The New Year really did start off with a bang, in lots of ways. Wandering along the Copacabana beach promenade through a sea of people, stalls selling all manner of foods along the way, boiling oil on makeshift tables, cheese, prawns and various meats sizzling on grills, or waiting raw to be thrown on and garnished along the way. Other stalls selling flashing 2009 glasses or toxic cocktails, a sniff of one enough to send you into a spin. The background music live and energetically keeping people moving to the beat, smiles on their faces. There were kids of all ages runnign about playing, families, and groups of friends all side by side or mixed up together. Guys dancing together, then running into the surf and waving their speedos in the air, their butts (and more) as well. A collection of Englishmen in white (the prequisite dress code for New Year in Rio) and looking like they´d just navigated a yacht in, wandered towards us and planted themselves before us, all enjoying the abundant cute men on the beach as much as we were, themselves not so hard on the eye either. The midnight countdown ensued and the beach suddenly bathed in the light of endless fireworks, not completely coordinated but not really caring, lighting too the 8 or 9 ocean liners anchored off the beach to take part in the spectacle. The men out of their speedos hit the water again and noone remembers when the fireworks ended, but it was all good fun, a little champagne thrown in along the way. Some energetic kisses thrown in too welcoming in the new year, with new faces in new places.
It´s certainly the best New Year´s Eve I´ve ever celebrated. If the year that follows continues in this vein, then I´m in for one hell of a fantastic year.
Happy New Year everyone.