We Americans see it on TV every year. New Year’s Eve morning all the New Yorkers and Floridians and Texans and Californians wake up to TV footage of fireworks shooting out of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s always one of the first ones shown on American TV because (1) it’s one of the first ones that happens (2) it’s right by two very iconic structures (the Opera House and the bridge itself) and (3) it’s a pretty neat show. New Year’s Eve is a big deal in Sydney.
The waterfront parks to the east of the bridge get packed early – people start getting out there and claiming their territory at dawn. By noon, the general public has invaded and taken up every last square inch of green, green grass. Seeing as I generally despise the general public, I opted to head to a park to the west of the bridge – still right on the harbour with a pretty good view – but far less crowded and infinitely more enjoyable. More enjoyable that is, until the fucking tsunami hits.
Karen and I got there around 4:30pm – complete with full picnic supplies: a blanket, playing cards, snacks of all sorts, and bottles of wines poured into those water bottles that you take to the gym. Classy. We grabbed a spot right on the water – what luck! The park wasn’t nearly all that crowded yet! It wasn’t long before our fellow Americans – Chris, Kei, and Ryan – arrived with more blankets, more food, more booze, and an iPod and some speakers (and one of their Australian housemates – who invited the Aussie?!?!?). So there we were – chillin’ on blankets on the grass in the sun – playin’ cards and drinkin’ moscato from a thermos – rockin’ out to some Jay-Z/Alicia Keys on the iPod – and generally doin’ anything that involved strikin’ the “g” from the end of a verb and replacin’ it with an apostrophe. Then all of a sudden – from the corner of our eye – we saw it – and there wasn’t anything we could do about it:
A big fucking wave crashed up over the seawall and soaked us and all of our shit.
Seriously. Now, I don’t mean soaked. I mean SOAKED. Everything was wet. Our blankets were like little pools of water – Karen and I proceeded to wring them out but they were still sopping. Our playing cards were all stuck together, but luckily the iPod and speakers survived – though there was panic as they were right in the line of fire. And poor Kei – wearing a white dress. Poor thing.
Then we looked around. Nobody else was wet. Just us. This rogue wave came right for us and only us. It must’ve been a big boat or something that came by and sent the ripple of water in our direction – hitting our stretch of 6-foot high seawall at just the right angle and with enough momentum to rise up and take us down. Bastards.
It was just moments later that the sun began to set so there was no hope of the heat drying us out. Luckily, David and Elcid came to the rescue shortly thereafter with a very large, dry blanket for us to sit on. We decided to move 5 or 6 feet back away from the water. And of course, people came and sat right in front of us. And of course, there wasn’t another single wave the entire remainder of the evening to soak those buttmunches.
But it was a fun night nonetheless. We ate, we drank, and we played a very interesting game of “Kill, Marry, Fuck” (the fun equivalent of the “Marry, Date, or Dump” game that some of you less risqué people might be familiar with). And there were fireworks of course – first at 9pm for all the kiddies to see, and then the big ones at midnight. They shot off of the bridge, off of the top of the skyscrapers in the CBD, and from various barges located up and down Sydney Harbour. It was pretty neat. And the best part: all that noise really fucked with the seagulls. Hehe.
Some boys – Ryan, Antony, and Chris:
A girl – Karen:
Some more boys – Elcid, me, and David:
And another girl – Kei:
The harbour and the bridge:
And the city:
Some fireworks shooting from all different directions:
And don’t forget the fireworks shooting right off the bridge!