So honestly, I was feeling very antisocial on New Years Eve, and I almost stayed home alone to just eat some dinner and watch the TV version of the celebration. But I knew that my family would be horribly upset, so I went with them down to the Avenida del Mar (the beach) where basically all of La Serena goes for New Years. The Avenida is fairly long, about 5 miles or so and there are 4 spots where you can watch fireworks at midnight. Two of those spots also have a live concert afterwards.
The family and I went to a fancy shancy place at first for dinner, but them walked just in time for the countdown to the Kareoke bar which is directly in front of the concert stage!
Okay time for a little honesty here and for those of you who don´t know me personally, here you go. I have never kissed a guy on the lips. This used to be a point of embarrassment for me, but I have learned to appreciate the fact that I won´t kiss unless I am in love and I am certanly not in love right now. But for probably about the last 5 years, I have hoped for a kiss a New years (stinking tradition). But this year, I knew that if I kissed someone it would not be because I love them, but becuase I just wanted a kiss. So I went into New Years very happy to know that I would not be kissing anyone this year. Of course when we are counting down and I am standing alone midst the thousands of couples, yeah, it felt just like all those years in the past of being the single one at the New years party, BUT the beautiful thing about Chile is that after the countdown, for about two seconds, the couples kissed, but right after that, EVERYONE KISSES AND HUGS EVERYONE! Suddenly I was embraced by everyone who was wishing me a happy New Year (Feliz Año) and kissing me on the cheek.
So anyways, after the countdown the concert starts. Basically where we were, there were about a thousand people at the beach. Everyone had already drank tons of pisco and were opening up the next round. One of the cool things about this culture is that the families are all together and as I looked around I saw very few groups of just young people or just older people. Everyone was basically picnicing on teh beach with their family. For my family, including extended family that made our party about 25 people. Once the concert started, everyone stood p and started dancing. There was mergengue, salsa, cumbia, and of course reggaton. The concert lasted until about 4 in the morning and I thought that the people would head home once it was over. COme on, yeah, 4 in the morning is pretty late. But no, after the concert ended, everyone settled themselves in groups of like 10 or so people and they just talked and sang, and drank more pisco. I left the part a little before 5 in the morning ( my family had gone into the kareoke bar for more drinking and talking). I would have stayed out longer but a girlfriend of mine asked me to take a taxi with her back so she didn´t go alone. My family got home at about 7 in the morning. Crazy chileans!
But honestly, what a celebration of the New Year! Everyone was so excited to celebrate! The only thing missing from this Chilean New Year (apart from my family and friends!) is the song wasn´t played. You know that song that is always played at the New Year (it is in the last scene of When Harry met Sally too). But I fixed that lack of song, but humming it to myself under my breath. I guess I am more gringa than I thought!