New Year's Eve '04

December 31, 2004

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     Up on a hill, just outside of our village, sits the Oberwil Shützenhaus.  The Shützenhaus is the home of the rifle club. It has a 300 meter rifle range where everyone can fulfill their annual military qualification obligation. Almost two years ago, the rifle club had quite a bit of the building re-modeled and added a large, modern kitchen and now it can be rented for functions and parties.

     Since New Year's Eve 2000, Herbert and I have joined some of our friends there to celebrate the New Year. The first two years that we went, we all had Chinese fondue. (Thinly sliced meat dipped in a hot broth.) Last year, Herbert and our friends Bumsi and René decided to cook for all of us. They made a gourmet style dinner that was unbelievably good. This year, someone requested that they make a Thai or Indian dinner. They chose Indian and it was delicious. But, it was also a lot of work for them. Herbert did some prep work the evening before and the three guys started cooking early in the afternoon of the 31st. In the end, Natacha, her friend Irene, Fredu and I all ended up helping out. We decided that next years menu would be simpler.


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1 - The table - all set for dinner.   2 - The snack table with all the New Year's eve supplies.   3 - Herbert and Bumsi dishing up the peanut sauce for the satay.
4 - Natacha and Irene helping in the kitchen.   5 - René, Patrick and Bumsi at the beginning of the evening.   6 - Irene and Natacha.
7- Herbert had marinated three types of satay - chicken, beef and pork.   8 - Herbert, René and Fredu grilling the satay outside.   9 - Herbert serving the first course (the satay.)
10- The buffet line.   11 - We had shrimp curry, tandori chicken, beef vindaloo, chicken in almond sauce and naan.   12 -  There were two types of rice - vegetable and saffron.
13- Every year after we eat, we all play the game Mayer, which is a dice game where you have to be good at lying.   14 - Ursula hadn't lied well enough and her husband caught her. In this photo, he's reminding her that she has to pay.   15 - Natacha and Patrick had brought a game with them and played it with Fredu and Irene.
16- René, relatively early in the evening, pretending that he's drunk.   17 - The table ready for the stroke of midnight. In Switzerland, you can buy tischbombs - table bombs - for New Years. They're cardboard cylinders filled with party favors. When you light the fuse at the bottom of the cylinder, the lid pops off and all the 'toys' go flying in the air.   18 - A minute or so before midnight, we got the champagne ready for a toast. One of the nice social customs in Switzerland is that after kissing your partner, you go around the room and toast each person individually and wish them a good new year..
19- This photo was taken after all the toasts. At this point, we had all become like kids and were blowing noise makers and playing with the toys that had popped out of the tischbomb.   20 - In this photo, you can see the backs of Fredu and Susie standing at the open window. They are listening to the church bells of Oberwil that play at midnight.   21 - This is what the table looked like not long after midnight.
22- Natacha took this picture of me taking a picture of her.   23 - We also had streamers that come packaged in small rings. When you blow on them, as Patrick is doing in this photo, they shoot across the room.   24 - Patrick, covered in streamers.
    25 - And finally, after everyone was done playing, we had dessert... fried  bananas with ice cream and honey.    


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