Jan 01 2009

In This New Year of ’09

by at 8:11 pm

According to me, my new year started in September, when school started, when we arrived in Switzerland, and when Rosh Hashanah was.  Nevertheless, it is nice to celebrate the “secular” New Year (though Seth always talks about how Israelis refused to celebrate with us a couple years ago when we were in Tsfat because they think of it as “St Sylvester”), to, you know, get in on the action of the holiday season.

My friend, Aviva, from school came over from her home in Basel to celebrate with us.  We cooked a yummy meal that was most definitely not Swiss (roasted red bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, black beans, and cheddar cheese with a side of cajun-seasoned sweet potato chunks and chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies for dessert).  Aviva had never really had cookies before, and was mystified by baking soda, though she explained that she had Christmas cookies in December and tea biscuits all year round, neither item qualifying as “real cookie” to my American sensibilities.  We nearly set the oven on fire, our other expected guests could not come due to a twisted ankle, and the cork broke into the wine bottle so we had to strain it into a pitcher with our tea infuser ball, but other than those mishaps, things went fine.

Then we headed into Lausanne to see the cathedral, um, get lit on fire, or at least that’s how it appeared.  We had expected fireworks as per Lausanne’s web site, but instead, the cathedral looked like it was going up in flames (that’s a link to a video of it with the churchbells clanging).  I guess they were actually just red torches that created a lot of smoke or something.  Everyone around us (not that many people) popped bottles of bubbly goodness and drank the contents, in public, and there were no belligerent people or shattered bottles all over the ground.  Although, a drunk elderly woman did try very hard to convince us to help finish her champagne.  Aviva caved and accepted.  A few unofficial, but impressively fancy, fireworks were set off nearby, right over the center of the city (how was this allowed?!).  Then, since there were no more buses after midnight (thanks, early-to-bed Switzerland), we took a taxi back.  Awesome.

Also, Aviva informed me that televisions and New Year’s celebrations are in no way connected here.  I mean, in the US, that’s what people DO at New Year’s parties: gather around the TV, to watch the ball drop or some such ceremony in their own time zones.  But nope, nothing unusual on TV here last night.

My resolutions for the year are to not fail any part of school and to not lose my mind worrying about school and my future.  And to get used to Switzerland enough that I no longer buy the wrong food or miss my trains, but not so much that I start thinking evenings like the one described above are normal.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “In This New Year of ’09”

  1. Jasonon 04 Jan 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I spent my New Years in Jerusalem this year…it was a bit strange to enter 2009 without watching the ball drop but New Years eve at the Kotel was a special experience.

  2. Jackieon 04 Jan 2009 at 4:09 pm

    You were at the Kotel for New Years? How weird…did anything actually happen there? Seems like the wrong New Year to celebrate there (I’d think Rosh Hashanah could be cool). There was definitely nothing going on in Tsfat when we were there!

  3. Jasonon 04 Jan 2009 at 10:06 pm

    The Kotel was pretty empty — my guess is that all the chabadnicks were out partying in 2009 — but there were fireworks over the old city at midnight. Weird, huh?

  4. […] mass in D Major and Felix Mendelssohn’s Christus in Lausanne’s main cathedral (of New Year’s burning fame).  We will be accompanied by the professional orchestra of Lausanne (OCL).  Too bad my voice is […]

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