17 December 2012

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

"Maybe it’s much too early in the game,
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same,
What are you doing New Year’s,
New Year’s Eve?"

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser

And before you answer, here’s a real blast from the past, from the Lawrence Welk show!!

Well, this surely is the question. We all ask it every year and — true to form — the question has already been circulating among our friends here in Brazil. What are we doing New Year’s Eve. Everybody’s feeling everybody out. Are you giving a party? Have you been invited to a "good" party? Can we tag along? Are you traveling, or will you be spending New Year’s Eve at home, just hanging out? Maybe we’ll hang out with you? Brazilians like to make their plans at the last minute, so nobody’s committing. And we’ve Brazilianized enough not to have committed yet either. We don’t know what we’re going to do.

Our 2006-2007 party
We have given five New Year’s Eve parties out of the ten New Year’s Eves we’ve spent here. But the decision to give another party is a real "on-the-one-hand-this, on-the-other-hand-that" kind of decision. Because on the one hand, we feel it’s selfish of us not to give a party. Our house is positioned in such a way that we can see six or seven different fireworks displays going on all at once around our bay, including a spectacular private show put on by the owner of Cirque du Soleil, who has a house two or three to the right of ours. How can we not share that remarkable advantage with our friends?

On the other hand, a good New Year’s Eve party is an enormous commitment of time and effort. If you want to give a good party, with good food, good drink and good music, you have to work at it. At our last party we had about 50 people (including party crashers), and the invitation list will only have grown exponentially since then. But we can’t help but think, why let a lot of work stop us? Because it’s really a lot of fun, too. Why else have this house, and in a party town that people flock to in droves during the holiday season?

They enter any way they can

I'm sure she crashed here, too!
On the other hand, there’s the little problem of electricity. During the holidays the 28,000-strong population of Búzios swells to as many as 200,000 people. Hard for the electric company to sustain the demand of so many air conditioners and hair dryers! More than once we’ve lost electricity on New Year’s Eve itself. And even if we stock up on candles and batteries and flashlights, any party we’ve planned and prepared and worked on and set food out for can easily go bust. Without electricity you can’t hear the doorbell. You can’t play music. You can’t turn on the stove. You can’t see your way down the stairs. You can’t have a party.

Crowds, noise, congestion -- Happy New Year!
And then there’s the problem we suffer if there is electricity. Because a good, strong supply of electricity guarantees that whoever has rented nearby houses can blast their music, the relentless boom-boom-boom that drowns out our own big band music. Last year, it was just Mark and me, and we couldn’t hear our own conversation. We also couldn’t sleep. So do we go out? On the one hand, that’s an attractive idea. If we go out, to a party or to a restaurant, we’re free from all that work. But on the other hand, we get caught in horrible bumper-to-bumper traffic, slowly inching our way nowhere fast.

So we still haven’t a clue as to what we’ll end up doing on New Year’s Eve. Whatever we decide to do, I wish you all a very Happy New Year! I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks. See you next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment