Drive To The Happy City

To กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์!

The driver has no scruples: he honks at cars, bikes, trucks, tuktuks, horsedrawn carriages, stray dogs, cats, people, trees, houses, the lines on the road, the wind and the shadows, the hunting dragonflies, in short, everything. It isn’t a series of honks but rather a near-continuous blast of sound with a kind of staccato silence which is actually far more terrifying, because you and everyone else on the road must wonder why he keeps from honking—what provokes such terrifying quiet? Is he awed by some spectacular thought? Is he planning daring new aggressions on the road, such as forcing the car into a cartwheel?

He talks on the cell phone for the entire trip—“Hello! Hello! Hello!”—and drives so quickly that the world becomes a desperate blur of darkness and light.

The man is a peculiar creature of physical contradictions. He has a pair of legs, it’s true, but they’re so thin you’ll never find them if you look for them in his dull green pants, and therefore the operation of the pedals is a quantum paradox, like Schrodinger’s Cat. He does not pick his nose; he crams almost his entire hand in each nostril, pulls out the golden treasure, and makes sure to examine it before flicking it away. Halfway through the trip he stops the car in some yellow dusty trash-strewn hovel on the edge of the planet, asks me if I’m going to Thailand (yes), gets out, goes to the bathroom (the toilet, this is what he said, not Thailand, toilet), and returns with a dark little child, whom he places in the backseat. “Sorry!” he says. The child takes after his father: his legs are so small they don’t reach the edge of the seat.

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