2014: Kissing Fireworks in Alor

I don’t normally spend New Year’s Eve traveling or partying with friends. Most of the times, I’ll be reading some good books in my bed until the clock strikes 12. This year, 10 days before New Year’s Eve, a friend of a friend invited me to come with her to Alor–a small island in Eastern Indonesia. She wanted to visit some schools in the villages and asked me to do some storytelling for the local kids. I was making an impulsive decision when I said yes.

To be honest, I was pretty reluctant to spend New Year’s Eve outside the comfort of my own bedroom–remembering how last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Penang had turned into such a disastrous experience. However, I was happy to say that this year I didn’t regret my decision at all! 2014 began ever-so-beautifully in Alor–and I genuinely hope that the rest of the year would be as (if not more) beautiful! *cheers*

December 31, 2013, around 9:30 pm, I found myself sitting in a shack near the port in Kalabahi (the small town in the island) with my friend, Monica, and four of our new friends from Alor. We had just ordered our humble New Year’s Eve dinner for the night: some plates of rice with chicken, beef, and goat satay; hot coffee and tea, as well as some bottles of Bintang beer for our Alorese friends. The air was filled with the salty smell of the ocean, the explosion of firecrackers, and a blast of dangdut music from the nearby shack–where Alorese men and women danced festively in every possible moves. Some were already drunk from the unlimited supply of sopi (local alcoholic beverage); poured directly into people’s mouths from time to time.

In Kalabahi’s street-side, every 5 meters or so, the youths had set up their own pop-up clubs: filling empty areas or house terraces with huge speakers (blaring the kind of music you’ll hear in clubs all over the world), disco lamps, and rows and rows of beer bottles.

Everyone was laughing and enjoying the night. Me included.

I wish you all a wonderful 2014–and may you have the courage to follow your heart’s desires.


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15 thoughts on “2014: Kissing Fireworks in Alor

  1. nacile says:

    Happy new year too Mbak Hanny
    Wishing you a better and happiest year and years ahead :* :* :*

  2. Sounds like an amazing new year celebration. Selamat Tahun Baru!

  3. Chic says:

    Happy new year, Kakak Hanny! Hope all the best things to come this year yah..
    *kiss kiss*

  4. Happy new year, Hanny! May your next year be as merry as the festive groove the Alorese danced to :D

  5. Youran Zhu says:

    have a blessed 2014 Mrs. Hanny :) may God gives you happiness and strength this year! cheers

  6. Waw you started a very great new year’s day! And storytelling for local kids sounds so fun. Happy New Year ya Kak Han! Belom telat banget lah yah hihi. Wish you have another great year, stay awesome stay fabulus! :D

  7. supernopha says:

    Perayaan tahun barunya keren sekali. Ah iya, selamat 2014 Mbak Han! :)

  8. ploxo303 says:

    Happy New Year, in my country we often celebrate Lunar New Year and I think if you try to come to any Lunar New Year celebrating countries you will have more special moments (than reading books in bed) =] just kidding, Happy new year

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