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It’s a brand new year! And our adopted city welcome it with a whole of night of fireworks and celebrating.

We started with toasting bubbly by candlelight, then moved outside to join the other revelers. The entire city was a fireworks zone, anyone shooting them off anywhere, the loud pops erupting from all corners. Some areas were mutually declared “blast zones,” where no one walked. Empty champagne bottles were used to prop up bottle rockets as they waited to explode. Bars and clubs were bursting, people streaming into the night and filling up every square inch of the city. Amsterdam is quite the tourist destination for a new year’s celebration!

We ended up near Dam Square at midnight. I’m not quite sure when midnight happened (no countdown! That doesn’t seem right) but the fireworks got a bit more intense, and people started kissing, so we went along with it. New Year’s will never be my favorite holiday, but on the stroke of midnight I can’t help feel overwhelmed by it all!

Today is quiet, with the detritus of fireworks littering every street corner. Everyone takes this day to rest, prepare, and wonder what will come of this bright and shiny new year.

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