Saturday 31 December
Here we go then, it’s finally at an end. This time last year I called my mum and told her 2011 would be a better year. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dare I go out on a limb and say 2012 will be a significant improvement?
The hostel is alive with activity, the town is buzzing. Walking through the streets, you can get a real sense that they know how to celebrate here. Outside homes, they play music through speakers, while colourful stuffed dummy’s are propped up in a chair by the door. After making some inquiries, I discover that they burn these effigies at midnight, and then throw them in the sea. It’s a similar tradition to our ‘penny for the guy’. Just when you thought they didn’t need anymore litter problems in this country.
It seems like Nicaragua has descended on the coast. People flood the roads, kids everywhere, vehicles squeezing down narrow streets. At least this side of midnight, it appears to be a wholesome family affair. The debauchery begins when the kids are tucked up in bed.
…and begin it does. In earnest. The relatively small establishment we’re at spills over with people, scattered out onto the beach. Everyone is wearing white, bouncing to the two DJ’s and going crazy. As if they needed an excuse to party, San Juan Del Sur has decided to go off for New Years. So long as I’m alive to write this, I’ll be happy. Obviously I survived. I wonder if anyone didn’t.
So it wouldn’t be New Years without a kiss at the bells would it? For some reason there is no countdown. While standing talking to a friend, everyone starts cheering, kissing and hugging. I guess that’s it. 2011 finally over. Hello 2012. I do the rounds, wishing everyone a prosperous new year, trying not to fall on my face in the sand, but in doing so I manage to remove myself from any possible situation where I might have kissed a girl. Therefore I don’t. For the third year running, I fail to get a kiss at twelve midnight. I think I’m putting to much emphasis on this date. I think everyone does. I’ve certainly come to not enjoy New Years Eve and much as I do Christmas.
But wait?! What’s this?! A pretty young lady talking to me! She’s actually talking to me! She asks if I want to go back to hers?! Really?! Perhaps it won’t be a bad end to the night after all! She leads me away down the beach. A long way. Over the bridge. Still walking. Ever farther. The sun peaks over the hills and the fallout from the evening is illuminated. Carnage. Total carnage. A rubbish bomb has detonated across the beach. Bodies and bottles everywhere. I shuffle on, but now I just want to go to bed, crash out and let sleep heal what I’ve done to my system at the bar. At least I might have some company. Finally we arrive at her door.
“Thank you for walking me home…goodnight.”
Happy New Year eh?
No seriously; Happy New Year all. I hope this is a better one than last year. We left some special people behind. All the very best for 2012. I’m away to nurse myself back the the shadow of the man I previously was the shadow of.