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Things Seen on the Road in Hat Yai

When you venture to countries in Asia, you typically find that English has invaded popular culture, if only in some small way. Here, English words, phrases or acronyms are everywhere, particularly on cars. If you think our cars in America have a lot of badges — with identification markings for make and model, engine size, optional equipment, trim level, etc. — then you should see the cars here. There are badges, stickers, and decals galore on almost every car, letting you know all the great things about this particular model. GOA body. EBD. Power Steering. Direct Injection. Turbo Diesel. Even decals to let you know the car has air bags!

Then there are the stickers the owners add themselves. Along with some other curiosities, here’s a miniature photo tour of the roadways in Hat Yai.

The Lexus RX equivalent in Thailand — which I often call “The Official Car of Naples, FL” because there are so damn many — is very exclusive and expensive. I captured this one parked just down the street from Apple’s home.

Jeep Grand Cherokee
I didn’t know they had Cherokees in Thailand. This is the first, and only, Jeep that I’ve seen here.

Catalytic Champ
No, the owner didn’t add this sticker. “Catalytic Champ” is actually the model name of this Mitsubishi!

This Daihatsu Mira was “Born to be Rugby.” It was also stuffed into the tiniest parking space I’ve ever seen.

The best one of all was unfortunately not captured by my camera. It was a slammed pickup truck of some make or another, whose rear window sported a decal of a nitrous bottle with the ubiquitous “NOS” logo on it. Right below that — yes, on the window — was a huge decal stating “Power Steering.” The placement hilariously made the two seem related! (You’d be able to whip off a turn pretty damn fast with NOS-injected power steering, d00d.)