1st of January.
It really is one of those dates, isn’t it? One which we can ask anyone about at any time, and know that they will be able to recall just what they did that day. Where. And with who.
I can too. Though not necessarily because of it being just New Years. Maybe a little bit because I started it in the comfiest bed in history. But more than anything, because I was literally pulled out of it at bloody 5 o’clock in the morning.
Let me explain.
Two years back I spent a crisp New Years Eve at my friend’s house back in my home town. Standing next to her, ankle deep in snow I was watching fireworks light up a pitch black sky, thinking of nothing but how this was my last Swedish New Years in forever.
I was wrong.
Exactly one year later.
New Years Eve again. Surrounded by my whole family, I was burying my toes in the wet sand of the crowded beach in tourist mayhem Hua Hin, Thailand. I was watching fireworks just like the year before, with the main difference being that time also while trying to avoid getting set on fire by any of the way too many burning lanterns other Scandinavian tourists were miserably failing with getting into the air.
Like so many times before I spent the first trembling minutes of the new year watching the sky. Silently laughing to the memory of my aching heart from the previous year. Thinking how this was probably my most cliché Swedish New Years ever. Following the shrinking light from a one of the hundred lanterns drifting further and further up in the sky, I started playing with the thought of how in the world I would be spending the next one. Where? And with who..?
Not in a million years, would I have been able to guess.
But to no one’s surprise but mine – did also this one end up being Swedish. (I’m rapidly going all international though, adding a dash of Norway this time..!)
The New Years party is still in full swing. And the streets of El Bolsón, Argentina are filled with beautiful people in all ages and levels of intoxication more or less consciously making their way into 2017. We all know how more or less how these things go, right?
The air is cool but comfortable enough even for the girls in the very shortest dresses. The backdrop from the still open nightclub is sending physical pulses through the air of the entire town. Upset voices of an arguing couple are being drowned out by the ecstatic laughters of that big group of teenage girls who’ve probably all been best friends since before they were even old enough to know their own names.
Someone’s lying passed out in the grass on the town plaza. Next to him, sits someone mid-mission of rapidly stuffing his face with a massive pizza. Because in practice it still sort of is 2016 – right? That whole get thin thing doesn’t really start until after you wake up on the 1st. Everyone knows that. Right..?
Dawn is on a slow, but steady approach. Crashing in with just enough light for people to slowly start realising that it might actually be time to head home after all.
There is one thing though, that doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever, this particular new years morning in El Bolsón. And that is a dumb ass Scandinavian group of lycra dressed cyclists rolling through town like a not-even-funny mirage made up by someone on too many hallucinogens.
And in the middle of it – is me :-)
Though there are a million things to be said about the week I ended up spending as the Bariloche adoptive daughter of Laban, Bebben and Holte, I’ll keep it short. In practice it consisted of one day of cycling together, and then me recovering from a way too persistent sickness that these lovely souls for no reason decided to give me the circumstances and support to finally get well from.
Finally feeling well physically was great. Emotionally though, this week was something I didn’t fully grasp until afterwards how much – and desperately – I had actually needed. Sure, these 3 mad men were just as new in my life as any- and everything else I fill my days, weeks, months and years with. But still they gave me a sense of familiarity and being home that I honestly can’t even remember when truly experiencing last.
This boosted my spirit. On a level that still today – a good month later – is sinking in a little more for each passing day. Like I said, I needed this. I needed these people.
And they were totally worth getting up at 5 am for.
Thank you. All three of you.
Thank you for everything.
I don’t need to write here what that everything means. You know already. Probably still more so than I do myself.
And just in case you’ve had time to forget it until then – I’ll make sure to remind you of it when we see each other back home again.
– Man må jo gå for drømmen sin, ikke sant?
Tack för allt. Era fina jävla människor.
Until next time,