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Happy Blasted New Year!

So I’m back from my trip to the coast for New Year’s Eve.

We (my guests and I) headed to Usedom, an island that is at the north-east corner of Germany, with the eastern bit of the island in Poland. I’d picked the place because there was a technical museum that looks at the history of World War II’s V2 rocket, along with the added bonus, or so I thought, that the island would be quiet on New Year’s Eve.

Oh how wrong I was.

Usedom was a war zone on New Year’s Eve.

People were setting off fireworks directly on the street outside our rented apartment starting around 6pm, and stopped, errrr… I cannot actually say when they stopped setting them off. I went to bed at 1am and the rockets red glare was still going strong.

Shortly before midnight we grabbed our bottles of Champaign (well, to be technical, Sekt, German sparkling win) and headed to the beach.

We’d sat ourselves down on what was a quiet piece of the beach and were enjoying the waves and, relatively speaking, distant from us amateur fireworks. I say “relatively distant” because some drunken assholes came onto the beach next to us and started shooting off rockets with complete disregard to whether or not the things were pointed up, down, or sideways – and one went right between an elderly couple standing by the water and proceeded to explode.

The asshole appeared not to care and quickly set off another rocket, while the elderly couple left the beach.

My friends hadn’t quite believed me when I told them that New Year’s Eve in Germany resembled a war zone.

And, quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

Next year I am going to go somewhere where amateur fireworks are banned.

9 comments to Happy Blasted New Year!

  • “Deutsche Kultur”? that’s mean, but it would be interesting to know where this hidden exotic place might be – HNY belated

  • You might want to check out one of the North Friesian islands like Sylt, Amrum or Föhr. Fireworks are banned there because the thatched roofed houses can burn so easily.

  • Mateo

    I’m glad you survived the celebration unscathed. There are too darn many careless idiots out there!

  • Have you considered Bloomington, Indiana, United States?

  • Sounds like hell! Some people are so selfish. I cant believe they could be German though!

    Anyway – As ‘5 on the fifth’ drifts into the past, I’ve come up with something new: The Question.

    http://thestateofthenationuk.blogspot.com/2012/01/coming-soon-to-blog-near-you-question.html

  • Katya

    hey Adam,
    another Ukrainian New Year’s Eve next year? =) just say yes )))

  • Michele J

    I LOLed, in a negative way, sorry. I try and try to explain this phenomenon to my American friends, but there is just no way to convey the insanity unless you’ve been there.

  • It’s like health and safety goes right out the door when it comes to fireworks on New Years Eve in Germany. The first year I celebrated here in the local town and I was totally shocked. No organised display. People just throwing fireworks wildly around. Totally mental.

  • martin – the USA for one– For NYE, fireworks are only professionally performed, not by drunken bastards on the street! Happy New Years to you as well!

    Scott – Thanks for the tips — I will investigate, although when I looked at Sylt’s NYE info page, they implied the existence of fireworks — but maybe only professional ones.

    Mateo – thanks! Lots of idiots here in Germany on NYE, that’s for sure!

    Friend Rex – Unlikely, but an interesting suggestion.

    Stephan – Germany is crazy on NYE — and thank you for the invitation. I will probably not participate for now. I don’t have enough time to blog everything I want to blog now, promising to do a meme might be too much for now.

    Katya – errr… i do not really want to intrude on your family again for NYE — and besides, I am actually thinking warm, so while I will investigate Sylt, I suspect it will be south.

    Michele J – there is no way to explain it to somebody who hasn’t been there, that much is true. Until my friends experienced it, they thought i was exaggerating.

    Sarah – It’s the only time of the year Germans are allowed to party with gunpowder, and yes, it’s mental. Fun the first time, but I think that I am officially too American and too old.