Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inner Peace

Buddha said, "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."  But sometimes it's difficult to maintain a sense of well-being and tranquility when you're encountering difficulties or annoyances.  It's especially challenging when you're stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end.    

Friday, March 27, 2009

Modern Monk

The Buddhist monk who blessed this taxi with the drawings on the ceiling either studied modern art or got bored. Normally, the dots that monks add to the ceilings of Bangkok taxis are neatly applied, but in this case, the monk splattered the milky powder to achieve the look of an Abstract Expressionist painting.  The painter Jackson Pollock, AKA "Jack the Dripper", would be proud.     

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Golden Peanuts

Apparently my taxi driver has the Midas touch. His peanuts have turned to (fake) gold. When I asked him about them, he told me they're from Bangkok's Chinatown and that they're supposed to help him make lots of money. I think I'm going to keep a bowl of artificial golden peanuts at home just to see if they really work.  

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Light and Goldfish

I'm dying to know who sets the timing on the traffic lights in Bangkok. Sometimes a red light won't change for at least ten minutes. I've heard of people in this city who get out of their car at a red light to buy a snack from a street vendor and when they return the light still hasn't turned green. Fortunately, the last time I was stuck at a red light in a taxi there was a school of woven fish to entertain me.  It almost felt like I was watching goldfish in a bowl.      

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Slow, But Not So Sure

In Thailand and other parts of Asia, turtles are a symbol of longevity. It makes sense as turtles typically live a long time. But I'm not sure if the decorative turtles inside Bangkok taxis are appropriate mascots for the cabs. After all, turtles are some of the slowest creatures in the animal kingdom.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

Freaky Taxi

As I rode through the streets of Bangkok in a taxi with an alien ghost, a Japanese manga character with no legs, a couple of sun-tanned islanders with money bags, a bright yellow frog, and a photograph of the driver packing heat, I felt like I was on some kind of psychedelic trip.  If this were in a movie, a UFO would have touched down and Bigfoot would have jumped out from behind the trees.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Enlightenment in a Taxi

Light has always been associated with religion and the gods.  In ancient times, many cultures had their own sun gods, including Ra in Egypt, Shamash in the Near East, Apollo in Greece and Rome, Liza in West Africa, and Amaterasu in Japan.  In Christianity, Jesus is depicted with a halo of light around his head.  And images of Buddha often include a flame above him to represent his enlightenment.  The other day, when I stepped into this taxi with a green Buddha, I was struck by the beauty of the light coming through the translucent glass.  Staring at the enlightened Buddha, the ride turned out to be one of the most sublime experiences I've had in a long time.