First of all, thanks to those who gave me such positive feedback on ‘Dear motodup driver,’ and for sharing their own absurb Asian transport tales with me. I was especially gratified by these responses because, frankly, I had hesitated to post that piece, as I was concerned I came off sounding mean and/or condescending. The other thing these exchanges did was remind me of some things I should have included in the original post. Therefore, and herewith, an addendum:
Dear motodup driver: the t-shirt
A few months ago I decided, along with my friend Sven (who, when he was in Phnom Penh, also spent a lot of time walking around, both with me and on his own) that what the borang (foreigners) here really needed was a ‘Dear motodup driver’-type t-shirt, written in Khmer, to, you know, just help get the message across. I eventually came up with what I thought was the perfect design, and even went so far as to find where the t-shirt printing shops are located (OK, this I did purely by accident).
The shirt would be Khmer on front, English on back, and say:
NO TUK TUK
NO THANK YOU
Not to be worn on a day when you’d actually be needing transportation, of course…
Now with photos
Please note I’ve added a few photos to the original post. Both are of sleeping moto drivers, unfortunately, which is not to imply that moto drivers are always sleeping. It just seems to be the only time I ever think of taking photos of them.
The other thing I forgot to mention concerns not just being called ‘lady,’ but how basically hearing ‘Moto, lady?’ all day long leads one to feel like they have been rechristened Moto Lady. For me, then, Siem Reap was a nice change, in that at Angkor Wat, where there were fruit vendors all throughout the temple sites, the refrain was much more often ‘Pineapple, lady?’ Thus I became Pineapple Lady, which I much prefer to Moto Lady.
And of course, let’s not forget ‘Hello, moto?’ which, I think, speaks for itself.
Sven emailed me today that he in fact saw a very similar shirt in Saigon. Ah well. Like most good ideas (and bad ones, for that matter—I’m still not sure which ours was), someone else has usually already come up with them.
Pineapple Lady, signing off.