I remember why I do not like going out on New Year's Day. It doesn't matter where I am in the world or who I am with. I hate going out on New Year's Day.
Typically, I am working on New Year's Day. I would be performing somewhere or God-forbid, I would be on call or in the midst of some project where I have to actually watch the countdown from some workstation to make sure nothing goes wrong. So I forget how painful it is to be stuck somewhere trying to find your way home in the wee hours of the morning. In the rain. In high stilettos.
At the Millennium party in Frankfurt, my ears were ringing from all the fireworks and gunfire that I could barely hear. We almost had to sleep in the park by the Rhein Main because there were no taxis to be found and of course the public transport had stopped. Fortunately, I was in comfortable boots and jeans so we walked slowly home instead. It took about 45 minutes to walk home but armed with bottles of wine, the walk was bearable.
Not so last night. I'd finished my performance and had gone to a friend's, Cal's, house party after that. It was a nice gathering of arty types. I had fantastic conversations with a lady who was casting for a new show about lawyers (original concept - sic), a bloke who had just been diving for buried treasure in the Philippines, an aspiring gothic punk who is actually a banker, and of course a wonderfully eclectic and enjoyably long and involved conversation with Cal's boyfriend who is one of the most interesting and genuinely nice journalist around.
Surrounded by fabulous art works all chosen from the heart instead of the ego, interesting people and a totally chilled out environment, I was certainly not expecting the surprise in store for me.
I'd met an Israeli designer through my host almost a month ago and had a great conversation about her award-winning design for these amazing boots designed for long periods of kneeling for industrial workers. We spoke about design, art, life in Israel and then we did not see each other again and to my knowledge, she had returned to Israel. So imagine my delight when I found out that she had left me a belated Christmas gift. A box of persimmons from Israel!
I was so touched and curious. I've never had Israeli persimmons before and I love persimmons. I resolved to send something back to her for her incredible thoughtfulness and kindness.
Anyway, everyone decides at 2.30am that they wanted to go out dancing. To my great dismay and protests, they dragged me with them. With my enormously heavy costume and makeup bag and the box of persimmons. To silence my protests, the boys commandeered my baggage and left them with a very nice bag check guy, bought me a large drink and dragged me willy nilly onto the dance floor where one of my friends D proceeded to flip his kilt up at every drum beat. After he told me he was not wearing underwear. Thank God it was dark in there.
After barely an hour, I just wanted to go home. Luckily, Cal was as tired as I was and we left for home together. We really should have just stayed in the club. Because the taxi queue outside was a mile long and there was no empty taxi in sight. We stood for about 15 minutes when it started to rain.
Taking shelter in a nearby bus stop, Cal and I called frantically for a taxi but to no avail. Yes, it is all coming back to me. Why I hate going out on New Year's. Our vain attempts at trying to get a taxi home lasted for another 45 minutes. By this time the rain started to lighten up a little but it was still drizzling.
Desperate, Cal suggested that we walked to his house as it was fairly nearby. The problem was my hefty bag and my heels. Cal, being the consummate gentleman, carried my bag while I trotted gingerly next to him in my stilettos. In the rain. Carrying a box of persimmons from Israel. In a diaphanous black, one-shouldered top and short mini skirt.
We must have been a funny sight. My hair was starting to plaster to my head in the rain and Cal kept turning back to make sure I had not slipped and fallen to my death from my lethal heels on the slippery pavement.
It was only when we were almost on the street to his house that we sported an empty taxi. Cal was determined to get it and dashed forth with great authority. Opening the door for me, he told the driver my address and told him to get me home pronto before I fell ill. Awww ...
I also remember why I dislike Singaporean taxi drivers. They never want to drive you anywhere. The taxi driver insisted he was only going to the east and did not want to drive me home. Cal refused to accept this excuse and threatened to call the police. Disgruntled, the taxi driver had no choice but to send me home after complaining bitterly that "my boyfriend" is very unreasonable.
I did not want to disillusion the man that Cal is gay and if I were his "girlfriend" that would mean that I was a tranny or in very convincing drag. I also did not want to peeve him off further. My ride home was on the line. By the time I got home, I managed to charm the taxi driver enough that he stopped grumbling about my "mean boyfriend" and was turning down the air-conditioning and asking if I was warm enough and offering me tissues to dry myself.
I knew going to bed that there was a strong chance that I may not be feeling 100% the next day. I was pretty drenched by the time I got home. Despite a hot shower and snuggling under the duvet, I woke up feeling a little stuffed up and groggy.
I spent the rest of the day in bed and only ventured out of my room to get some hot honey and lemon tea. I barely had an appetite but knew I needed some kind of sustenance. But all I wanted was something refreshing and sweet. Suddenly, I knew what I craved. Persimmons.
I opened up the box of persimmons from Israel. They looked like normal persimmons except smaller. I read the box that proclaimed that these were seedless persimmons from Israel. Seedless! Cool!
I dug into them with relish. I did not have dinner but I did consume three persimmons. They were beautifully sweet without being cloying. Incredibly juicy, they still had enough crunch to be refreshing. I've only ever had persimmons with seeds. I loved the fact that these Israeli persimmons did not have seeds.
I am so grateful to Sigalit for remembering me despite out brief meeting. It restores a little of my faith in people. I will enjoy these sweet offerings and remember her fondly.
All in all, despite staying in bed, I had a pleasant New Year's Day. I declined all invitations to go out. Stayed in and ate yummy persimmons and watched loads of movies. To my joy, they were showing The Rising on telly. I'd read about it and Aamir Khan is one of my favourite actors after I'd watched Lagaan. I enjoyed the movie but felt it was trying a little too hard. Compared to the feel-good and innocent charm of Lagaan, The Rising came across as a little too pretentious and ponderous.
I was ready to retire early when I realised The Shawshank Redemption was on. How cool is my day? First I get to enjoy my delightful Christmas gift all the way from Israel, then I watch a movie I've been dying to see and then one of my all time favourite movies is on telly! Yes, I am actually a very simple person. It does not take a lot to make me happy. I would get up and dance a jig except I am too comfortable here under the duvet.
Happy New Year all and I hope you have a little sweet memory to carry forth to the new year too.
Photo of heels from http://www.digicrazy.de/assets/images/High_Heels_web.jpg
Categories - Rambling Prose