Monday, March 29, 2010

Tropical Knits

Considering the tropical climate of Thailand, it's surprising that knitting has recently come into vogue in Bangkok. Lately, I've noticed more and more ladies knitting in buses and in public places. And several knitting shops have opened in upscale malls downtown. What are people going to do with all these big wooly sweaters and cable-knit scarves when the weather is flaming hot? I think that this taxi driver's wife from the Northeast of Thailand has the right idea when it comes to knitting. Rather than making her husband a fuzzy sweater that will make him sweat, she knit this quaint ruffled cozy to keep the vinyl-covered gear shift cool.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Appearing like the stone tablet with the Ten Commandments etched on it or like the Stele of Hammurabi from the Ancient Near East, one single amulet stands proud on the dashboard of this taxi. While some Bangkok cabbies love to dangle a dozen or so of these from their rear view mirror or neck, or stick collections of them on taxi ceilings, this driver believes that this individual amulet is all he needs to protect him and bring luck and fortune. You could almost feel its omnipotent power radiating from it in the cab.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Over the Rainbow

In Thailand, there's no such thing as too much color. Clothing, decorative items, as well as signage and advertising often employ a spectrum of hues. Even Bangkok taxi drivers love to get happy with color. But somehow it just doesn't seem right for 50 year old guys to be into plastic flowers in the colors of the rainbow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grand View

Having lived in Bangkok now for seven years, some places in this city no longer seem as novel or as exotic to me as they once did. An exception to that is The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. When I see its white washed walls and glittering gold temple structures, I still get goosebumps. This was one of the very first places I visited when I arrived here and no matter how many times I go back, I never grow tired of the place. Even riding past it in a taxi is exhilarating.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tiger Sticker

If I were a Buddhist monk in Thailand, I would choose to live at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi Province. I would spend my days feeding the tigers and greeting all the tourists who pay to see the big cats. And I would sit on tigers in the half-lotus seated position, smiling and meditating like the monk on the sticker in this taxi.