Here we are on the first day of 2015. It is odd to reflect how time passes – it was nine years ago now that fed up with university, I was working my butt off at the Royal Botanic Gardens Tearooms in Melbourne trying to make enough money before the husband and I embarked on our year off working in the UK and travelling overseas. It’s not quite perfect symmetry but it is definitely enough of a similarity to compare with the current situation!
It’s definitely been the party season here over the last few weeks. I am hopeful that it will calm down now since we are officially in 2015 (fingers crossed!). The sense of community is strong here – and as I have commented to old friends, not unlike the experience of living at college while studying at uni. Social activities, drinking, more social activities, oh and did I mention drinking? Something tells me that at 30 I may be too old for this!
Like many people, I am not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve celebrations – it is generally accepted that the evening is overrated (a common adjective for NYE in my experience!) and I can certainly say that I have had more unmemorable NYE’s than memorable! At least this year I managed to make it to midnight, although I did have to skip out of the “party” shortly before the clock officially struck twelve once the anticipated “buzz” finally left me completely! It’s a funny thing that we add significance too – people seem to see a new year as a fresh start, a rubbishing of the previous year, when really, it’s just another date that rolls over, and another step in the counting exercise of time.
I’m sure this sounds fairly cynical to most – and I may be criticised for that. But for me – the new year (or should I say new chapter) really started some two months ago, when we drove away from our house in Victoria in the late afternoon, car bursting at the seams with random possessions, gifts and miscellaneous crap, which was the first physical steps towards our new life in Malabo.
I guess you could say that the experience of NYE here is no different to my past experiences in Oz!
Regardless of the somewhat blaaa description, I still put on my sparkly party dress, with my pink party nails and after fantastic food at the Stuarts’ place trotted down to the compound restaurant.
The nails were the product of a ‘Paint and Pour Party’ put together by another spouse earlier this week. Despite the atrocious state of my nails and cuticles (along with golf and tennis I haven’t quite mastered the ladies’ art of keeping my nails nice since I arrived here!) of course I attended for the afternoon and was treated to a couple of hours of nail art, homemade cookies, pink lemonade and country music (due I think to the dominance of Texan ladies present!). You will see that I selected the most glittery design available – Barbie pink with glitter, followed by another coat of glitter and a couple of fake jewels on each ring finger. Hey, if you’re going to go the nail art route, you may as well embrace it totally!
Apart from the NYE festivities, I am still compound-confined given that my multi-entry visa, or proof that it has at least been applied for, has not been forthcoming. The husband and I are otherwise in the process of planning our first break off the island – and after some frustration flights to Chile for mid-February have now been booked. While I am by no means eager to be leaving this new island home so soon, one cannot help but be excited by the prospect of a holiday to South America!
If I have one new year’s resolution this year it is to continue to acknowledge just how lucky the husband and I are to be having these opportunities and living this life, even if it is only for a limited time.
¡Buena suerte a todos para el año nuevo!