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Cremations and cab rides across town

Four different taxi drivers kicked me out of their cabs on the weekend. Each time, the same conversation took place:
“Where you want to go?” “Bang Na” “No, can not” “Why?” “No. You get out”
Then along came Mr Sanga, in his bright pink taxi with a green stripe down the side.
“Where do you want go?” “Bang Na,” I replied reluctantly, waiting to be kicked to the oppressively-hot curb due to the fact that I wanted to go to the other side of town which, apparently, wasn’t worth the effort of the average taxi driver. “Sure,” he said as he put on the meter.
As we drove along the expressway, through the thick grey air, past endless high rise buildings he told me, in almost-perfect English, about how he missed the clean air of his hometown in northern Thailand.
“But I must work here in this big city. I have no way to earn money if I leave Bangkok”.
When I asked how it was that he spoke English so well, he picked up a Thai-English dictionary from the passenger seat and a small exercise book which he handed …

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