Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lanterns Gone Awry

One of my favorite aspects of Thai culture are the paper lanterns that you can buy and send off into the sky, complete with a wish. I've only seen them every now and then, but they are just beautiful. I even wanted these for our wedding, but it's completely illegal in the U.S.

On our last night at the beach, I saw one of the lanterns floating in the sky from our hotel window. We all scrambled down to the beach to buy our own lantern to set off. One of the waiters helped us light the sterno-like firestarter in the middle (it's like a mini hot-air balloon). Only problem we had was the wind that night--too much of it and going in the wrong direction. Before we knew it, our lantern went sideways and headed straight for the dinner crowd and surrounding foliage. Panic! Dale took off like a rocket (he is such a 'save the day' kind of guy) and somehow managed to get a hold of it before starting a forest fire, but then it wound up getting stuck in a tree, still on fire. Not sure how, but we didn't set the island on fire, thankfully.

The comical part is that, as usual, this kind of stuff doesn't phase the Thais at all. The waiter felt horrible that he had to charge us the $3.00 for the lantern and it didn't work. As Dale and I were getting our heart rates back to normal on the beach, the waiter came back with a brand-new lantern to try again. We kindly said no thanks and called it a night.

Guess I get why they are not allowed in the U.S.


popo said...

Can you imagine me there ... the one who is terrified of unbridled fire? I would have been screaming and sure that the island or someone was going to be on fire. Yep, I'm glad they aren't allowed here. Yet...I am sure at a beach watching them gently glide their way into the sky above the sea would be an awesome and beautiful sight.

Love our Miss Sojo haunching down and looking to see just what is going on there.

Dyann said...

I love this story! It reminds me of the crazy fireworks at the British Embassy in Guayaquil. Gosh, I haven't thought about that in a dog's age....

Anonymous said...

What great experience and lots to remember. Love Nie Nie