I guess it seemed like any other night. It had been a tough week and the traffic that night had been particularly difficult. When the pouring rains
came it was like nothing I'd ever seen and traffic on the North-South highway just came to a grinding halt. It took hours to get through. It was
just another night.
Sometimes it was easy to lose track of how far from home I was, but this night stood out in my mind. I'm not sure why, but it just did. One of the
things which always struck me was how structured every day was, that close to the Equator. The Sun rose at 7am and set at exactly 7pm, it was like a
clock...never changing. Sometimes when the heavy rains came the skies darkened and it seemed like night, but the sun still rose and set at the same
time, without fail.
This night was special though, or so they said; I'd never experienced it. They said it was "holiday". Seemed like any other day to me. Just another
day, more traffic, more stress; just another day.
I remember there was no one waiting for me at "home" (my apartment). It would just be another night. I'd have to figure out what to eat, hopefully
find something to do for a while and go to bed. TV wasn't an option, unless you spoke any of 15 different Asian tounges, all subtitled in another
Asian language. It was Friday night, and there was a night market on Fridays; maybe that might be fun. But the rains were intense, it was probably
Strange thing being alone like that. No particular place to go. Every day was what you made it, good or bad. We had the knowledge our paychecks
were going somewhere and doing something good for some people in a far away place, but that didn't change the moment. It was just dark, pouring rain
on some non-descript Friday night in a far away land. There was almost no emotion anymore. The missing people, the homesick, friends and family; all
those things had long since passed. But it was "holiday".
I remember leaving the site 90km south that night, it was still just jungle then. It was the daily drive. So far away. Everyone was so happy, it
was "holiday". I just didn't understand. It was hard though, hard to not be happy for them, despite my lack of understanding. This was a completely
different culture, and we weren't part of it. This was their time.
I don't remember the exact time, but I think I looked at my watch sitting in my Rover, in traffic, that night; I think it was about 8:30pm when the
traffic finally broke up and we finally started moving. It was only a few miles, maybe 10 or so, to the house. Not far now. Just a couple more
miles on the highway and an exit, then some back roads to the house.
No sooner did the traffic start rolling then all of a sudden there was a sea of red tail lights. (sigh), Not again! So close, but yet so far. Up
ahead I could see my exit, maybe a mile or so. My eyes were fixated on it. Only, I missed something. I missed what the brake lights were all
Just before my exit was a big bridge. Across the bridge were these massive palm trees, all along the bridge. They'd always been there, I'd seen them
a million times, but tonight they were different. Every single one of those palm trees had been adorned with red, green, blue and white lights...from
trunk to tip of the palm frawns. It was spectacular!! Absolutely magnificent.
I suddenly realized this latest traffic backup was thousands of people just slowing down in absolute amazement at the majesty of all these trees, lit
up just like the brightest Christmas trees you've ever seen, just blindingly bright, for all to see.
No matter how far away, even on the other side of the planet we call Earth, sometimes we don't always notice the little things.
You see, it was "holiday".
edit on 2/13/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)