Well, this is weird. It's coming up to 11pm as I write this, and we've just come back from a wander around town that we started at about 8pm. The City Centre, around Puerta Del Sol is pretty busy. We even saw Police doing work: some were chasing illegal street vendors ('have you got a licence to sell this street?'), others were carrying steel barriers and putting them into place around the square.
But as we got further away from Sol, bars and shops were closing. We found one street in Barrio De Los Letras where some bars were open, and had a glass in three of them. And then we walked up Paseo del Prado and Paseo de Recoletas: these are broad streets with an equally broad walkway on one side, and they are normally full of people. This evening, they were deserted. Likewise, Plaza de Chueca. Every single bar was closed.
Here's the deal. In Spain, New Year's Eve is a serious family occasion. They'll be feasting until midnight, after which, bars and clubs will open up, and those who feel so inclined will party till dawn.
Meanwhile, in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed (de facto Ruler) cancelled all New Year's celebrations yesterday, as a gesture of solidarity with the Gaza Strippers. I'm surprised at how little outcry there has been about this from my UAE blogging buddies. All it means is that every single hotel in Dubai will lose a shitload of money, and people who had tickets for these events will miss out on a great night, and probably not get their money back. And the good people of Gaza will be thinking 'well, I'm really glad they did that, it'll definitely stop those Israeli bastards from killing us, thank you Shiekh Mo.'
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