31 December 2006

Funny thing about Europe...

...they have a problem with guns but just love playing with small explosive devices.

Pallets of fireworks appear in every supermarket, tobacco shop, and convenience store in the days leading up to New Years. And I'm not talking sparklers here. I'm talking 2-ft rockets in cannisters that shoot 75 feet up into the air.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry goes for it... you start hearing them the day before but in the hours leading up to midnight on the 31st things really heat up.

Now, shortly after midnight, in my normally quiet suburban Munich neighborhood the air is thick with smoke and flashing colors, and the sound of explosions echoes for miles around.

The only people I've seen who are crazier than the Germans when it comes to fireworks are the Icelanders. The average Icelander spends something like $300 for New Years fireworks and I sh#t you not, I have seen rocket cannisters with a 2-inch diameter in Reykjavik.

It's insane.

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