so we did it. ari, yani (my cousin) and i hung out in the city starting at 9PM. supposedly, there is an early fireworks for the people with little kids around 9 or 9:30. we wanted to see that one too. didn’t get to see it well, cause there were too many trees and daddies with kids on their shoulders in front of us.
so we decided to stay for the midnight fireworks. around 10, we found the spot in across the Southbank mall, and planned to secured it for the next 2 hours. after standing around in a windy weather for half an hour, a guy in blue uniform tried to kick us out of our place (ack!). then a few policemen came in, telling us it’s okay to stay there. the policemen and the blue uniform guy arguing until another guy in white uniform came in. then, they all agreed on something, turned to us, and kick us out. it turned out that the area we’re standing on are going to be closed off during the fireworks. we’re only allowed to view the fireworks from one side of the river, which by that time, has already extra-crowded.
well, we didn’t get a VIP view or anything. in fact, there were two huge guys in front of me the whole time.
as the clock on the Flinders Street Station strike midnight, people started to whisper, where is the fireworks? all thousands of us have waited for over 2 hours, counting every minute to see the fireworks, but nothing seemed to happen. the long arm of the clock has passed the 12 o’clock mark, and i thought there would be a riot in Melbourne, because there is something wrong with the fireworks mechanism, and it’s not going to happen.
the clock was at 12:03 (and the three minutes seems like an hour), when all the sudden two beams of light shot up to the sky from the Federation Square. people cheered loud, and the fireworks started. there were (i think) 5 sites along the Yarra river where the fireworks is shot from.
we saw the fireworks, which was (honestly) nothing extraordinary. the fireworks itself was a bit of a dissapointment for me. no clear rhythm, no crazy-looking-double-mushroom-lookalike fireworks, no countdowns. yeah… no countdowns! what’s up with that?
the craziest part of the night was the after-midnight homeride. we were pretty much stranded in the middle of Melbourne Metropolitan along with thousands of drunks. it was quite scary, alright.
after the fireworks finished, people kissed their loved ones and wish each other happy new year. but the “happy” feeling didn’t last long. see, normally, trains do not run 24 hours in this city. for tonight, they only added a few more trains after midnight, and the last train left the city at 1:15AM (for my area). so yu can imagine thousands of people trying to get to the train station as soon as they can. it was pretty brutal.
soon, people are started to move to the way out, which was waaaay too small to accomodate the amount of people there. it was worse that any concert i’ve ever been to. people are pushing so hard, i could practically lift my legs off the ground, and i’ll be floating. little kids are either getting squished or getting dizzy due to lack of oxygen, moms are worried (and pushing harder)…
by the time we got to the train station, the crowd was way too much. it was impossible for all of us to fit in those trains. so, ari, yani and i gave up on the train issue. we decided to take the trams. but the tram never came… instead, drunk people are pouring in.
finally, a cop told us that there will be no tram here. we had to catch a bus — which is located a few blocks from where we stood — that will drop us to a place where we can catch the tram. and, boy, there were tons of people waiting for that bus. and they are either drunk, tired, upset for the lack of transportation home, or combination of all. they would scream, yell, sit in the middle of the street… a lot of strange people that night. amazingly, there is no riot or anything like that.
as we stood waiting, we heard another person told us that if we wanted to wait for certain tram number, we had to wait on another block. so, we walked a few more block to catch that tram.
it’s very confusing. it feels like we navigate home relying on a word of mouth.
we all got home around 3AM, which is not bad. tonight is the first time i took a bus in melbourne. ari said: wow, in 2 days here, i tried every single means of transportation available in Melbourne: tram, train, taxi and bus.