laugardagur, janúar 01, 2005

new year's day

I took a walk today to get my car at my friends' house. It was cold and the sky was clear and the roads quiet. The snow crunched under my sneakers and Mt Esja was lit up pinkish with the sideways-streaming sun. The air still smelled pungently of gunpowder in places and on every street corner there were the discarded husks of firecrackers and burned-out "cakes" - huge boxes of fireworks, like my buddy Njáll from yesterday's post.

Turns out that fireworks are pretty fun. It was cold last night and very windy. But the stars were clearly visible in the sky. We set up base camp on the windward side of the road outside my friends' house (that's one street up from Björk's house, Kev), at about 1145 pm. All the neighbors were out in the street, too, at their own flammable outposts. In every direction I looked there were explosions overhead and the rumble of the explosions reverberated through the neighborhood. We set up a steel tube as a mortar and propped the fireworks in there. It's amazing to me that these rockets, things that weigh a few pounds sometimes, can lift themselves and a sizable piece of wood into the air with such speed. I keep wondering what happens to the wood.

We lit off a bunch of these, and then it was time for dessert - the cakes. We had three of these, and they are really a feat of fireworks engineering... with the lighting of one fuse, you get a sequenced show that lasts more than a minute, sputtering and crackling and throwing explosions high in the air.

The show went on and on around us, and it continues even today, to pop and boom in the air outside as people light off their leftover cakes.

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