Taxi driver really likes origami and coins

Posted: June 1, 2010 in Non-fishing stories
Tags: , , , ,

The great thing about Bangkok is that just when you think that you have seen everything something a little crazier decides to pop up. It was sometime in 2009 on a weekday. It was in June. I was coming back from assignment and was on my way back to the office and met khun Sawai Mungkorn. Firstly, the dude’s last name is dragon so that’s already quite the kick ass name to start with.

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Mr. Dragon’s taxi license

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As I hailed the cab Mr Dragon stops his taxi and we begin the customary exchange of words to see if he would take me where I wanted to or not. Turns out my office was close enough to his destination so it was all good.

I sit down and buckle up. Mr Dragon then greets me with a “sawasdee krub” the Thai “hello”.

“oh sawasdee krub to you too,” I paused, thought about and then asked, “why are you just saying hello now?”

“Well, that’s because I didn’t know if you were going to be my passenger or not,” he responded.

Hmm… Fair enough.

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“Sawasdee krub”

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I looked around the interior of his old rickety Toyota cab and notice that almost every surface in the front was either covered with coins of paper cranes.

“So… you like coins and origami huh?” I asked.

“Yes, I love collecting coins. I have coins dating back to the Rattanakosin era back when Thailand was still Siam.”

“And the birds?”

With his eyes on the road, he sucked on gaps of his yellow teeth and replied, “I am the kind of person who hates having his hands still. I just don’t like them not doing things that’s why I make origami cranes when I am stuck in traffic”.

I looked at the cranes. There were a few hundred cranes just behind his steering wheel alone. Barely any of them were made from paper.

“What do you make them out of?” I asked.

“Potato chip bags” He answered.

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His coin collection. The origami is hidden in the top right corner.

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He then proceeded to show me his sizable bag collection situated under his chair. Then he continued to demonstrate how he cuts them into perfect squares with his one long sharpened (yes sharpened) fingernail on his little finger before creating the first few creases required to make the crane. All this while driving me through the Bangkok traffic.

“Has anyone ever asked to write about you?” I asked.

“Yeah, several people have approached me to be featured in some personality story but they wouldn’t provide me any compensation for taking time off from work so I had to decline”.

For the rest of the trip we chatted about all sorts of things. Actually, he did most of the talking. He raved on about some condescending professor who challenged his intellect. Mr. Dragon then went on to describe how he literally schooled the university professor by reciting a whole bunch of historical facts to me. I was lost in his words. Mr. Dragon is the man.

Then, before you know it my trip was over.

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Comments
  1. Skinny Dip says:

    I like how Mr. Dragon has a killer flat top hair cut in his license photo. Mr Dragon is the man!

  2. killer hair and killer origami skills. He’s basically the perfect man.

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