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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Bangkok ‘taxi graveyard’ comes to life with mini-gardens

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A mass graveyard for Bangkok’s flamboyantly coloured cabs left idle and decaying by coronavirus curbs is coming to life with mini vegetable gardens and frog ponds set up to help feed out-of-work drivers.

In an open-air parking lot in the west of the Thai capital, green shoots fed by monsoon rains sprout from the roofs and bonnets of row upon row of pink and orange taxis.

Tiny green-brown frogs squat croaking in the tropical heat on makeshift ponds fashioned out of old tyres, tucked in among the 200 or so abandoned cars.

The site is owned by Ratchapruk Taxi Garage, which has seen most of its drivers quit Bangkok for their home villages because fares have dried up following lockdown restrictions.

Thailand imposed tough restrictions to deal with a deadly spike in Covid cases in recent months, including a night-time curfew.

Tourists, normally a mainstay of the Bangkok taxi trade, have dwindled to almost none because of draconian rules on entering the kingdom.

The eggplants, chillies, cucumbers, courgettes and basil grown on the cars — along with the frogs — will help feed the out-of-work drivers and employees.

And if crops are good, they plan to sell any surplus at local markets.

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