the junkmanPosted: April 16, 2010
The Songkran water festival is over, and street life returns to normal. The neighborhood’s singing junkman peddles by on his tricycle with the first of the morning’s cast-offs culled from his rounds, a Thai flag fluttering in the breeze behind the cart that overflows with oddities, a single plastic leg, a motorcycle wheel, bright scraps of cloth, a few water gun rifles and pistols, some clay pots. He has a handsome movie star Western face, confident, secure. It says, “I’m a loner. I love my life.” He uses his time efficiently, always busy, resourceful. By evening, he’s parked beside Heaven’s Beach, the local Rasta bar, and the cart is a rolling found-art exhibit, its sides covered with his neat, handwritten Thai script quoting Buddhist aphorisms: Silence Speaks Loudly, Think Like a Flower, A Strong Tree has Deep Roots.