Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 17: New Year's Eve

Caleb and I took a trip to London over Christmas break 2014-2015.  We were there for sports, of coarse, cheerleading this time.  Caleb had qualified as a high school All-American Cheerleader and as such got to participate in London's New Year's Day Parade.

We left Kansas City the day after Christmas and arrived in London with around 1,000 cheerleaders, dancers, instructors, sponsors, and parents.  We spent each day touring the city and surrounding area, and each evening the cheerleaders would practice their routines and stunts for the parade.

The event sponsors had a New Year's party arranged for the cheerleaders and dancers, which left me with time on my own to ring in the new year.  Earlier in the evening Caleb and I had been to Piccadilly Circus to enjoy a bit of New Year's Eve out with a foreign crowd.  As I sat in our room looking out the window I decided I was not going to sit in one of the world's most famous cities and miss ringing in the New Year.

Our hotel was right next door to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.  Traffic was closed on our street and there was quite a crowd gathering on the bridge.  I went out and joined the throng!

I had never been in such a large and energized crowd before!  Even though it was quite cold out, I didn't have to worry with a heavy coat since there were so many people squished up on that bridge.  Movement was next to impossible, and yet people managed to move around.  People were so friendly!  You couldn't move around or get passed by without getting a hug, high-five, or friendly back clap from total strangers.

There were also so many languages!  In addition to European-accented English, I was able to identify Russian, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.  There were many slavic and asian languages I heard but could not identify.  The countdown to midnight was enthusiastic from all voices, no matter the language.  Of coarse, language didn't matter at all once the fireworks started, because "oooOOOOooo" and "Ahhhhhhhhh!" sounds the same in all languages!

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