Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Bees Knees

In Thailand we have crocodile and snake farms, monkey schools, and butterfly parks for tourists, not to mention regular zoos and a night safari, so it should come as no surprise that there are bee farms here as a type of attraction, too. I've never been to one, but according to the information posted on the back of the taxi driver's seat, the Highland Bee Farm in Chonburi is "the place to witness bees in action". It also mentions on the laminated flyer that the farm sells royal jelly, bee pollen, and organic honey. I wonder if the driver gets a kickback for advertising this farm in his cab and for bringing customers there. I truly hope he makes some extra cash on the side, or at the very least, gets some free honey.   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tokyo Taxis Part III

I just returned from my third trip to Tokyo and to be honest, I missed the taxis in Bangkok. Compared to the cabs here, they're much more expensive and Japanese cabbies rarely decorate the interiors of their taxis, with the exception of the occasional sticker and a few lace accessories. The most distinctive feature on Tokyo taxis are the decorative lights on top of the cabs. They come in an unbelievable range of shapes and forms and many of them have their own individual symbols and graphics. Take, for example, this number one taxi. Apparently, it's OK.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Holy Water!

Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many faiths as it often symbolizes devotion and purification. For Hindus, bathing in the Ganges River is a means to cleanse the soul. Before Muslims pray at the Mosque, they clean themselves with water. Jews ritualistically wash their hands before meals. Christians pour water over the head during the initiation rite of Baptism. And in Buddhism, water is blessed by monks during weddings and other festivities. In the coming week, water will play a huge role in Thailand's Songkran Festival, the celebration of Thai New Year. Traditionally, water is poured over statues of the Buddha, and these days many Thais and some foreigners in this country go crazy running around splashing and spraying each other with buckets of water, water hoses, and squirt guns.              

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Taxi Window Coverings

The sun in Thailand can be extremely hot, especially at this time of year, so it's a good thing that some Bangkok taxi drivers plaster their windows with decals and other coverings to shield their passengers and themselves from the intense rays. Some organizations and businesses, including hotels, distribute free decals to cabbies as marketing tools. Other drivers purchase their own complete with images of cartoon characters such as Garfield. For those cabbies without any window coverings at all who are desperate to protect themselves from the harsh sun, a brochure or flyer from the newspaper will suffice.     

Monday, April 1, 2013

Rabbit Mascot

Rabbits are not a prominent symbol in Thailand, and when you do see images of them here, they're often related to Chinese astrology. This particular rabbit, however, doesn't appear to be Thai or Chinese at all. It looks more like the Easter bunny wearing a fancy necklace and playing a pink drum.