Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coin Collection

Coin collecting is a popular hobby for many Bangkok taxi drivers. When the coins are glued to surfaces inside the cabs, interesting shiny patterns are created. The coins also give customers something to look at, and I imagine they are an effective conversation starter between the driver and people riding in the taxi. For the cabby, the coins play another role. They are meant to attract more money.  It certainly worked on me. When I saw the different coins, I dug into my pockets looking for loose change that he could add to his collection. After all, there's  a little more space left on the steering wheel.    

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hot and Cold

Bangkok is one of the consistently hottest cities on earth.  You can practically fry pad thai noodles on the sidewalk. For a little relief from the heat, you can always hop into a cab.  Bangkok taxi drivers love to set the air conditioning at temperatures that only Siberians normally experience.  In fact, today I could have used a scarf and a knit hat in the taxi.  But at least you don't need skis to get around this city.             

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Most of the time I don't want to get out of Bangkok taxis because I haven't finished taking photos or I'm enjoying the conversation with the driver. However, the other day, a noxious odor was emanating from the front seat of the taxi and I couldn't wait to escape. I'm not sure if it was the driver himself or something in the car, but I had to hold my nose the entire time.  I felt a like a bird in a cage or a fish stuck in a Thai fish trap. When I finally got out of the cab there wasn't much relief either. As I stepped out of the taxi, a city bus drove by and belched out a big puff of black toxic fumes in my face.       

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bangkok Taxi Museum

Who needs to take a trip to a dusty, old museum housed in a crumbling neo-classical building when you can see artifacts encased in glass and storage boxes in Bangkok taxis?  Sure, there are some decent museums here, such as the Siam Museum and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and our city of fakes even has a Museum of Counterfeit Goods. But, the only people who seem to go to those places are foreigners, like myself.  For most Thais, real art is something that lives on the streets, in the temples, and even inside the taxis.