New Year's Eve plans—and prayers

Originally appeared on

Last year, during the New Year’s holiday, I was visiting my aunt and uncle in a city that I’d never been to before. It was fun to go out and explore the restaurants, neighborhoods, and museums, and just get a feel for this new place. Yet, friends had warned me that this city was known for the extreme contrast of the posh downtown shopping area and the rough neighborhoods where homelessness and drug dealing were rampant.

In daylight, or if I was with my family, I felt comfortable traveling through the city. But I was reluctant to head out at night alone. That’s why I was anxious about my initial New Year’s Eve plans; a large group of friends had converged in the city, and we were looking forward to meeting up for dinner, dancing, and watching fireworks.

My uncle, a cab driver, said that it would be impossible to get a cab after midnight and I wasn’t looking forward to a long walk home through a city that I didn’t know.

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