Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Another Night of Loi Krathong
It's the full moon; the streets around the river overflow. Giddy Thai teenagers scream into cell phones. Tourists push past, clutching cameras and wallets. And cars and motorbikes circle endlessly, looking for parking.
Vendors hawk Thai sausages, balloon animals, and Krathong, boats made from banana leaves and flowers.
They are intricately made and lovely, but they are meant to be lit and let float down the river.
Like the lanterns, they symbolize the release of the past year and the welcoming of the new one.
Or that's how my Western mind interprets it.
The magic is somewhat offset by the hundreds of fireworks going off directly above our heads. Explosions rock the ground. Sparks shower the crowd. We feel like we're in a war zone. Albeit a very beautiful one.
I will be gone soon. But tonight, there's time for drinks and pictures. Time to marvel at our luck in being here.
In this place, on this day.
Time even to feel cranky and tired, and to leave long before the candles on the river burn out.