Ooh boy, they’re everywhere.
On TV, we see year-end editions of all our favorite quiz shows that we didn’t even know existed. There’s also entertainment, news, there’s glitz and glamour primetime extravaganzas. There’s radio parades of 2006’s mostest bestest hit songs.
And there’s predictions for the future that will soon be present, and never be anything at all like the predictions.
In short, it’s the end of the year.
Here in Germany, the period of time between Christmas and the first of January is referred to as “zwischen den Jahren” – “between the years.” It’s an apt description for the time of year when there seems to exist a strange hole in the fabric of society. Sort of a temporal equivalent of “What happens in Vegas…”
Hardly anyone is hard at work now – except for the people putting together all those year-end review shows, of course – and there’s hardly anything to be done in most businesses.
After a year’s worth of things happening, we lean back now and face the coming 365 days like the weather, or an atomic blast: Nothing you can do about it now.
There will be, as always, new rules and regulations. Sales tax will go up a memorable 3 percent, to quasi-Scandinavian 19%. If you smoke, you’ll need to steal a grown-up’s credit card now if you’re under 16, as cigarette dispensers won’t take small change anymore.
None of this is particularly exciting. A couple years back, we got a whole new currency in the Euro. All new shiny metal pieces of value. I hear this is true of Slovenia this year. So go have fun with that if you’re in Slovenia and find new paper and coins exciting. If not, you’re with the rest of us, making up resolutions that will, as usual, go nowhere.
This is not to say that things are boring and gloomy, or that 2007 does not hold great promise. It does, trust me. It’s just this time of year that belongs neither to the past nor present nor future that brings out the melancholic in me.
So see you in 2007. I liked 1997. I can hardly remember 1987. But 2007 will be great. Why? Because we can still make that happen now.