Commendation for a TukTuk Driver
Yesterday I was late to meet some friends in Chiang Mai. Instead of walking I flagged down a tuktuk. It was hot hot hot…I was sweaty and harried and not in the mood to talk. When the driver turned around to hand me a laminated sheet while driving I assumed she was trying to get me to go on a tour…A snake show, a trip to Tiger Kingdom, a monkey show….most tuktuks and taxies in tourist-heavy parts of Thailand have a whole roster of animal show propaganda that can be unfurled at any moment. I politely declined to take the laminated sheet. She insisted. I relented.
I immediately felt like a terrible person. The driver, whose name was Siew, was not trying to sell me a thing. Instead Siew was showing me a laminated newspaper clipping about her and her Shitzu, Ohm. And their friendship. I apologized profusely and then she gave me another article to read. And another. This was all happening at very high speed on the moat road around the old city. She also had photos. And a guestbook.
Where is Ohm now?” I asked. “Hot hot hot,” Siew said. And she pointed to the plastic blue basket next to her seat. It had a small cushion inside of it and her water bottle. “Ohm’s seat?” I asked. “And he’s at home because of the weather? “Chai chai chai, ka.” Yes yes yes.