Friday, June 29, 2012

Thai Ghosts

Most Thais I know believe in ghosts. They often appear in folklore and in various forms of popular culture. In Thai, phi is the word for spirits, and there are many of them in this culture, including Phi Am who sits on the chest of people sleeping and Phi Tay Hong who inhabits places where people died. To be honest, I'm a little scared of ghosts, especially those of the Thai variety, but I can handle cartoon representations of them, like this image on the window shade in this taxi. It's the ones that appear in dark spaces late at night, rattling their chains and making spooky noises, that concern me the most.        

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rebel With A Cab

Wearing dark sunglasses and a black cap emblazoned with bold capital letters spelling out the word, "HATE", my cabby today told me that he's a rebel. He explained that he's been avoiding getting a taxi license for years and that he ignores some of the laws of the road, including wearing a seatbelt. On top of that he strongly dislikes the Thai police and their corrupt antics and said that he will try to outrun the cops if they ever try to catch him. I made sure I got on his good side by agreeing with everything that he told me, but the whole time I was spying out the window looking to see if the police were following us. The last thing I need is to be in a high speed car chase with the police in Bangkok, although it would certainly make a good story to blog about in a future post.     

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Wheels

Art of the Tuk Tuk is my newest blog focusing on the colorful iconic three-wheelers of Thailand. Don't worry, I'll still be creating new posts here on Still Life in Moving Vehicles. Hope you enjoy the ride! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shady Shades

Need a pair of new shades? This cabby can hook you up. In addition to driving a taxi, this guy sells faux designer sunglasses on the side. Just ask him about the latest fashion eyewear and he can show you his catalog. And if you want, he'll even let you try on the samples hanging in the front of the cab. Never mind that they look like they'll fall apart in no time. At least you'll look cool for a few days.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Menagerie of Immortals

Hey, ho the gang's all here. On this taxi's dashboard is quite the collection of icons, including multiple images of monks and Buddhas, a few elephant-headed Ganesh statuettes, a couple of Brahman idols, a gold Chinese god and goddess, two hermit monks, and a couple of red mythological dog creatures. Considering the various roles that these supreme beings play, this cabby should have all of the bases covered. He should be safe from harm, healthy, happy, wise, in love, and rich beyond his wildest dreams.      

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Theatrical Taxi

According to one of Shakespeare's characters, "all the world's a stage", and that's exactly what it felt like in the taxi today with a drawn curtain in the back of the cab that gave way to the theatrical happenings outside. As the cars and people on the streets had their exits and entrances, the cabby was also performing in the front seat. During the short time I was in the taxi, the driver played many parts as he hummed a few tunes, told some jokes, read the newspaper, talked on his mobile phone, cursed at other drivers, honked his horn, and swayed to the beat of the music on the radio.       

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Gods Must Be Hungry

Offerings like this one are a way to express gratitude and ask for favors from the gods. But I often wonder how such a small dish of fruit and snacks can satisfy the appetite of major deities. Take those tiny little slices of watermelon, for example. They wouldn't even provide enough food for the god of small things, much less a four-headed Brahman with four mouths to feed.