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Need New Year's Eve ideas? Crash some plates!
I assure you that when the ball drops on the last day of 2008, I will not be in Times Square. I will be nowhere near Times Square. So, unless you like the thought of being shoulder-to-shoulder with people you've never met while freezing and lamenting the lack of public bathrooms in that part of town, take a look at some of the choices you have this year.
Chomp twelve grapes in Spain
Think of it as a drinking game without the fermentation. Every time the bells toll-12 times in total-eat a grape. This should ensure a sweet year. But, if you cram into Madrid's Puerta del Sol (see my thoughts on Times Square), listen carefully for your cue to chew.
Slam china in Denmark
Wait for the queen to finish her annual 6 PM New Year's Eve address to the Danes. Then, join the locals in a big meal. On a full stomach, throw plates at people's houses (typically, this is done to friends). The thrown plates are expressions of friendship. I have to assume that a direct hit on a window or expensive glass door is not. Again, just guessing.
Wait for Pinocchio in Ecuador
Ecuadorians burn effigies to prevent their real-life counterparts from stopping by, and people run around the block 12 times while wearing yellow, which they say is lucky. I do hope that they aren't wearing only yellow ... that would look funny.
Mexico: Another place to run around the block
Wear yellow if you choose (and only if you choose) while carrying your luggage around the block in Mexico. But, only do this if you want the year to bring you many travels. Investment bankers, management consultants and attorneys: don't bother trying to resist it. You'll be on the road anyway.