Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Right or Left?

Buddhist monks often bless taxis by drawing Khmer script and symbols inside the car. But, usually the writing is on the ceiling. The cabbie told me that the monk was concerned about the driver's path in life and that the writing on the steering wheel is intended to help the driver find his way. It reminds me of my horoscope in the paper yesterday which told me I'll soon encounter a "fork in the road". Maybe I need a monk to tell me whether to go right or left.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One Night in Bangkok

Every city has it's own song, and of course, Bangkok has the catchy, rap-like dance hit, "One Night in Bangkok" from the 80's. Written for the musical, Chess, Murray Head sings about coming to Bangkok with one thing on his mind: playing chess in a tournament. In the song he sarcastically shuns the seedier side of Bangkok and claims that his moves are purist. I'll have to admit that he got a few things right in the song, including the line that claims "the world's your oyster" in Bangkok. But, unlike Murray Head, as I walk around the city, I can't always "feel the devil walking next to me".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taxi Doggies

It's common to see family photographs hanging in Bangkok taxis. Usually, there's pictures of the driver's kids or wife, and sometimes there's even a snapshot of mom and dad. But, it's not so typical to see pictures of the driver's pets. I wonder if there are any Bangkok cabs with photos of pet goldfish?    

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Birds of Paradise

Thailand is home to hundreds of rare and colorful species of tropical birds. Even in Bangkok, you can hear different birds squawking and cooing throughout the day. In taxis, you can sometimes find birds, too. Wooden aviary sometimes sit in pairs on a branch on the cab's dashboard, and contain ancient Khmer writing and stylized patterns. I asked the driver about his carved birds, and he told me they're love birds and they bring good luck. I'm wondering if the birds weren't in love, would they bring bad luck?