Ubiquitous Plastic Stool Shot

Buddha Chair

Ahem. I did warn you. You need to pay closer attention.

I’ve visited Thailand more times than I can count. Especially when it’s a short visit to just Bangkok, there’s not a lot for me to photograph; I’ve taken all those shots a few times before. For a while, I didn’t even both packing my camera, or if I did, taking it with me when I left the hotel for the day. A shame because Bangkok is quite photographic. And I love shooting photos.

Sometime ago I decided to give myself a reason to carry my camera with me. For each trip I’d pick out a theme to shoot. Something to focus my eye. A purpose to shoot. Once, it was ‘red’. I ended up photographing a lot of that color on that trip; I never realized how much red there was in the city. Even when the redshirts weren’t in town. I’ve also done dogs, old people, shadows . . . in any case, it’s become tradition.

I really didn’t need a theme on my most recent trip, I could have just gone with ‘flooding’ if I wanted one. Too easy. I’d be taking all those shots anyway. So, as I already warned y’all, this time around it was photos of those ubiquitous damn plastic stools that no falang’s ass could ever fit on. You find them everywhere. More than I ever considered before taking to photographing them. There are more Ubiquitous Plastic Stools in Thailand than 7/11s. There may be more Ubiquitous Plastic Stools in Thailand than Thais. They come in all sizes and shapes. I’ve included the slightly more advanced version that Thais consider a chair, because they are built the same and are just as incapable of bearing a typical farang’s weight.

It was tempting a few times to move a stool or chair for a shot. But I have discipline. Sometimes. So all those you’ll get to enjoy over the coming months are not staged. I mean that would be ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as someone spending their holiday taking photographs of plastic chairs.

I thought I’d start you off with one that seems to pay proper respect and tribute to this staple of daily Thai life. I ran across this reverently red chair at Wat Mahathat on the day the Queen was to visit. I was tempted to hang around for a few hours until she showed but noticed the chairs they’d put out for the royal party were substantial wooden ones; shame, a shot of the Queen’s ass balancing on a Ubiquitous Plastic Stool would have been a major score.

Um, go ahead, save your comments. There’ll be more Ubiquitous Plastic Stool Shots in your future to get excited about.