Handheld Fireworks

In honour of New Years Eve celebrations, we opted to trade in our comfy suburb for a hostel steps away from the Zócalo. We collected an eclectic group of Austrians, Americans, and oversized bottles of Corona, and headed out. Though we’d heard that the Zócalo was closed, we were running a little late to make it anywhere else, so we headed for the main square anyway. Almost exactly at midnight, we arrived at the dark square that was still teeming with people. City-sanctioned fireworks were going off at another location in town, so the locals and foreigners alike proceeded to make more than due with hand-held sparklers and fireworks as cathedral bells rang us into the New Year. This is when the tourist, the adventurer, and the drunk came out in all of us and, while scheming our plans for the next step, someone looked up. They looked up, and they saw a balcony, teeming with people, overlooking the Zócalo, letting off fireworks, and they thought: That looks fun.


There were eleven of us. The elevator in the hotel objected, so we attempted it in stages. The first lot of us piled into the elevator, in the hotel, on the ground floor of that balcony, and took us up as high as we could go. We arrived at the top, with several official-looking staff milling about, and we just walked straight in. Everyone at the party was dressed as though it was New Years Eve and they were at a flash party in the penthouse of a nice hotel, overlooking the centre of Mexico City. We were dressed as though we lived out of backpacks, and this was the best we could scrounge together. We walked in during a rambunctious round of limbo, and wasted no time joining in. After a couple of passes underneath the stick, getting the occasional curious look from fellow party-goers, it became apparent that the other elevator-full hadn’t arrived, so we ditched the fun and returned back to ground.

Our new Austrian friends were exceptionally handy to have on this particular night, due to the fact that they spoke fluent Spanish. Upon alighting from the hotel, we noticed a large van taxi loading up with passengers. Our Austrians managed to negotiate with the taxi driver another van for ourselves with a flat rate to take us to Condesa, one of the main party areas of the city. A few minutes later, a van pulled up and we all piled in, quickly diving down in backseats to help obscure the fact that there were a couple more of us than we had said.

We arrived at Condesa, and made our way to a bar/club with music, dancing, and (rather expensive) drinks. The time flew, as it does, and we danced the better part of the night away. The next day disappeared in similar fashion, as we both rejuvenated in bed until the early hours of the afternoon. We used the rest of the day as preparation; tomorrow, we were on the move.


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