Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Horse!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thai Taxi Mythology

In Buddhist and Hindu mythology in Thailand, there's a host of creatures that are part human and part animal, or sometimes these beasts are made up of a combination of two or more critters. Today in the taxi, the driver created his own mythological creature out of two talismans. It has the head of a tiger on the side of a fish. I guess this is what you would literally call a catfish.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taxi Rules

After I read the driver's list of rules for his passengers posted on the back of the seat, I asked him about it. He said that he was tired of customers eating in his cab, leaving trash behind, and hurling in the backseat. He's hoping that his sign will deter his patrons from making a mess in his vehicle. I didn't have the heart to tell him, but I don't think drunk passengers who can't see straight will read his decree before retching out their guts all over the inside of his taxi.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Southern-style Thai

The taxi driver who gave me a ride today hails from the South of Thailand where these characters stuck to the console in his cab originate. These three figures are from Nang Talung, a type of folk shadow play that involves puppets made out of cut and perforated leather. Typical characters include demons, comedians, hermits, gods, and royalty, and the themes range from family conflict to the adventures of a wandering hero. At one point during the ride, I looked up at the driver and realized that he resembled one of those guys with a big belly and a long pointer finger.     

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roar of the Tiger

In Thai culture, those who possess the symbol of the tiger generally want to obtain some of the attributes of this creature, including strength and fearlessness. Images of tigers are commonly seen in Thailand in the form of sak yant tattoos and on magical yan cloths, but in this case, the taxi driver stamped an ink depiction of a tiger on the back of his seat. It seems that he's warning passengers that they better act properly or else he'll get ferocious.