|THIRTY NEW YEAR’S EVES TOGETHER,
LIVED IN THIRTEEN DIFFERENT CITIES.
This year, we had a quiet dinner at home, just the two of us. It being our first year in Sevilla, we debated walking over to Plaza Nueva before midnight to be there with the crowds to welcome 2012. I had no expectation that we would actually follow through. Jerry does not like crowds… or drunks. But, Jerry surprised me (he tends to do that) and asked if I still wanted to go. I, of course, said “Yes, but only if you really want to go. If you’d rather not, I’m happy to just stay here with you.” We went.
|PREPACKAGED “UVASDOCE – NOCHEVIEJA” (12 GRAPES – NEW YEAR’S EVE)|
The Spanish tradition, once the clock begins to chime the hour of midnight, is to eat one grape for every chime until you consume the twelfth grape on the twelfth chime. If you succeed, you will have a year of good fortune. The stores actually sell grapes in 12-packs just for the occasion. I didn’t realize it but Jerry had picked up two 12-packs when he was grocery shopping today, which he popped into his pocket as we headed out the door.
|JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT.|
I assumed Plaza Nueva on New Year’s Eve would be simply a smaller version of Times Square — mobbed, unruly, and drunk. When I was in college, I spent one New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Once was enough. But, surprisingly, when we arrived in Plaza Nueva at 11:45 it was very easy to get around. It did get crowded as the hour drew near, but never uncomfortably so. Also, the plaza was filled with people of every age, from children in strollers to the elderly. This was nothing like Times Square.
|AT THE TOP OF AVENIDA DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN.
YES. THE GUY AT THE RIGHT IN THE COWBOY HAT WAS AMERICAN.
There were street vendors selling sparkly hats and huge plastic sunglasses framed in lights. But mostly there were vendors selling bags of grapes. And everywhere we looked we saw people holding their own little containers of New Year’s Eve grapes. Many had unopened bottles of champagne, as well.
|NEXT YEAR, I’M GETTING MYSELF ONE OF THOSE TINSEL WIGS.|
The clock began to chime and we began to pop grapes into our mouths… along with everyone around us. Once the grapes were consumed, people set off individual fireworks — a bit too close for comfort. Everyone hugged and kissed. It was very civilized. We walked home to the rat-a-tat-tat of fireworks echoing all over the city. It’s now 1:45 a.m. The fireworks are still going off. Jerry just went to bed, but before doing so he told me I should go outside and tell them all to stop. New Year’s Eve is over.
Feliz Año Nuevo from Sevilla!