Monday, March 06, 2006

Soi Tuk-Tuk

Soi Rong Raem Charoen Phon runs parallel to Banglumphu canal, from Banthai Thong Rd. to beneath the expressway that runs along Rama VI Rd. Every adult male there is driving either a taxi, tuk-tuk, or motorcycle taxi with the exception of a few mechanics that are fixing these vehicles.

These pictures were taken Sunday, not a very busy day in Bangkok, particularly when Sanam Luang is crowded with unhappy middle-class citizens demanding the Prime Minister step-down. Unprompted, one taxi driver told me he loves Thaksin. In this neighborhood, probably everybody does. But that's another story.

The men were all drinking, and some were quite drunk already. After my first roll of film, I'd been invited to so many tables that I was having a hard time focusing myself. Meanwhile, the women were washing, cleaning, rearing the kids, cooking the food, and running their restaurants or food stalls. I could have eaten for free ten times and gotten dead drunk if I hadn't (politely, I hope) resisted. One grandma even put some kind of iced pink milk drink in my hand and refused to take it back. Some people say old-fashion Thai hospitality and smiles are gone in Bangkok. Maybe on the BTS (skytrain), but not here.


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