01 January 2011

New Year's Eve

We had a barbecue at the hostel and then went outside to join the neighbors in a ritual to bring in the New Year. In the middle of the street a mannequin had been set up on a pole and they had stuffed him with their bad memories and memorabilia from the past year. This figure was dressed in a suit and tie and was wearing a mask of Hugo Chavez. There was much drinking and shooting off of fireworks, we each ate 12 grapes for luck in the coming 12 months of the new year, and then the Chavez figure was doused in lighter fluid and lit ablaze.

Chavez burned quickly and an englishman from the hostel walked closer with his camera but just then the figure collapsed forward and a rocket shot out of its head and the englishmen dropped his camera and dove to the ground, the rocket narrowly missing him. We were standing further back and laughing but a second rocket shot out of the figure's head right for us and we scattered, the rocket bouncing off the building behind us. But there were no more rockets and Chavez burned peacefully in the street for the next 2 hours. It was officially 2011.


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