I welcomed 2009 with style the German way. As it is my first New Year in Hamburg, I was invited by a local colleague along with other Malaysian expatriates to his house party. It was at Farmsen which I believe is one of the suburbs of Hamburg.
We started quite early with the casual drinks before trying all sorts of fluids from the great variety of wines, champagnes and a shot of egg nog liquor. We were entertained by recorded live performances on national television before watching Mamma Mia! on blue ray high definition. We selected the sing a long version which shows you the lyrics as the subtitles like in the karaoke bars.
We soon filled our hungry stomachs with food and loads of them. Generous portions of potato salad (one with turkey ham and the other with herring), sausages, ribs, chicken wings and the dish that won our hearts, fried glass noodle with prawns. As I have not been home since July last year, it certainly reminded me of home.
We carried on with more singing and eating before we started our journey to the harbour for the grand finale countdown. As we left fairly late and could not squeeze into some of the trains, we arrived at the nick of time at Baumwall which was the closest station that is open. We were welcomed by the scent of burning fireworks and also the most amazing display of fireworks that lit up the whole city. Everyone was on a fireworks frenzy. Here is a very poorly captured video but hopefully it gives you a feel on how it was like to be there.
It is common for the locals to bring their own fireworks and lit it up around the city concurrently with the city councils own display. Try an imagine seeing fireworks on every angle. I do pity the dogs of creatures that have much sensitive hearing as it would have been torture. One may also argue the safety aspect of matters as there were a lot of party goers that were releasing flying rockets from their hands and due to the trajectory, it often flew too low and lands on the ground while it explodes.
The fire brigade and police officers can be seen and they did not disrupt any of such partying but I guess they will act should anything that might disturb the peace appears. The fireworks carried on through the night as I could evidently hear when I was woken by a loud blast at around three in the morning. A slight peek to the street from my bedroom window revealed what a huge mess this partying has resulted in. Firework wrappers and debris everywhere. What an aftermath and good luck to the local council which is in charge of cleaning up.
I have celebrated two new years in London and it certainly did not prepared me for the experience in Hamburg. The crowd was massive as usual but the fellow party goers carrying fireworks was something very new.
I need some shut eye now and also some time to plan out 2009. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all for now and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!