Though the college had already paid for a hotel room for the new other new instructor and me, I decided to head into downtown Kuala Lumpur and rent a ritzy, high rise room at the Four Star Grand Seasons Hotel.
It was majestic. Porters wouldn’t even let us touch our bags. The pool on the 11th floor was an out-of-body experience when dipping in to escape the heat. And the key didn’t work very well, so they upgraded us to the 30th floor luxury suites because of the terrible inconvenience. It was an amazing night.
We went shopping on the way into town, so we had all the provisions that a good party needs. So when we arrived, we packed the booze into the fridge, cracked open the chips and started drinking. When we had a bit of a fill of beer, we took a dip in the pool (with more beer). And when we were all pruny, we headed back up to the room (for more beer).
About the time night fell, we’d drank ourselves into a pretty comfortable numbness and looked out over the city as the party began to rumble into motion.
As the hours moved on, the crowds partied louder and louder. And by 11:00 p.m., we could hardly hear the television. But by then we’d had the laptop blasting music for a couple hours. So we were partying right there with them.
We watched several countries enjoy their New Year’s celebrations before us, so Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea and Japan had all lit their skies ablaze with different styles of choreographed conflagrations.
Finally, when midnight arrived for Malaysia, we took to the window and looked on as the Patronas Towers, just minutes walking from our hotel, erupted in a shower of colored explosions and shimmering rocket blasts of sparks and flames. It must have gone on for 20 minutes – of course, it might have just seemed that way because of the inebriation that assisted in much of the entertainment of watching things blow up.
After the finale, the people below were so loud that we could hear the rumble of celebration as though it were in the room below us. Come to think of it, it might have also included the room below us. But nevertheless, we were moved by the experience. And before long, we found ourselves staring off into the city in a bit of a trance.
I realized that I had been drifting in thought about the year to come, my goals and aspirations and my keenly optimistic outlook on things. It was very satisfying.
Needless to say, it was one of the most tremendous New Year’s celebrations on record. And it no doubt set the tone for what is to come this year. The next morning we emerged into 2013 with new hopes in a new place with new people and new insights.
To date this year, even through family emergencies, personal losses and even leaving an unfaithful partner in Central America, I got to see and do some absolutely amazing things. And I crammed so many wonderful memories into this year that outdoing it in the next 365 days will be quite a challenge.
But it’s going to be fun trying.