Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eclectic Taxi

Eclectic doesn't begin to describe the unusual combination of things in the taxi that I rode in this evening. Maybe the driver is trying to start a new design trend. But for me, the sporty-granny-military-fireman look just doesn't work.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's Hanuman! The infamous monkey god is heroically riding across the sky on a Singha. Wait a minute. That's not the sky. That's the ceiling of a Bangkok taxi cab.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rethinking Over-thinking

Living in Thailand has helped me to realize that over-thinking everything is bad. Thais often use a phrase that basically means, "don't think about it so much". The idea is to stop dwelling on problems in order to clear the mind and to feel at peace. It's not always easy to practice this way of thinking (or not thinking), but when you do, you'll feel a greater sense of contentment and well-being.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Art of Writing

They say you can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting. If that's the case, then the monk who drew this fancy script on the taxi ceiling is a perfectionist and an appreciator of beauty. The lines are fluid and graceful and the letters and forms are precise and well-proportioned. I can't read Thai very well, but I'm assuming there aren't any misspellings either.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birdie Birdie

According to my taxi driver, pairs of birds like those represented on the two amulets bring good luck and fortune to Thai believers. In the West, however, a set of two birds are sometimes less fortunate. In my culture, we often try to kill both of them with one stone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yin Yang Taxi

I often have engaging conversations with Bangkok cabbies, and the drivers and myself generally agree on most issues relating to Thai culture and to life in this city of ours. The other day, however, the cabbie was rather surly and disagreed with everything I said. After I got out of the taxi, I realized that the driver and myself were like the ying yang symbol hanging in the cab: opposites in the universe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dairy King

In English, we have the idiom "two heads are better than one", but in India five heads are apparently even better. At least that's the case for the Hindu white elephant, Airavata, depicted in the picture on this taxi's dashboard. In Thailand, we have a similar deity named Erawan. But the Thai version usually only has three heads. With so many hungry mouths to feed, it's a good thing there are so many vanilla ice cream cones encircling him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes." - G.K. Chesterton