Happy New Year!
Well, it’s finally done. 2016 has been a difficult year for most and has left many people reeling and eagerly waiting for the calendar to switch over. We’re all hoping that 2017 will prove to be better year.
With 2016 nothing more than a memory, I decided to go back and look over some New Year’s Eves from the past; the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly.
Given that it’s 2017, I decided that 7 was a pretty good number.
Seven Years in Review
NYE in three countries and five locations
2016 – Roma, QLD, Australia
Last night was that perfect low key gathering of misfits and road orphans. Tourism is slow out this way during the holiday season so it’s a great time for most of the staff to plan their escapes back to friends, family and reality.
With such a small crew left I decided to stay and work through, picking up extra hours and banking some public holiday pay as I went. While I’m sad that I didn’t get to go home (it’s been so long) the money I have earnt over these last weeks will set me up for a good month of travel later on.
A tough sacrifice, yes, but one that Future Me will be thankful for.
Needless to say New Year here was spent quietly and cheaply. With no more than five staff on premises, we forwent heading into town in order to have our own small gathering. The chefs made pizza and we raided the bar for wine and then aimed to be as disgustingly horrible as possible over a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity.
2015 – Hall’s Creek, WA, Australia
Once again I was living on site, however, unlike my current location, I managed the only pub in town. The night was a write off of work, security issues and drunken fights.
Once the house lights were on and everyone was moved out, we all had a 2am drink and then went to bed exhausted.
It was certainly nothing to write home about.
2014 – Springwood, Brisbane, Australia
My best friend hosted her first NYE party in her new house. It was a simple affair, filled mostly with her family and some of our mutual friends, but it was also great.
It was mainly a giant dinner party, one that took us days to shop and prep for, and with a few young nieces and nephews around, it wrapped up not that long after the midnight hugs and champagne.
2013 – Incheon, South Korea
I was in South Korea on a layover while being in transit from Brisbane to London. It was pretty simple really; get off the plane at 6pm, catch the supplied bus to the hotel and have dinner. The idea was to get a night’s sleep and then be on the bus again at 6am heading back to the airport.
That is, at least, what normal people did.
After dinner and realising that there was no mini bar, I threw on some heels and a dress and hit the streets in search of adventure. Much like Japan, cans of beer and vodka are sold in convenience stores, so that was my first stop on my epic journey. A few random streets later I saw a Japanese style Izakaya and headed in for a Sapporo beer.
Feeling that my solo travel confidence was coming back, I headed back onto the streets and just started bar hopping. Nothing was going crazy around near the airport (everyone had gone into the city centre for the best parties) but I still managed to find a few places that were going off.
…a few drinks later…
Well, I had people to talk to. We sung in the New Year, played drinking games and drunken pool and then ended up having Korean BBQ at some ungodly odd hour of the morning. It was 4 am before I realised that I should probably go home and with my escorts walking me through the snow, it was 5am before I was staggering my way through the hotel foyer. I was left with time to have a shower and change clothes before having to throw my drunk-ass self onto the bus back to the airport.
What followed was one of the worst flights of my entire life.
2012 – Brisbane, Australia.
As you’ll read below, the NYE of the year before had been somewhat tedious and just generally horrible. So when plans were being made, it was no surprise that my bestie and I decided to forego the parting in the city crowd and stick to something casual.
One of our mutual friends was off overseas with her boyfriend, so it was her ‘final hurrah’ so to speak. She put on an epic house party, DJ and all, and we all just sat around, drank and talked.
2011 – Brisbane, Australia
My bestie and I were feeling lost and a little displaced. The year before we’d been partying hard in Tokyo and during 2010 she’s been back and forth to Korea and I’d returned to Tokyo for a crazy October trip. With that in mind we booked tickets to a NYE ball, complete with a bar tab and a rather disastrous attempt at a match making game.
It was fun to get dressed up and there was lots to do – sideshow rides and games, food stalls and different music halls – but it still somehow just fell flat.
The balloons fell, the streamers sailed through the air and about ten minutes later we were out the door, the idea of beating the rush for a taxi a much better option than staying for the remaining few hours.
We got home to find our street had been hijacked by some sort of strange country themed party. In black mini dresses and heels, we got out of our taxi into a pile of hay and got swarmed by a bunch of neighbours I’d never even met.
The only way we managed to escape them was by lying and saying that we’d get changed and come back out.
We spent the next few hours sitting on the floor (so that the people outside couldn’t see us through the windows) with instant ramen and trying to ignore the knocks on the front door and the people crawling through the garden.
2010 – Tokyo, Japan
The New Years to end all New Years. My friend and I had been in Japan since Christmas day, traveling from Osaka up to Tokyo to see in 2012.
We were actually going for a two night music festival over the 30th and 31st where a lot of our favourite bands would be playing. It was a crazy rock festival so we went all out, getting dressed up and getting our hair done in high quiffs and Gyaru curls. Bottles of vodka were secreted in handbags.
By the time the countdown hit the musicians on stage were just as drunk as the crowd and a new party challenge was born; drinking tequila out of an ashtray.
Afterwards we hit Kabuki-cho and caught up with friends in our favourite bars. It was a crazy night that seemed to (thankfully) last forever.
Sadly, so did the hangover.
There it is, my seven last New Year’s Eve experiences. There are a few that I’d happily trade in for a do-over and others that I wish could have last forever.
What has been your best, or even your worst, night spent waiting for that year to tick over?