Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year Celebration

An opinion poll asked what people were expecting to do for the New Year celebration, although I am not fully sure what it meant. However, I think it showed:
  • 65% staying at home or going to parties at other people's homes.
  • 17% entertaining themselves (outside the home and including going to open air festivals)
  • 7.5% Going to dinner/dances, balls, organised restaurant celebrations and similar events.

We went to a dinner/dance at Wilanów Banqueting Hall (literally Wedding House), to the south of Warsaw - click on 'Sala Wilanów and then 'galeria' for their photo gallery, which has a virtual tour (wirtualna wizyta).

The hall was extremely well decorated and the presentation of the tables was good. The food was as good as I could have hoped for on a Polish occasion such as this - no pierogi or cooked cabbage dishes in sight - perhaps not yummy, but nice enough to eat. (The small pictures are from

The music was fun, dance music, which got everyone (almost) moving. The DJ got the right balance of fast and slow, modernish and older style to make everyone happy, whilst the volume suited both dance and conversation with just slightly raised voices - well suited to the 30 to 60 age range that made up most of the guests. I had rather dreaded the possibility that it would be a live discopolo-style dance band - which on other New Year's celebrations have ranged from awful to bad, so I was incredibly pleased and unhesitatingly joined in the dancing this time.

The tables were only set for vodka drinkers - a small vodka glass with a soft drink tumbler. A long evening drinking straight vodka was not something I wanted to face. There wasn't any beer, and I had just poured my vodka into my sparkling orange, when a friend brought us a couple of bottles of wine from the (free) bar. Then transiting from wine to a wine/water mixture I was able to keep up: keeping going longer than a number of men around me. The continuous availability of coffee was marvellous. (In the afternoon, the alcohol breath tester registered zero: it was just lack of sleep that gave me my headache, of course.)

We went with Ilona and Chris, my sister and brother-in-law as part of an interlocking network of groups of friends - about 80 in all. (The hall held about 200 people.)

I knew several people around me, but most were strangers. I even got to speak to a number of people from different groups, standing outside the door where people were getting air or smoking - it was quite warm, around freezing, outside. I managed to attract a "my friend" - as a man repeatedly called me (in English) although I don't think I'd met him before. I found a good chat-up line as well. For some reason, the outside door's one-way glass coating allowed us to watch the people dancing, whilst they couldn't see out. My "It's better than television", got us talking. Black hair, dressed in black - a wonderful example of the Polish dark haired ethnic line. Her husband seemed very nice, but not right for her, of course.

Despite being amongst such a large group of people, the focus still remained on family and friends, both through table positions and choice of talking and dancing partners.

I felt slightly sad at midnight because others of the family were not there. Babcia and Misia remained at home, Klaudia and Mariusz were somewhere else and family in England are far away. The feeling quickly faded as the music and dancing returned to full swing - there weren't any fireworks, though.

A did break with one tradition, however: I forgot about putting money into my new(ish) underwear. No surprise fortune will be wending its way towards me in 2011, I guess. Luck had not completely failed us, though. The taxi back to Ilona's didn't arrive, but we were able to arrange another one with just a twenty minute wait, getting back maybe about 4:30 in the morning.

1 comment:

Klaudia said...

it's a pity we didn't come. my party wasn't so good and funny.
no dancing, borring company. maybe next time:)