new year, new decade, new life

[n.b.: due to broadband FAIL, this post has been backdated.]

all change, please

so it’s 2010, and i’ve lost all sense of time. in the past 2 months, time has been so elastic that i can’t tell whether it’s flown by or gone on for years; yesterday felt like it was 2 days long (ok, maybe it kind of was – see below). and now it’s a new start: newly single, new city, new flat, new friends, new outlook, new year, new decade. it’s been a while since i’ve made this big a change – arguably i’ve never had quite this much change all at once – and it’s exciting and daunting and hopeful and heart-rending. i haven’t yet had an oh-fuck-what-am-i-doing moment, but every so often i feel totally overwhelmed, and it’s sometimes even hard to pinpoint why. i suppose this is normal. this is normal, right?

best. nye. ever.

in keeping with the over-the-topness of this year(‘s end), i have had the most memorable new year’s (silvester, here) celebration in a very long time. last month, my friend mika suggested we do a sauna to ring in the year. i thought this was a genius idea – sweat out the old, drink in the new. so yesterday afternoon we (well, mostly he but i did show up for some of it) built his temp° sauna in the hinterhof. after some dinner at mine, we fired it up and were inside by about 11:30.

the sauna masterpre-blingificationbling sauna

at midnight, for those of you who’ve never been in berlin at new year’s eve, the whole city goes completely batshit crazy. everyone’s out on the streets with bottles of champagne, buckets of fireworks and a serious party attitude. the area around the wasserturm in prenzlauer berg is one of the focal points, and mika lives about 50 metres from it. so at 23:55, we donned bathrobes and flipflops, grabbed a bottle of bubbly and wandered out into the street.

on the street

it was uproariously fun to be out there in the snow in basically no clothes. and we were apparently every bit as interesting as the fireworks to quite a lot of people – one couple came over and insisted on having their picture taken with us; about a dozen people wished us happy new year; pretty much everyone in a 20 metre radius pointed and stared. i think there’s a lot of pics out there of us in our bathrobes. this is not something i would have thought i’d be ok with, but strangely i am. after about 1/2 hour, we got cold, so back into the sauna we went.

an hour or so later, the neighbours started to arrive. by the time i left, there were 6 of us in there sweating away, occasionally ducking out for a fistful of snow and a swig of polish fruit schnapps. i came home and slept better than i have all week. i woke up feeling refreshed and ready, which is pretty much the best i could have hoped for.