Time to get together

Time to get together 

 Tirana Times - http://tiranatimes.com/

By Alba Çela 

The manager of one of the trendiest pubs in Tirana was complaining yesterday. 

-This is impossible! One cannot change a reservation from 16 to 28 people so easily. When did you get to be 28 anyways? 

We, a group of former and current students of a university abroad has first thought to gather our quiet little group for a proper celebration of New Years Eve. The quiet little group spread the news to our comrades in Kosovo, Macedonia, United States and Italy as well as in the other Albanian cities and soon enough the friends of friends, the sisters, brothers and the cousins added up to a good party figure of 28. The manager of the club we had booked must have raised the eyebrows many times that week when our cell phones drove him crazy with more and more requests for seats. 

“It’s a time for celebrating together,” - he finally said smiling and completing our requests. “I just don’t want any more!” he laughed at the end when we were once again recounting our list. The holiday season it’s about decorated Christmas trees, tables full of delicious dishes and gifts. Above all it’s about getting together with family, relatives, old and new friends, colleagues and partners. It is about the feeling of friendship and love. That is why our borders with Greece are clogged. That is why the Durres port is making the headlines with its thousands of ship passengers waiting in the customs line. That is why when I went to the airport to pick up my best friend arriving from the distant American Ohio, I thought there was a party mob ready to protest. That is why the euro is devaluated. Everyone is back. The cafes are filled with people who are hugging and telling each other the resumes of the past year, hoping for a better one to come. 

Indeed for many people abroad New Year’s is the holiday they expect most. It gives them the right excuse to see their much missed family and friends. It makes them re-switch to the café mode. If you happen to sit around the cafes near the park Rinia you will see people videotaping the fountain and the other new changes they see around. They are documenting a memory to take back in their new homes in foreign countries, where they will explain to those who could not come back these holidays. 

“You see, there is this new café. We met there with…” and those people will have one more incentive to come for another holiday. 

The phone ringed again. It is the manager of our club. – 

I don’t know where you all will seat! There are not quite enough chairs for your booked table,- he explained with a concerned voice provoking laugher for all of us. 

It is alright. We can stand. We can stand around each other, sip a drink, dance to a festive tune and be happy. Because the most important thing is to be together! 

Tips for a wonderful and non-conventional New Years celebration: 

Celebrate Twice! 

It is possible of course, if you can cross the International Date Line. Options include to party on Sydney, Australia and then catch a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) for just one MORE! And if the former places are just not enough exotic, we might suggest Auckland, New Zealand to Tahiti or Fiji to Samoa. 

Celebrate with both friends and family 

Do not sacrifice fun for food or vice versa. Experience has showed you can have both. Divide the time between a cozy warm dinner at home and a crazy party outside with friends. 

Celebrate despite distance 

The person you love is away on a business trip or studying abroad? They could not make it in time for the New Years Eve. The new technology of video communication and projection allows you to see and hear the person anyways. So on new Years Eve plan a dinner together, laugh and share special memories, while the last hours of the year slip away. Just allow some time for getting together with other people. After all there is something pathetic about celebrating with a machine! 

Celebrate in a different hemisphere 

If you are from the Northern one, and you have spent all your Christmas-es making the snow men, then its time for a change. Accessorize your latest bought red Santa hat with a posh looking cocktail glass and hit the sand beach. Southern habitants can warp up in a thousand layers and discover the magic of a white New Year when snowflakes melt into your champagne glass. 

Celebrate with different religions. 

The Middle East is the best place to be at this time of year, if it was only just a bit more peaceful. The Muslim’s most important celebration, Eid al-Adha, (Festival of Sacrifice) coincides this year with December 31. For multi-confessional countries like Albania it means more days off work, more food and more fun. So if the Middle East seems too dangerous to be fun, hit the Balkans!