New Year’s Eve is a time where you reflect on the past and look forward to the future with the people you care about! This was my 4th time going to the city and celebrate the final hours of 2015 with the people I met. And while getting to the vantage point is becoming a lot harder to get to, it’s worth the enduring wait. I couldn’t type up a few hours earlier, simply because I was still recovering from the night, with the headache and sore throat. But, now that I’m feeling a little better, I’ll do my best to recall the amazing night I had.
Getting to the vantage point
My Japanese friends decided to celebrate NYE at Mrs Macquaries Point, which is where you can get a good front view of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. They were so dedicated that they did an all-nighter and got to the venue at around 6 in the morning. Meanwhile, me and another local student Tim, decided to meet up at the station at around 10:30am. We then walked to the vantage point, until there was a very long queue that extended towards an open field.
We got into queue at around 11 and took three hours to actually go pass security (due to safety concerns). The weather was very good, but we were sweating so much that it feels like we’re in a microwave. The photo above was when we’re about 1.5 hours in the queue. I expected NYE to be the event that everyone (locals, tourists and international students) were looking forward to, and the queue line for future NYE will be much worse.
The 10 hour wait for the midnight fireworks
This was the first NYE where I got the opportunity to socialise in Japanese with the Japanese exchange students, and to be really honest, I actually loved it. Tim and Risa would constantly be telling me to hang out with them and the rest of the Japanese students so that I feel comfortable communicating in a different language. I met up with a guy named Subaru and he was really surprised when I introduced myself in Japanese. (I was a bit shy at that moment) We played a bunch of UNOs and a rather strange card game. The thing is, the people told me the rules in Japanese, so it was a tad difficult at first, but I got used to it after that.
The card game is a modified version of Big2/13. There are a few rules:
- Can only play pairs, triples or quads
- If you play a:
- 5 – skips the next person
- 7 – past x amount of cards to the next person. (e.g. play double 7, give two cards to the next person)
- 8 – closes the round, a new round starts and you get the free choice
- 10 – discard x amount of cards (e.g. play double 10, throw away 2 cards from your hand)
- Jack – Reverse (play cards that are lower than Jack and vice-versa)
- If the previous two card(s) played has the same suit, the next player must play card(s) under that same suit. (e.g. two people played spades, you should either put in a higher card with a spade or pass)
- Jokers are in this game. Should a round ends with a 3, a player can play a joker and close the round, giving them the free choice. Jokers can’t be the final card you play from your hand.
These were my rough understanding of the game. I forgot 1 or 2 rules, but I never encounter those situations when I played. We added some of these rules to UNO, which makes the game more intense. I had a lot of fun playing UNO and this card game with the Japanese students, especially when I do really devilish things to Noa, Mizu and Shoko, it makes us all laugh!
Other than that, we just talked about random stuffs throughout the night. I’m not sure about how the Japanese students feel about this, but I would say that it makes the friendship even stronger. As I mentioned about my purpose of learning Japanese, this is what I’m talking about. I got the chance to talk to Shoko, Ayami and Mizu quite a lot during the night, whether its in English or Japanese. I’m sure they had a great time as I do. 😀
So the fireworks, how was it this year? Well, it was better than I expected and while we got a good vantage point, the problem was that THE GODDAMN TREE WAS IN THE WAY!!!! You could see through the tree and be able to see the fireworks that come out from the Harbour Bridge, which is obviously the main attraction. There were barricades that specifically stated,”Don’t cross this. Fines apply”. But, because of the midnight fireworks, everyone was like, “SCREW THE BARRICADES, I JUST WANT TO TAKE SOME PICTURES!!!!”.
SELFIE ~~~~~ (MY EYES WERE NOT ON THE LENSES!! ><“” oh wells)
After the fireworks
I decided to take the Japanese students back to their dorms by walking. Everyone will try to catch public transport to get back home, but for me that isn’t ideal because I live pretty far away from the City. So, me and Tim ended up sleeping on the couches inside the accomodation where the Japanese students are at. I also made the suggestion to watch the first sunrise of 2016, which is what I want the Japanese people, especially those who are in their last semester of exchange or leaving soon, to enjoy!!
5:48am was the time when the sun rise, and OH MY GOD, it didn’t disappoint. We saw the rising sun from the highest level of the Yura Madang housing and got some pretty nice pictures. I really do like this picture of my friend Noa, staring out in the horizon as the sun rises. Even though there were massive glasses, the view was spectacular!
We then got a chance to eat cold soba noodles in the morning, and Tim initially suggested to go on a Maccas run, but we were very tired, so we ended up going home. I got home at around 8 in the morning and it was very sunny. I ended up taking a long nap til midday and had to get dressed to a family friend’s BBQ, followed by a chill time at a cafe.
I’m gonna say it again. I love hanging out with the Japanese students so much!! So much that my New Year’s Resolution is this: to become better in speaking in Japanese; make more meaningful connections with people; become a better, independent individual. 2015 was the best year I’ve had so far because of these Japanese students, who were willing to come to Australia to improve their English and life skills. For the people that will be leaving soon, such as Noa, Mizu and Risa, I will miss you guys so much!! I haven’t felt this happy and satisfied with what I’ve achieved this year if it wasn’t for you three. I hope that we’ll keep in touch online and maybe one day in Japan!!
This may be a cliche, but 2016 will most likely be the year where my life changes for the better!!
Talk you guys in the next post!