Thursday, January 24, 2013

the Dashboard Alter

Traveling in Bangkok taxi is not just a way to get around, but also an opportunity to chat with the drivers, practice Thai, and learn about the culture. However, it can be unnerving when drivers wildly swerve in and out of lanes or monotonous if you're stuck in relentless traffic, but fortunately cab drivers here can comfort themselves and their passengers with talismans. The taxis in this city are filled with statues and images of the Buddha and Buddhist monks that are supposed to bring good luck, create peaceful environment, assure good health and physical strength, as well as provide protection for the car, the driver, and those riding in the cab.

If you happen to be in the passenger seat of a Bangkok cab, you can witness the talismans stuck on the dashboard, pinned to the ceiling and hung from the rearview mirror. It is easy to encounter the sacred artifacts on dashboard altars in colorful vehicles racing around in an urban sprawl. This is way of life, how the drivers keep their customs & traditions alive as the country drives forward.

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