At my maternal grandmother’s home, New Year’s Eve is unpretentiously boring and fundamentally humble. Two years ago, I visited on pre-new year. It was important that a few of some young men be there to prepare for slaughter and barbecuing the next day. Never mind, I ended up being the only ‘some young men’. The other cousins didn’t bother to come. I imagined it would be a great time for a bonfire, perhaps several neighbors seated around sharing the night over cups of traditional brew. A jerrycan of the liquid magically appearing to refill visible empty mugs.
No worry in the world, just stories, stars, imbibing and distant howling dogs. Such was what I expected at the least. little did I know that my least was just fantasy. Instead, we sat in the main house; grandmother, an uncle, me and some ten-year-old cousins of mine. All we did was talk, watch news and talk some more. Then at midnight we held prayers to welcome the new year then we slept. It bordered on brashness.
I made a promise to myself never to spend an eve there. This year I was at home, by 31st I didn’t have any plans whatsoever and neither did I have money to oil that machine. Early afternoon a call changed the situation and my mood. A friend of mine proposed we hook up with another friend of ours and hang out somewhere and wait the year out. It was obvious we would split the bill which made the proposal doubly attractive.
Max land Waiyaki Way is a new place, less than a year old; it’s a restaurant, a lounge, a bar, a sunset watch place all in one whose target market is families and at night mainly older non twerking folks and chill millennials. To choose to hang out at this place is to say yes to mugithi, a sunset watch, good contemporary music, perhaps a crowd laden with 50-year old’s and efficient waiters.
It was really a bummer choice of a place for me, because naturally I felt that a younger, loud and dramatic crowd would be the perfect group to shout 10, 9, 8, 7 …… with. In retrospect I was wrong, Maxland was a perfect place to hang out and slowly sip our vodka. But words were already out, my two friends had bought my nonsense and we downed a whole bottle of Vodka by twenty minutes to midnight.
From there, it was a race to catch the new year at a louder sweaty club, with a throwing up younger crowd. Within minutes we were at Galileo Lounge also along waiyaki way, a place that had been hipped on social media as to have a big party, three DJ’s and a good time. Disappointment is not a word I would use to describe what we found there; the place was almost lifeless! Few patrons and even the security guys looked dissatisfied with the night.
Realizing our mistake, we requested for an Uber to rush us to Westlands where perhaps we could be luckier to catch the last few seconds 4,3,2 …
However, traffic coupled with poor judgement, delivered …1 and the all awaited Happy new year hollering on the road. Chasing new year caught us in an Uber. Luckily, we were at a good visual point to capture firework projectiles all around westlands. Of course, cars came to a standstill and I got out to shout Happy new year to Strangers who responded with an even bigger and better drunken yells. It was a big a deal to shout with people because it’s 2020, beginning of a new decade.
Growing up and even many moons while an adult, I have rarely gone out to welcome a new year. Parties and their night proxy events were things frowned upon by my Parents, so much strictness was employed that for a long-time enjoying life a little has been a subconscious battle of will and morality. It’s amazing the kind of seeds a parent can plant in a child and while you assume adulthood brings with it free will and independence, somewhere in the mind lurks the culture and experiences of childhood which have almost certainly become a believe system.
Anyway, after the cheering and drunken shouts, we did hit a couple of more bars, one of which was the Brew Bistro. It was so packed, that they were charging an entrance fee. While many of us were incredulous and hastily left, an equal queued crowd was okay paying the charge! But hell yeah, that place, despite, looked like the lungs of a party. Next year, Ill plan to do the eve there. Why not, it’s a timeless place it seems.
Same street there is Club Havana, a place popular with escorts, whites and some average joes like me and my friends. We downed a few beers, danced a little but since Vodka was dancing harder in our system, we got totally wasted and left for home around 1 pm.
It was a night we chased a new year in vain, brew bistro in vain, Galileo in vain, downed a vodka a little too fast, overspent a little, experienced some thrill, laughter and the craziness of what we were embarking on. All in all, we were glad to have each other for the night and for a new year eve.
Perhaps, after all, fear of missing out (FOMO) is toxic, it deludes you into missing out on a perfectly okay present. As we head into the year, try to relax a bit and rather than hope for alternatives, we could enjoy what we have a little bit more willingly and deliberately all the while trying to grow one bit at a time.
Happy new year 2020. To more fun, friendships, health and prosperity a sum of which is equal to happiness.