The good news is that I managed to see in midnight and refrained from vomiting during the ball. The bad news is that since getting back to the hotel I've thrown up twice! I think good time is still well ahead on points though. I'll quote from the letter I received just before travelling.
"We would NOT expect anyone to bring formal clothing (black tie/cocktail dress)".
I arrived at the venue and waited in the queue for entry behind some woman in beautiful cocktail dresses, and men in full three piece evening dress.... Yeah, no black tie my arse. This was quite simply the poshest do I've ever attended. The diamonds and furs were out for the ladies and some of the gents had canes, white scarves and gloves. Entering the venue confirmed that this was not to be the low-key event that I'd imagined. I'd thought that this was going to be a few tables and a dodgy cabaret act. A slightly more upmarket version of the 'entertainment' in Turkey. Instead the hall was huge and best described as the NT Christmas Ball with knobs on and three times the size.
I made my way to my table past an honour guard of waiters and waitresses who greated us each in turn, turned right at the giant ice sculptures and eventually found my table. I was immediately handed a glass of pink champagne, a chocolate marzipan, er thing were handed to me and a half lobster was placed in front of me. There then began series of speeches, ending in a brief greeting in English welcoming us and thanking us for travelling so far to join in with the celebrations. We applauded the compare, and then the room applauded us.
I needed more drink and fast.
After the lobster we were invited to go up to have our buffet. My heart sank at the words, at least until I reached the food. Beef, salmon, chicken and glory upon glories, wonderful wonderful carrots. I loaded my plate with Medalions of beef, potato au gratin, carrots and spinach, and I ate like a man that hadn't eaten in two days. Frankly, I couldn't care less if it was all coming-out later. For now it tasted fantastic and filled a hole, and that was all I cared about.
The evening then took a turn for the surreal as the band started to play. The beatgs.de, what can I say about them. They are the musical equivalent of a Bruce Campbell flick. So bad, they come out the other end and become good.
The funny thing was, that the worse the song, the more the dance floor filled.
I kept my spirits us with copious piss taking and exceptionally strong beer served in half litre glasses.
My last action of 2010 was to be dragged onto the dance floor and made to dance (under protest) to the Village People and the YMCA. No-one was doing the arm actions, and I figured if I'm going to be forced to look a dick, I'm going to at least look a proper dick. I therefore launched into the full arm actions Y-M-C-A. Yes we may have had a demonstration by professional ballroom dancers, the rest of the dance floor may have been able to do the polka and the waltz, but I alone did the YMCA properly and therefore I think I won a moral victory.
Kill me now.
Midnight as it tends to do rolled around, and the countdown began.
The clock struck twelve, streamers were thrown and the crowd launched into Auld Lang Sine, which confused the hell out of me as I'd no idea the Germans did the same thing as us Brits.
We were then encouraged to make our way to the windows, where fireworks were being launched city wide. These in fact went on well past 1am and with the snowy backdrop made a lovely start to the new year.
Still feeling the effects of the day I made my way back to my room. I was there greeted by this strange little pot-plant.
Working on the assumption that it is a traditional new years gift and not some kind of death threat, I'm going to try and keep it intact all the way to Guernsey. So despite feeling like death warmed up, I've had a really enjoyable night. I've really missed my friends and maybe In the greater scheme of things I'd have had an even more enjoyable time with them; but seeing in the new year in a foreign country was pretty special. I'm not going to make a prediction or resolution for 2011. I'm too unpredictable for that, and I can't say it's going to be great as I think that things are going to get worse before they get better However, in years to come when new years eve comes around, I'll always remember the time I spent Silvester in Wurzburg.