WHY FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN AUSTRALIA
31.12.2007 - 01.01.2008 0 °C
My new years eve consisted of a pub crawl with music, lots of alcohol, shisha's and insane fireworks shared with 65 other party people and not only was it all free but I got paid for it!
Thats right, I was working as a guide on a NYE PubCrawl. It was......a borderline nightmare, actually. But saved from becoming so by the spectacle of the completely disorganized mayem that marked the birth of 2008.
After handing out a complimentary bottle of sekt (sparkling wine) to everyone we followed in the direction of the fireworks, that we could already hear, prematurely exploding. Out on Leipoldstraße in both directions as far as I could see were people waiting for the countdown to midnight.
Actually, alot of them were already setting off their bought fireworks, either from impatience, excitement or simply a fast watch.
I dont think anybody really knew when the year officially changed over. Without the aid of a large clock or official city fireworks everyone just set off their own when their timepiece said so. The result random countdowns heard up and down the street and the accompanying firework display was something that I can only assume and hope that is the closest to actually being a war zone that I will ever be!
These were not the precision timed pyrotechnicks that we see at a safe distance and set up and planned by experts as in Australia. Or the innocence and short lived, childlike fun of a sparkler. This was chaos and maddness!
Rockets were shooting up from the ground, mounted in bins, bottles and any device that could be found, stable or not. They shot in random directions and exploded at random times and though none came closer than 3 meters to me I still was compelled to duck. That alone made the air ablaze with sparks, as for the ground...
Chinese style crackers were going off at peoples feet and under cars and in bins. Every now and then a group of people would scatter leaving a large clearing around a small, colourfully painted, cardboard box with an assortment of holes in the top and a lit fuse. From this device a flurry of fireworks would shoot out for the next couple of minutes or so.
The street was not even blocked to traffic as cars slowly made their way through the smoke and sparks, windows wound up hiding the either excited or terrified occupants inside.
On and on and on, the fireworks went and just when I thought they were dying down, another volley would be set off. I was waiting to hear the scream of someone who copped a firework in the face or someone running down the street on fire to which I fleetingly wondered how to say "drop and roll!" in German. It never happened though, damb! I mean thankfully.