I’m sitting on a mat beside the man who’s about to dance Rama. He’s lying down, head propped up on a couple bags of costumes. He lights a cigarette, his second. He’s still wearing street clothes and hasn’t started his makeup. Instead, he and I are sitting in a companionable silence after having discussed how to say sprinkling and deer in Indonesian.

It’s around then that I realize (once again) how lucky I am. I’ve just exchanged phone numbers with one of the men who dances Rama in the Ramayana Ballet. I have no idea how this happened except that, about a year ago, I was lucky enough to be given a Shansi fellowship. I was even luckier because they ignored my request to go to rural China and instead sent me here. And I’m also lucky because Shansi has a reputation that preceeded me, a reputation that meant I could go to Javanese dance classes even though I hadn’t learned how to count, a reputation that means I can wind up backstage at the Ramayana Ballet even though I don’t know how to help the girls with their costumes.

And I’m lucky that there are people like this guy, who will talk to me even though I’m quiet, even though I have a tiny vocabulary, and even though they have to ask most of the questions to keep the conversation going.


3 thoughts on “Luck

    • Hi Zoe,
      Sounds like you have an “in” – but are you going to dance, do costumes, make-up or who knows what? Did you take any pictures?
      On a very different note, I will need your Christmas list long before Thanksgiving because I think your parents will be here then and I would want to send it along with them. So….be thinking soon! love, a. carol

      • At the moment, who knows what. Right now I’m learning how to be useful with costumes as well as learning some of the group dances, though I’m far from performing any of them. I took photos but they are on my (probably) dead computer, so they will (probably) never be seen.

        I’ll get to thinking about that Christmas list…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s