ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


Things that are against the rules in a cab in Bangkok by mattsteinglass
October 16, 2010, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Asia, Culture

It’s a little hard to see in this blown-up detail of an iPhone shot, but these icons show you what’s off-limits in a Bangkok airport taxi.

 

Bangkok cab no-nos

Bangkok cab no-nos

 

For reference, that’s:

  • smoking
  • durian (world’s smelliest fruit)
  • drinking alcohol
  • pets
  • having sex
  • firearms
  • livestock

On the “cultural similarities” index, the “having sex” icon represents the missionary position. On the other hand, I think the differentiation between “pets” and “livestock” would probably be unnecessary in an American cab.



Vietnamese breakdancing troupe wins SE Asian championships by mattsteinglass
May 19, 2010, 1:14 am
Filed under: Culture, Vietnam

Big Toe, the greatest breakdancing outfit in Vietnam, won the Southeast Asian regional hip-hop dancing championships in Malaysia on May 15 and will compete in the world championships in South Korea this summer. Here they are making a bunch of Dutch guys look clumsy and slow. But this doesn’t really capture what’s great about Big Toe, which is their social commentary. They do routines that are essentially hip-hop-based enactments of vernacular street culture scenes: in one they become motorbikes and riders jostling in traffic while a frantically popping and locking policeman tries to control them; in another they become spikey-haired gangsta teens trying to pick up a girl in a coffee shop, while avoiding (or perhaps welcoming?) the attentions of a gay waiter. It’s incredibly sharp stuff that might get axed by a Vietnamese government censor, but fortunately with dance there are no words and nothing for a censor to axe. Very, very sharp.

Anyway, here you can appreciate their raw skills if not their auteurship. Also, I have a personal stake here: my daughter had the honor of taking two lessons in hip-hop dancing from Big Toe’s founder and leader, the amazing 36-year-old Viet Thanh, a few years ago before he got too busy with the troupe to teach.

[youtubevid id=”ZPvreKGW0tE”]




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