I’m leaning against the back wall observing everything. It makes me giggle. I turn to my right. He says, “Hi, I’m an actor.” I smile, thinking to myself what I did to prompt that introduction. I say, “Hello, I am not an actor.” He laughs. I feel success. He continues, “Well I am not the kind of actor that acts on a stage.” As that sinks into my brain I smile and before I can respond to this Norwegian actor who does not act on a stage, his friend has already pulled him from the observing area back into the chaos as he waves at me saying goodbye to the American who is not an actor. I turn to my left hoping there is someone else to talk to. Two petite Thai ladies look up at me and smile huge smiles. When I smile back their smiles turn into giggles. I go back to observing. This room is packed with people trying desperately to make the best of their holidays. I make eye contact with many of them, but they don’t really see me. Their world is a blur at the moment and I am just another young foreigner.
We leave the commotion inside and return to the mass of foreigners outside. I can feel the mixture of sweat and humidity wrap around me like a blanket. People come from all over the world to visit Thailand and they find the place that does not have an ounce of pure Thai left in its framework. We pass vendors who are selling palm readings and henna tattoos and fried scorpions and kebabs and mangos and ping pong shows and Thai messages and Pad Thai and clothes and jewelry. The street never sleeps.
We pass those who have nothing to offer but are in need of money, sitting on the pavement with missing limbs and young children sleeping near them. My heart hurts. I pray for them. They ground me for an instant. It troubles me how quickly I forget.
The crowd is a blur of the world. So many different languages and accents and cultures and people gathered in the same place, looking for something different. You cannot move without brushing against a person with a unique story and origin. A man stands in front of me. I recognize him. “I know you!” I say excitedly. “I know you lovely girl!” He says in his British accent. He is dancing without a care in the world and I join. Nobody is really watching even if everybody is looking. I am jumping and laughing and moving my hips and only hear the music and only feel the bass in my heart and the melody in my body and I am content for that moment.