There were two light bulbs hanging from an exposed wire. The origin was not obvious. Only one of these light bulbs had not lost its electricity and so the lonely floating light did its job and revealed the severe faces of the two men taking tickets. As we approached the severity in their faces turned to soft smiles but their appearance did not lose its intimidation. Their camouflage uniforms and tightly laced black boots and their slightly cocked berets maintained the threat they needed.
We heard incredibly loud noises as we scurried through the other late comers to our seats. We saw the actors who were about to perform in their traditional, brightly colored garb and fully painted faces, contrasted with their relaxed poses and lit cigarettes. It seemed odd to see them as people and not actors, but I found myself spectating all the same. Again, we found ourselves in the path of two men in uniform. Our kind guide went up to the men asking in Thai for some guidance, as Ben and I tried desperately to see past the men to the show we were missing. Elephants and many lights. My interest was sparked. I heard the word falang thrown around and VIP and they eventually opened the gate for us to pass. I found myself thrilled. Ben and Liz and I all sat in a row surrounded by Thais. The entire show was in Thai, but was entertaining all the same with horses and elephants and sword fights.
The emotion that is stirred when I feel a rain drop on the top part of my head, and I know it is not the end but only the beginning, awakens my senses immediately, as I desperately survey the extent of the situation. And then the feeling of resignation to the fact that I will be drenched is one that I love and welcome, forcing me to come to terms with my insignificant power with respect to Mother Nature. As the drops continued to 3 and 4, people started fleeing the stadium. As they passed Ben, Liz, and I many of them pointed to the sky not knowing any other way to communicate that it was raining. There was no need to communicate. We knew. We sat there stubbornly. Eventually there were three of us sitting in our section, the empty white cement steps drowning us. I kept looking at Ben and Liz. Their smiles were constant, as was mine. As the show came to its climax, more people braved the wet, many protecting their children with the strategies that were once keeping them cool. Their straw fans over their heads and umbrellas were no longer protecting them from sun but rain. I composed myself when somebody offered room under an umbrella and politely smiled and began to huddle, even though I wanted, with all my heart, to stay out in the rain and adore it to its glorious extent.
Only when I look towards the stadium lights do I see the full effect of the water flowing from the dark, enchanted sky. We all leave the stadium with smiles fixed to our faces.