Friday, January 2, 2009

Another year gone

Well, I decided to join in the fun and festivities and go to a New Year's Eve party with my brother.  His wife is from Mexico, so we went to the New Year's bash from her side of the family.  Her relatives and siblings total a small city.  The music was loud, and the food plenty. The music was so loud; you could not hear yourself think. "How are you doing?" one would ask in Spanish, "The weather is fine." Went the response, and the party would continue each pretending they understood what the other had said. Banda was the music of choice. I don't mind loud music but I hate banda. Give me some Rumba Flamenca from Spain, or Cumbia from Colombia or salsa from the Carribean, but banda has got to go. However, I did enjoy the company.

We had eaten at a restaurant beforehand since we already had reservations, and had made plans.  But that did not seem to matter.  When we said we had already eaten, the hosts ignored you, and they proceeded to tell you the menu anyway.  When you repeated the line that you had already eaten, they served you anyway.  So after awhile, you just gave up and let them serve you, but the food remained on the table untouched – we were full from the restaurant. It was just easier that way.

I looked at the clock ten minutes to midnight, the clock kept ticking.  It would soon be midnight. Party-goers would soon be lining up to wish you a Happy New Year. The clock struck midnight, and the revelry began. Gunfire shots could actually be heard in the background. This is not the good part of Oakland. In fact, it's that part of Oakland where you breath a sigh of relief knowing your car is lojacked. One by one, people who I really didn't know approached and hugged, kissed and shook my hand.  Mexicans do not have little parties - they have big parties.  Santiago, my brother's brother-in-law must have hugged me for five minute followed by a teenage boy whose name I do not recall who came over to hug me shaking me like one of his comrades. This went on for twenty minutes. It was exhausting to say the least.

And so ends another year. I hope the stock market does better this coming year and we see a better economy. We can only hope.

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