While we were walking in town we saw a sign (in Lao) that showed a picture of a circus and today’s date was written on it. We decided to see if the circus was in town and checked in the local paper and found out it was.
We walked out of our road and caught a tuk tuk to the circus. It cost us 50,000 Kip and it took us 10-15 minutes to get there. We saw a big dome, with lights shining on it.
Using some hand gestures, we managed to get our tickets and we asked what time it opened. They said 7:00 p.m.
We decided we needed to get something to eat before the show. We went to find a restaurant. We found a small place but they only served drinks. We decided to walk a different direction. I was worried that we would be late for the start so we decided to head back on a different path. We found a lady at the side of the street with lots of fruits. We bought some oranges and headed back to the circus.
When we arrived back in the parking lot we noticed that there was a restaurant that they had set up beside the circus, and we had not seen it before! We were worried we didn’t have time now to eat there so we thought we should just sit and eat our oranges. Daddy walked around to see some of the other vendors who had set up in the parking lot and we some delicious looking “Pao” (steamed buns with meat) but we weren’t sure whether they would be safe to eat.
7 o’clock came and went and the doors never opened. 7:30 came and went and still the doors did not open. Finally at 8:00 p.m. the doors opened and everyone pushed and shoved their way through the small opening. We knew we had assigned seats so we decided not to get in the large crowd but waited until near the end.
The seats were benches, which no one found very comfortable! They had painted lines on to mark each person’s section and your seat number. Daddy was excited because there was a live band in a booth above the circus ring! We were sitting four rows back and it was easy to see. I had a sausage roll under my chair, which I was not too excited about.
The band started to warm up, so we thought the show was going to start but it wasn’t. We had to wait another 30 minutes. Finally, at 8:30 the lights went out. Then they went back on again!!! There appeared to be technical difficulties. They went out again and this time the show started.
The music was so loud that my mom put in ear plugs! One of my favourite acts was the dogs. They wore suits and had to jump through flaming hoops. Another favourite was a man who had giant clay bowls and he would balance them on his head.
I didn’t care for the animal acts, which seemed cruel to the animals. They had a monkey riding bikes, snakes that wrapped around their trainers, and the dogs. (The dog act was good but I still didn’t think they were very kind to the dogs.)
At about 9:00 people started leaving the circus act. By 9:30, the place was practically empty. We thought people either didn’t like the circus or their kids were getting too tired. When the show finally ended at 10:00 p.m., however, and we left we figured out another reason why people had left early. There were no tuk tuks to be found anywhere and we were a long way from our guest house.
We first decided to risk the “pao” because we were starving, and then we started walking “home”. Finally we saw a tuk tuk and started waving but it was full. Another one passed that was full as well. After about 20 minutes of walking, I spotted a tuk tuk turning the corner, going the opposite direction, but it was empty. I waved at him and………….he turned around!!! We were all so thankful and I felt great that I had seen him.
Then Mommy reminded us that the gate of our guest house closed at 10:00 and we started to worry that we might not get in. We pulled into our bumpy laneway and walked toward our guest house and the gate was………….OPEN!!! Thankfully!
It was a rather frightening and stressful experience but the circus was great!