Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Were I a bit more disciplined, I'd tell you the name of this festival. But I think a more accurate portrayal of the event is to have no idea what the hell is going on, and just go with it. One night I'm walking around, minding my own business, only to find that thousands of people are arranged down by the river for some festival. A stage was set up and traditional dancers were presenting a rhythmic, hypnotic dance performance. Perhaps I'm just a late bloomer, but this is when I discovered that some Thai girls can be really hot.

Part of the festival involves everyone lighting candles on a wide slice of lotus root covered with flowers and incense, and then letting it float down the river. Countless vendors were vending beflowered lotusi as far as the eye could see (as well as many selling cheap styrofoam knockoffs, which I avoided to be more "real"). I picked mine, found someone with a lighter, and waded my way to the riverside. The park I was in was a bit high above the water, and thus the river's edge was lined with men bearing long poles with baskets at the end. People place their smouldering lotus onto a pole's wire basket, which the man lifts up over the wall, setting gently into the water. With a quick dip, the backet is pulled out, and the lotus is released into the water's current along with the thousands of others drifting lazily downstream.

Copyright 2018 - David Barrett -