Thursday, April 24, 2008

Takraw Talk

The other day, when I hopped in a cab, the first thing I noticed were miniature takraw balls dangling from the rear view mirror. If you're not familiar with takraw, it's a popular sport in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, the Phillipines, and Indonesia that involves players bumping a rattan ball with their feet, knees, chest, and head. Sometimes a net is used. Otherwise, the players stand in a circle volleying the ball among themselves, hacky sack style.

I assumed the driver was a fan of takraw, so I asked him if he plays. He answered, "No". So, then I asked if he ever played the sport in his life, and again he said, "No". Next, I asked him if he enjoys watching takraw, and he replied, "Not really". At that point, I was extremely curious and a little confused at why he had miniature takraw balls in his taxi. I considered the possibility that it wasn't his taxi, or that he shares the car with another driver. But, he told me it was indeed his own cab.

Finally, I directly asked him, "Why do you have these takraw balls in your car?". And, he responded by telling me they came attached to the basket hanging above, and that it was a set. At that point, I felt a little disappointed that they were simply a decoration with no meaning to the driver. But, then again, they make a nice conversation piece. After all, it gave the two of us something to talk about.