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Home » Miscellaneous

Welcome 2009 – Goodbye 2008  

by on Thursday, 1 January 2009One Comment | 1,162 views

Various greeting seasons from ABL Teams created to readers from all over the world as follows:

New Year

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  • One Comment »

    • Susi Johnston said:

      I spent New Year’s Eve in Seminyak, Bali’s most elite zone for lifestyle and nightlife, and it was splendid! Going out, I had no expectations, was completely relaxed, ready for a dull evening and early to bed. What a suprise was in store! The streets were full of people, Balinese, domestic tourists, foreign ones, expats, and everyone was warm, enthusiastic and so friendly. It was magic!

      Starting from about 10pm until at least 2am, the Balinese from little kids to grannies were out and about with big smiles on their faces, or sitting in front of their shops and houses calling out greetings to everyone who passed.

      At midnight I witnessed scenes in Jalan Raya Seminyak that looked like the celebrations in America when Obama won the election. All kinds of people, all ages, colours, creeds, and styles were grinning and cheering and embracing each other.

      The restaurants, cafes and bars were pouring complimentary champagne and passing canapes to the public! I went out with a fat roll of rupiah in my pocket and ended up spending nothing!

      The streets were blocked solid, but nobody seemed to mind, quite the opposite. Traffic jams became happy celebrations. We wanted to head up the road to Warung Made to say Happy New Year to Peter and Made, and a mature Indonesian gent on an antiquated motorbike offered to whisk me up there. He did a splendid job negotiating the street party that Jalan Raya had become, told me he was from Palembang here working to send money home. Since I hadn’t spent a cent all evening thanks to the spontaneous generosity of all the restaurants, bars and cafes, I gave the fellow Rp 50,000 and wished him a happy new year.

      Made’s was a like a retro-music and tango family party, unbelievable. Pink frozen cocktails were being distributed faster than they could be slurped down by the grinning and diverse crowd.

      Next it was off to Jalan Oberoi, which was completely jammed, but again everyone celebrating right on the road, smiling, cheering, kissing one another, and as cars creeped forward the drivers were high-fiving and fist-bumping the drivers going the other way and exchanging well wishes.

      Incredible, really. I have never seen such a congenial love-in anywhere, anytime before.

      The Living Room was packed, and again even the edgy desperately chic nightlife crowd there had set aside it’s uber-cool chill. Gay straight old young all sizes and colours of people were greeting and hugging and grinning one another in a mass expression of brotherly and sisterly love. Absolutely amazing.

      I noticed that through the night even the high-end venues with big-ticket parties had simply thrown open their doors welcoming one and all. Balinese young and old were swarming in to celebrate with their foreign “guests” and everyone seemed to enjoy the entire night enormously.

      All I can say, is I hope everyone made it home safely!

      What an extraordinary New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why the spirit suddenly seized everyone in a frenzy of friendliness and “unity in diversity” but it did. Perhaps its because so many concerns and challenges have landed on our laps over the past year, and at least in Bali, there’s a general feeling that we are doing “ok” and if we can stick together and sort out our differences and contrasts and cultures and conflicts amicably, and give each other some mutual support and care, everything will be just fine. And that, indeed, will be a great blessing.

      So Happy New Year to Bali, the place that always seems to bounce back, where the very atmosphere exudes some kind of positive energy and an effervescent sense of the easy and free power of love and compassion. And celebration of life, with all its ups and downs and “poleng” darks and lights woven into a dynamic whole.

      Selamat Tahun Baru 2009.

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