn't really fathom, was less spirited than a wake.
Madrid is a city where they take these Xmas and New Year's traditions way too seriously. God forbid you don't have a dinner invitation or reservation that day because you will starve to death. It is that serious (except now, thanks to the Chinese immigrants selling serrano ham sandwiches on corners you may not starve that much). It is something to behold, but I'm not sure it's good. The streets are full of drunken revelers at 4 am... people in the MIDST of partying at that ungodly hour. Drunk people having screaming matches (in German, no less) with their significant others, drunk people being either raucously or miserably drunk.
Then today in the morning, at 8:30 am, a scene out of Goya's dark paintings. The last drunken dregs of humanity staggering home after a hellish night of partying. People too drunk to stand up, too drunk to fall down, the streets peppered with puke, and no trace of joy to be found anywhere. So there. Happy New Year, morons.
However, I know you want to hear more about Marrakech and my day trip to the Atlas Mountains. And if you are not particularly interested, I'm still going to tell you. I promise to oblige as soon as I shake the coming back to New York and junk mail, bills to pay, invoices to persecute, bags to unpack, chores to do blues.

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