I’m kind of at a loss for words. The scene here at midnight is incredible, and I have a very narrow view of the city from my apartment. Most cities in the U.S. have laws against setting off fireworks within the city limits, except for organized events. It’s far from organized here in Santo Domingo, and there are no restrictive laws. I don’t think there are any limits on the firepower of these things either, and a pall of smoke is drifting across my view. The place is like a war zone! These are world-class fireworks, and they’re in the hands of ordinary citizens. Because of the noise and concussion, many automobile alarms are going off. Also, meringue music is being played all around on huge loudspeakers, and to top it off, there are some large thunderheads over the Caribbean showing off their own firepower. Really, it’s one of those memorable lifetime events, something not to be missed or forgotten. Also of note is that most places are closed tonight, such as bars (!), pizza parlors and restaurants, whereas these same places were open on Christmas Eve. Seems to be just the reverse in the U.S.
It’s interesting, too, that the Muslim Hajj and Eid ul-Adha are also taking place at this time of year, and, of course, I send my best to all my Muslim friends, and may they have a blessed year, Inshallah.
On a more pessimistic note, several bombs exploded in Bangkok, Thailand today. My heart goes out to the beautiful people there. What a sad thing to happen to this wonderful part of the world. May Buddha heal the hearts of those affected by this crap.
Well, I’d better get to bed. I still have a bit of work to do tomorrow before leaving for Santiago on Tuesday for 3 or 4 days to conduct some workshops at the Instituto Superior de Agricultura. Happy New Year to all. More later.