At the end of 2020, how I would love to be able to say: “The End”.
“The End” to a year unlike any other. “The End” to a global pandemic which is still impacting so many lives today. “The End” to all the lockdowns, border closures and other restrictions that take the fun out of our daily lives. “The End.” And…we all lived happily ever after.
While 2020 makes way for 2021, many of us will be reflecting on a turbulent year. And so are we. A year ago we were so full of plans, embarking on a journey full of adventures. The year ahead felt like a Netflix series, with many unexpected twists and turns to come.
Well, we certainly had enough of those! Little did we know that the whole world would become involved in what at times does indeed feel as a never-ending Netflix series.
We left Dubai early April in a somewhat unexpected rush. When I packed my suitcase with the most essential things I thought I needed, it never occurred to me that we would be depending on these till the end of 2020. Surely we would be in China before the end of the summer, and our shipment would be delivered before Changshu winter starts…?
Well, at least we made it to China. But our shipment is still due to arrive and with the temperatures in Changshu plummeting suddenly below zero, our summer clothes and coats are becoming quite, well, insufficient at least.
Luckily, within China we still have a lot of freedom to travel and move around. And so it happens that we decided last minute to celebrate a quiet New Years eve in Hainan, in the far south of China where the weather is now a comfortable 21-25 degrees. So here we are, surrounded by lush palmtrees, rainforest, sandy beaches and a blue yet cold ocean. A few days of holiday before we enter 2021.
We celebrated the last evening of 2020 with a lovely dinner at a very nice Chinese restaurant here in Sanya and decided to skip the adjacent party. Our hotel is slightly uphill and overlooking the bay and the many resorts dotted around the shoreline. We looked forward to be sitting front row and see some spectaculair firework shows from the countdown parties advertised by hotels such as the Sheraton, Marriott, Hilton, Ritz Carlton. After all, didn’t the Chinese invent fireworks?
We bought a little bottle of Champagne and a bottle of whiskey and sat on our balcony, talking and listening to our own alternative of the Top 2000 hitlist that is broadcasted in the Netherlands before New Years Eve. It was peaceful, intimate and well…just really right.
As always in China, things go different than expected. At Midnight the hotels stayed awfully quiet, except for one which had a tiny little fireworks show. The bottle of Champagne we bought was deflated. What was supposed to be a celebrating “plop” launching us into the new year, was instead a depressing “pffjss”. And the bubbly drink was as dead as a doornail and tasted the same. Was this a representative start of the new year?? That did not look very promising…..
Hendrik Willem, as always, had a rational solution right at hand. “It’s a 2020 bottle, so it represents 2020, a pffjss year.” I smiled relieved and looked at the bottle in my hand. It was from 2012.
We toasted with whiskey instead.
We wish you all a very happy, healthy and bubbly 2021!