Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cowpoke Cabby

Sawasdee buckaroos. In this land, West meets East for a certain subgroup of Thais into Western cowboy culture. Some of these Asian cowpokes dress up in cowboy hats, jeans, and boots, or alternatively in feathers, silver and turquoise jewelry, and beaded suede moccasins. In Northeastern Thailand, there's a dude ranch that caters to folks like these, and at JJ weekend market in Bangkok, there's a clique of cowhands who hang out and pick their banjos. The driver of this taxi is a broncobuster wannabe, too. As we drove along, he sang Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy, a popular tune in these here parts.       

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Guys and Dolls

They say that real men don't play with dolls, but in Thailand it doesn't seem to be taboo for macho guys to have toys and posable figures that normally appeal to girls. I've been in quite a few taxis here where butch cabbies display their collections of dollies. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that some Thais aren't overly obsessed with gender roles. Either that or a lot of Bangkok cabbies secretly want to be girls and dress up with long wigs and frilly dresses.      

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Flower Offering

Bangkokkians appreciate convenience and as a result, this city has droves of sellers peddling their goods on the streets. Some of the most popular items hawked at stoplights are fried bananas and fresh flower offerings known in Thai as phuang malai. Today, my cabby rolled down his window and bought a garland of marigolds and jasmine tied up with red ribbons for his vehicle. It's an offering to the gods and it's supposed to keep the car safe, not to mention the fact that his purchase helps keep sellers on the streets in business.    

Thursday, February 14, 2013

80's Flashback

It looks like 80's fashion is back in full swing. Today, even my taxi driver was wearing neon green arm warmers. I truly had a flashback when he popped in a cassette tape and played The Best of Wham!. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mini Taxi

Parked on the dashboard of the cab that I rode in today was a miniature version of a Bangkok taxi. Every detail had been reproduced to perfection down to the paint job. When I leaned in and closely inspected the little taxi, I swear that I saw a tiny representation of the cabby sitting in the driver seat with a big smile on his face. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Well-heeled and Happy

Happy Chinese New Year 2013
I'd wish you a Happy Year of the Snake, 
but I'm not such a big fan of ophidians. 
Instead, I'll wish you a year filled with good fortune and happy times. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Convenient Cab

"So, what do you keep in those plastic bins?", I asked the taxi driver in Thai. "Snacks and miscellaneous goods", the cabby responded. "It looks like you won't need to go shopping for a while", I joked. At that point, he handed me an extensive list of various types of food and essential items with prices. "You have all of these things in there?", I asked with a bewildered tone of voice. "No, but if there's anything you want that I don't have in stock, we can stop at 7-11 along the way", he said.