First of all: Happy New Year everyone!
Where ever you spent it, it was probably great and there were probably lots of fireworks (among other things).
From the moment I moved to Amsterdam I had thought that I was living in rather a nice neighbourhood. Busy area with lots to do and see, but my street was rather quiet and very nice looking.
Anything to do with nice or quiet (at the risk of sounding like a complete old lady) is forgotten here around New Year's. From a day or two before the 31st until two days after it's like living in a war zone where crossing your own is no longer safe. Upon opening the door all you see here is smoke, thus people are walking around my street with their hands stretched out in front of them, making them resemble a group of zombies. The days are filled with constant bangs that cause everything to rattle and every single time one of those bangs occurs all the car and scooter alarms in the street respond. Not to mention the accompanying laughter of annoying children, who are of course responsible...
The greatest part of these days of terror was an especially loud bang, which caused the window by our front door to shatter. It now not only sounded and looked like a war zone, but felt like one too. The use of many old blankets is now required when one wishes to sit 'comfortably' in the living room.
However, at the actual New Year's moment the fire works were great. Mostly because there was actually something to look at now and also because people who have been setting off fireworks for hours have seen enough and start handing them out to passers by! Which is why I always make sure to smile when passing these people. When passing young kids this smile can also be interpreted as 'Please don't throw anything at me'.
This fear of having fireworks thrown at me is quite old and comes from an incident of when I was about nine. Someone threw a 'rotje' (can't remember the right word) in my hair and the few seconds before I managed to untangle it (and it exploded-on the floor) were rather nerve wracking.
I also would like to say that I'm not a moaning old woman who hates loud noices etc. I would just like to have the option to go to the loud noices and bangs, instead of them coming to me.