Well, another Christmas has passed me by and I have come out the other side relatively unscathed, if you don’t count being insulted by a brother incessantly, and stuffing myself full of artificial colourings and preservatives constantly. I’ve made it to the light at the end of St Nicks Christmas tunnel and am now preparing to run the gauntlet of New Year’s Eve invitations, function offerings and the odd reveller who plants themselves on my front lawn because they can’t find their way home.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I live on an island, which is well placed just 800 metres off the mainland. Far enough away to deter a regular weekend invasion throughout the year, particularly in the winter months, but close enough to attract an assortment of holidaymakers during the end of year festivities, the highlight being the new years’ eve celebrations. For the most part, the locals can generally report low to moderate carnage that involves random beach bonfires and the usual unwanted debri that goes with it, but every now and again there are more marked displays of unpredictable behaviour that are brought about by the shared notion that being in a perceived place of constabulatory isolation has certain extra merit for misadventure.
In the last few days I have noticed a more pronounced police presence here and there. I am not too worried by this, as I have nothing to hide and I don’t drink. I just have to remember to keep my motorcycle helmet on for a quick spin around the island, and resist the temptation of wanting to feel the rush of the wind through my hair, no matter how liberating.
I’m sure the majority of our local species will do their own liberating thing on year’s eve and have enough sense not to drink and drive. Having said that, our island is a small community surrounded by beach, so there is not much trouble rustling up a lift home from a sympathetic neighbour, or using the elaborate and mass mobile communication service at hand to warn of impending visits from the law. Sadly for the local law enforcement, as fast as the police barge is, it can be heard a good 3 kms out from the barge ramp, therefore giving those in the know a chance to hide, stash, get to where they need to go in relative comfort, and stay put for the duration of the visitation. This is usually a bad thing for the troublemaking tourists, who are the only ones left outside of the ‘magic circle’ to apprehend, fine, or let off with a stern warning. This in turn can be a good thing for the local element, as it tends to cull the real troublemakers that are intent on misbehaving away from home as much as they can and hang the consequences to themselves or anybody else, including the aforementioned local element. It’s basically a win/win situation, where the locals get to have a relatively trouble-free and decadence packed function without to much interference, and the police get to do their thing with a reasonably good reward for effort.
I’m probably starting to sound like the ‘fun police’, but don’t get me wrong. I like to see people having a good time, but it’s like anything else in this world. Move into a new neighbourhood, country, community, group.. even for a short while, it pays to learn the code, play the game, keep a low profile, go with the flow and see what happens. If you aren’t generally a player then your inability to confirm, indifference, and ‘me’ mentality will serve as a neat beacon and draw the heat off the more interesting activities that are part of the circle.
I have observed many incidences and apprehensions this year, none of which were of a local undertaking. It’s working already.