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Thailand, January 3, 2000

When is a New Day a New Year?

I don't really care if its December 31 or January 1.

Pooping wherever he wants to!
Is it the year of the Ox?
Why didn't they choose the Bahamas!
Yankee, Go Home!
Yes, we had to forge many difficult beach streams!
This way to the hotel?
New Year's celebrations have always escaped me. I cannot fathom why we put so much emphasis on a mechanical function of a man-made chronology, especially one that we can't agree on. Those of us following the Roman Catholic calendar were all excited last weekend, that roughly 2000 years ago, an unmarried mom gave birth.

Others, like the Buddhist, follow a calendar based on a man's date of 'enlightenment' that's 543 years ahead of us (so its year 2543 and we're a little late), or 622 years behind us (the date Mohammed and his followers of Islam were forced to flee Medina).

For me, I find my celebration the morning after New Years. That's when I awake to a chorus of birds singing, just like they did the day before, and will do the day after. Nature, as far as I can tell, doesn't care what significance man places on random revolutions of the Earth; she counts time in endless cycles of life.

This random revolution called New Year's 2000, was no different, though I did have to go a little farther than before to escape the hype. December 31 found me on the Thai island of Ko Samui, trying to live oblivious to the tick of the Countdown Clock. Unfortunately, I wasn't alone in my thoughts.

As I boarded the ferry to the island, I looked around and realized that it was chock full of fellow tourists and travelers, all headed to Koh Samui for a Millennium getaway. After I arrived on the island, my fears were realized when it took me five travel agents to locate a room, and that was an expensive hotel off the main beach. Not being picky at this stage, I took the room and was glad for it.

Away from the madness of the tourist beaches, I was able to revert to beach time. Getting up early for the sun, sleeping in the afternoon, and partying all night came back quickly from my days in Florida. Luckily, I didn't revert too quickly and I was asleep when it all happened, with only the sound of fireworks and reveler's cheers telling me it's a New Year.

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