Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I did go downtown two nights ago to see the New Year's Fireworks display. It was a foggy, misty night. I had originally planned to see them from Victoria Peak, which overlooks the harbor, but with the fog, I decided against that. Instead, I went down to the ferry docks, on the Hong Kong side. I got there early, at about 7, and the fireworks were to start at 8pm. So I found a comfortable little spot, opened my purple umbrella, and sat down. It felt like I was waiting for a rock concert! People began to gather around me, some standing, some sitting, many umbrellas of different colors. I made sure I had a way to exit without too much crowd jostling.
Fortunately, the fireworks started right at 8, so it wasn't a repeat of the previous night with the parade. The funny thing was, the fog seemed to hold all the smoke in place, so after the first 5 or 6 fireworks, all you could see was a glowing cloud of smoke. Some people left right away upon seeing that. I stayed for two reasons, one, the sound of the fireworks was echoing off the enormous buildings, so it was like listening to a thunderstorm in the mountains. The other reason was that I was standing next to two young Chinese women (they may have been in their 20s), and every time a firework went off, they would Oooo and Aaaahh, even though you couldn't really see anything. I turned to look at them, and they both started to laugh. Pretty soon, they had the whole crowd around us, laughing and joining in with their ooos and aahhs. It was hysterical. I was really having fun, feeling the energy of that happy crowd.
I did not stay for the whole display, since I knew the crowds on the subway would be unbearable. It is a computer controlled fireworks display, and I don't know that I have ever seen anything like it. It was like the grand finale of most fireworks I have seen, except that it lasted for over half an hour!!! Impressive. I wonder what it would have been like without all that smoke...