Monday, July 30, 2012

Tuk Tuk Land

Ahhh, Sri Lanka. Land of golden beaches, ancient Buddhist temples, flavorful cuisine, friendly locals, and tuk tuks. Need I say more?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sri Lankan Tuk Tuk Tune

In preparation for a trip to Sri Lanka next week, I've been doing a little research about their culture and their tuk tuks. I came across this entertaining music video from the Sri Lankan music producer, Clewz. In the video, he and his buddies, Yo Yo, Kaizer Kaiz, and Dylo, sing about tuk tuks and ride along in a carefree animated world where Bob Marley and the Beach Boys reign supreme.     

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rainy Days

Here we are in the midst of the Thai rainy season. It's the time of year when you shouldn't venture outdoors without an umbrella. Even the monk image on this incantation cloth in the tuk tuk is carrying one. But if the wet weather eventually causes major flooding in Thailand like it did last year, we're going to need more than umbrellas. It's going to require boats or maybe even lotus-shaped vessels like the one on which the blue monk is standing.      

Friday, July 13, 2012

Backseat Canine

In Bangkok, some animal lovers have no reservations about taking their pets everywhere, including inside restaurants and supermarkets. The driver of this tuk tuk even brings his doggie to work, so if you want to take a ride in his vehicle, you'd better be prepared to share the backseat with a furry creature that may periodically lick your arm, sniff your trousers, or drool on your shoes. And never mind when the driver stops his tuk tuk along the way to buy sausages for his pooch or let his pup out to take a leak.        

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tuk Tuk is O.K.

The most recognized word on the planet is O.K. and Thai tuk tuk drivers certainly use the term often. The exact origin of the expression is uncertain, but the first place it appeared in writing was in U.S. President Martin Van Buren's 1840 re-election campaign. His slogan was 'Martin Van Buren is O.K.' which creatively referenced his nickname 'Old Kinderhook'. I wonder what percent of the world's population knows the word, 'Barbie'?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Men (and Ladies) of Leisure

Thai tuk tuk drivers have a variety of ways to kill time while waiting for fares. Many read the newspaper, some work on cleaning their tuk tuk, and others like to play chess with their buddies. But perhaps the most popular pastime for the drivers is taking naps. Who can blame them? The back seats of tuk tuks are pretty comfortable. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Past Life

Being immersed in a culture where most people believe in reincarnation, sometimes I think about what certain people were in their past lives. In regards to the driver of this tuk tuk, my guess is that he was a 13 year old girl. Just look at those sparkly stars that he stuck on his license plate. I guess it could be worse. There could be pictures of unicorns and rainbows plastered all over his tuk tuk. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Made in Thailand

If you ask most Thai tuk tuk drivers about their favorite musical group, they'll almost always refer to Carabao, the Thai rock band known for their "songs for life", or pleng phuea chiwit, which tackle a variety of social and political issues. It's common to see stickers promoting the band on tuk tuks. Just look for a logo with a buffalo skull, a symbol of hard work, fighting, and patience. One of their most popular songs, "Made in Thailand", expresses deep pride for their homeland. If you can read Thai, feel free to sing along with the karaoke video.