Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 01 2004

The thought of sitting at home alone on New Year’s…

The thought of sitting at home alone on New Year’s Eve wasn’t a comforting one, so when I started hearing fireworks going off I walked over to the Bitan bridge to watch. The area was filled with people, mostly young couples, buying cotton candy, walking along the bridge, renting swanboats, etc. I went down along the riverbank to the pillars of the freeway bridge and took some pictures or people setting of fireworks, trying to ignore a group of girls who were shouting mangled English words at me and giggling.

When I was done taking pictures from the bridge pillars, I tried to jump back to the pier. Well, I did jump back to the pier. It’s not that I missed so much as I had a bad landing, since one of my feet missed the edge. I took a little tumble and landed on my knees and head in very short order.

“Shit, is he ok?” I heard someone ask the goup of giggling girls.

“We tried to speak English to him and he ignored us, so screw him!” they said, in unison, as I limped painfully away. Luckily I was wearing a fuzzy hat and jeans that limited my injuries to a few cuts and bruises with very little bleeding. It wasn’t a big deal, but it sure put a damper on my New Year’s mood. That and the happy couples everywhere. Fucking happy couples.

I sat down on the riverbank and watched revelers gather on the bridge, dangerously overburdened and was tilting to one side, to watch the fireworks as we approached midnight. People in swanboats were shooting fire crackers at the people on the bridge, and the people on the bridge were firing back. It was like a friendly little war. Fires dotted the banks of the river as people huddled around hand-made barbeques, surrounded by orbits of barbeque paraphernalia as the trashcans were already overflowing. Occasionally someone would set off a flying lantern, which is basically a big red bag about the size of Danny Devito, hooked to a loop over a flame. Already the sky was dotted with them. Usually they would float gently upwards after being lit and filled, but sometimes they would float gently sideways, looming through the crowd, brushing past startled pedestrians and bumping into several people before finally climbing into the sky. A couple weren’t constructed too well and burned up on the spot, making an entertaining mini-bonfire to add to the festive fireworks.

There were several countdowns as everyone seemed to be keeping different time, but after most of the countdowns and fireworks were done I headed slowly home for some much-needed iodine and sleep. The next day as I crossed the Bitan Bridge I could see a line of garbage and oil huddled in the middle of the water below as if it were afraid to be seen too close to either side. Just what we need, shy garbage.

posted by Poagao at 3:49 am  

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