Living in SE Asia, we get hit with New Year before most of the world. It's now 10 am on 1 January. People in NYC are just getting ready to go out for the festivities - it's 10 pm on 31 December there. It's taken a while for my friends here to get this concept - they couldn't believe that the US is in the past.
For the past few years, I've had a ritual with my friends in Xieng Khouang. I have a blow-up globe of the world with the time zones drawn on it. On 1 January, we would usually have a party at someone's house or go out to Ban Sang, Amphone's village in Kham District. I would bring the globe out with me and starting at 12 noon, we'd toast the new year in NY at 1 pm, we'd lift glasses to Chicago and Minnesota (we have friends there), and etc. This year, I stayed in Vientiane, but the world is still turning. My friends went out to Ban Sang without me. I'm just worried they'll forget to do the toasting every hour.
I just received an e-mail from a friend who had gone to Thailand for new year. I was worried that she had gone to the beach. She wrote that she doesn't like the beach in the high season (good thing) but she has been doing volunteer work in Bangkok, translating for stranded tourists who have just arrived from the areas destroyed by the tsunami in Phuket. She says their stories are pretty awful.
Last thing - on one of my e-mail lists, one of the participants noted that blogging is the literary equivilant of reality TV. I haven't decided what to think about that comment. More later!