Saturday March 10 2007
The Raven got to come along to the Closing Ceremonies and experience Royalty! We all sweltered once again in the afternoon heat. Well, maybe Steph did not suffer - on the ride to the venue, she said, "I wonder if the hotel has a hot tub or Jacuzzi?" AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I about incinerated in my car seat. And me, I was all dressed up in black, head to toe!
The whole shindig started a half hour later than scheduled, then finally the first of the dignitaries arrived: Prince Rashid of Qatar. Rumored to be the handsomest man on the planet, and I'm not sure I'd disagree. The Raven got a little peek of him as he walked by, but I was afraid to stick him right in front of the Prince - didn't want to offend and did not want the Prince to covet my Raven!
Time ticked away in the heat - seems things were delayed even more, (I saw Prince Rashid check his watch once), which wasn't that bad, even though I was cooking, because there were plenty of nice Malaysian people to visit with (have I mentioned how nice and pleasant everybody is?). I used one of the programs (with Steph on the cover) from one of the bags (with Steph on the cover) in every chair for every visitor to fan myself with hot air. It was very hot, even for the Raven.
Finally the others began arriving: the Saudi Prince, the Sultan's brother, the Sultan and the King. When I saw many of the people greeting the King with folded hands and a little bow, like a Namaste greeting, I wasn't sure that sticking the Raven in the King's face would be interpreted as a respectful greeting, so the Raven waited till the King was past to pop up and send a greeting. After the National and State anthems, I had to excuse myself to a back row, because the sun was just beginning to grace our row. Really, I don't see how those horses and riders did it! After speeches, the presentation of awards to the top 5 placings in each ride were ceremoniously given. People cheered and clapped when the names were called; the winners walked up to the stage (respectfully walking on the side of the yellow carpet), and received a prize from either Prince Abdullah, Prince Rashid, the Sultan, or the King.
After more speeches, the Royalty walked back out past us on the yellow carpet, stopping to greet people along the way. The Raven watched from the safety of his bag, and then took a last look at the stage before we left.
And so concluded the Raven's first mingling with Royalty!