Wednesday, January 2, 2008

(Un)happy New Year, London!!!

To mark the end of 2007, London set the stage for a massive fireworks display over River Thames using London Eye as the backdrop. The spectators were promised 'the most spectacular fireworks display on the planet'. Having watched Sydney's fireworks display that required a dozen computers to coordinate across the capital, I was filled with anticipation for London's many hours later.

We arrived on the river bank nearly 3 hours before the stroke of midnight thinking that we should be able to get one of those 'choice' spots that perched over Thames' bank. Gosh, it was packed when we arrived and we had to contend with squeezing with the crowds.

Nothing happened for 30min or so, not even music from the loud speaker... then...

"HELLO LONDON!" (screams all around...)
"HOW ARE YOU FEELING?!" (er... abit warm but otherwise quite fine.)
"This is a safety announcement, please move towards the London Eye as there's more space there."

Nothing more for 30min... then...

"HELLO LONDON!" (screams all around... abit less enthusiasm)
"HOW ARE YOU FEELING?!" (abit impatient and trying to restrict my water intake for obvious reasons)
"Are you ready for the best fireworks display on the PLANET!" (ow... come on already.)
"For those of you who just arrive, please move towards the London Eye as there's more space there." (ok, move it, move it...)

Still no music. An hour later...

"HELLO LONDON!" (*#@$!)
"Are you ready for the best fireworks display on the PLANET!" (ok... this better be good....)
"Please note that the space in front of London Eye is getting too crowded, please more AWAY from the London Eye." (What the....!)

Then music started blaring from the loudspeaker... and it's directly from BBC Radio 1. Hard to imagine that they'll use a radio music to complement a New Year's countdown. Not even a DJ. I half expected the daily news from the radio program towards midnight....

The worse thing is that there's not even a human voice counting down when the time came. There was, however, numbers projected onto a building behind London Eye. To make things worse, Big Ben started chiming even before the countdown was done. So either Big Ben was early or the organizers synchronize the countdown timer with his Akira wristwatch.

Everything was over in 10min. So much for 3 hours of waiting in the drizzle. And everything went downhill from then on.

There was no one to give directions as to where the spectators (in excess of hundred thousand) should disperse save for a handful of police on horseback. Those who are on foot (the police) seemed to be more interested in their private discussions about how they should spend their night after the nightmare is over.

So we had to walk for a further two and the half hours before stumbling onto a bus that head towards our home. I was so relieved that I almost kiss the ground in front of my apartment when we reached.

Ok, will sit in front of the tv the next year round.

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4 comments:

london soon said...

(Un)Happy New Year for me, and a stressful one too..... The school of interest which we intend to send our daughter to in London has no vacancy. Oh dear.....

A big favour, if you have any info. or any friends who have children in a credible private/international elementary school in London would be a big help.

Thanks CK!

C K said...

Hi again,

I'm afraid I cannot be of any assistance this time round in this department. But will definitely help ask around.

Cheers!

london soon said...

Don't worry, it's a big task..... You're such a great help!

Dutchie said...

Hahahahaha ... *tears streaming*