Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thai Michelin Man

As one of the world's oldest and most recognized trademarks, Bibendum, or the Michelin Man as he's more commonly known, represents the famous tire company in over 150 countries, including Thailand. It especially makes sense to see him here as this country is the world's biggest producer and exporter of rubber. In Thailand, the Michelin Man can be spotted in front of tire stores and auto repair shops, as well as in a few Bangkok taxis. One of my favorite things about the Thai version of the Michelin Man is that he's sometimes depicted giving a traditional wai, the Thai greeting and gesture used to show respect.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Goddess in the Round

Entrepreneurs in Thailand often display images of the Thai goddess, Nang Gwak, in their places of business. Sitting Thai style with one hand gesturing to potential customers, you can find this beckoning madame in noodle shops, salons, markets, convenience stores, and of course, in taxis. To lure in passengers from every angle, this cabbie has a glass orb with nine Nang Gwaks facing out in every direction. By the way, the number nine is lucky in Thai culture.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Penang Teksi

I just got back from Penang, Malaysia. Before I went, I had no idea what their taxis would be like. Besides the fact that Malaysians spell the name of their taxis differently, it turns out that they're pretty similar to Thai taxis. As is the case in a majority of Bangkok cabs, many Penang teksis have a menagerie of lucky charms inside.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Duct Tape Taxi

Duct tape can be used to hold almost anything together, including the dashboard of this Bangkok taxi. Originally known as 'duck tape' because it is waterproof, it was invented by the Johnson and Johnson Co. in 1942 during World War II to keep moisture out of ammunition cases. After the war, 'duck tape' became known as 'duct tape' because it was employed in the booming housing industry in the US to connect heating and air conditioning duct work together. For additional ways to utilize duct tape and for more fun facts about this form of adhesive, check out the Duct Tape Guys.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Frilly Tissue Cover

Many Thais seem to be fond of frilly kitsch. Even tissue boxes here are regularly embellished with some sort of decorative overlay. The driver told me that his auntie crocheted this cover with ruffles specifically with his taxi in mind. I wonder if she could have made it any less masculine.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vicious Visage

For those who believe in the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, one method of keeping negative energy at bay is through the use of certain powerful symbols placed in strategic locations. In this cab, the driver positioned a feng shui tiger sticker on his passenger door in an attempt to inhibit evil spirits from entering. Then again, the grim expression on the face of this cabbie is probably enough to frighten off even the most wicked spirits.