Friday, November 26, 2010

Light Fantastic

There are many types of Buddha images in Bangkok taxis, but this is the first one I've seen that has changing colored lights inside of it. According to the driver, the luminous colors are supposed to represent the hues of the seven chakras, or energy centers, in the body. But as the lights flashed different colors, it reminded me more of a discotheque than a spiritual aura.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lucky Photo

Among the taxi talismans in this cab is this image of the driver's own bright pink taxi. To create a happy dreamlike feeling in the picture, the driver cut out a photo of his cab and collaged it on a background of sunflowers. In a city where a majority of taxi drivers rent their cabs, this cabbie is celebrating his ownership. I guess it's not that unusual for automobile lovers to hang up photos of cars, but in this case the taxi driver uses the picture to literally worship his cab and to ward off bad luck.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Black Beauties

In Thailand, you see black beauties like these in gardens among plants, in mini shrines in shops and restaurants, and of course, in taxis. If you ask me, these kitschy figurines with their jet-black skin and hair, white dot eyes and fingernails, and cherry red lips are disturbing, especially since the prevailing attitude here is negative toward those with dark skin. But if I stop and consider that they represent an alternative form of the cat with the waving arm you see in Asian businesses, and that they're a version of the Thai goddess, Nang Gwak, then I feel a tinge less uneasy about them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When Pigs Fly

As far as I know, the idiom "when pigs fly" doesn't exist in the Thai language. Maybe the meaning is universal, but I'm guessing that the driver of this taxi simply liked this piggy sticker and thought it would add panache to his dashboard. There's another Thai expression with a similar meaning that I like even better: "When 7-11 closes".