As we make our way around Thailand, I can’t help but notice just how colourful everything is. Everything seems to have some kind of colour coding. The buses are colour coded depending on their direction, the moto taxi drivers have bright orange vests, the tuk tuks are multicoloured depending on which group controls them.
Every department store even has very formally dressed security in different colours. Bright white uniforms with shoulder braids and epaulets so that the guy saluting you as you enter reminds you of a mini Captain Stubing. Our villas have security in uniforms of varying shades of blue. You often see the colour saffron associated with monks robes, temples and temple offerings.
Every day has a colour coded theme as well. Apparently it is part of Indian Astrology and was part of the battle tunic colours long ago. Monday is yellow. You often see every Thai person wearing a yellow shirt. This is the King’s colour as well. Tuesday is pink, Wednesday is green and you get the picture. The Queen’s colour is sky blue, so most of the population will wear that colour of Fridays.
School uniforms are all colour coded with blue skirts and white shirts for girls in both elementary, high school and university. Depending on the school (public or private) boys either wear what looks like a khaki boy scout uniform, or blue pants and white shirts.
Even food vendors get into the colour thing. Pink napkins are prevalent because they are cheaper, since white ones need to be bleached and therefore cost more. The grocers have a wide variety of coloured food we just don’t seem to think of. Meat on a stick comes in a rainbow of colours, rice is often dyed pink, blue, green or purple, as are eggs!
What really made me laugh though, was a recent observation in a local dog grooming shop. Someone took a lovely standard white poodle, and dyed it half pink and half blue. Apparently this is quite the thing to do, having your dog as a colour accessory. Perhaps we should just stick to coordinating our handbags and shoes, and leave the canine world out of it!