DIY Hero: Old Thai Street Performer April 8, 2011 20:11 1 Comment
When I first visited Thailand in 2007, I was blown away by old man busking in the midst of massive street market in Chiang Mai. He plucked single notes from a squarish, wooden-fretted guitar and sang in that melismatic head voice that issues so effortlessly from Thai vocal chords. But what really made me stop to stare was that his whole setup--from the small speaker-turned-microphone he sang into to the PA system mounted on his motorized cart--appeared to be hand made. I didn't have a camera on me at the time, so I vowed to come back as soon as I could and prayed I would be able to find him again when I did. "As soon as I could" turned out to be last December (2010) and I was thrilled to find the man in the same exact spot, this time playing amplified violin. Although I felt a little like a paparazzo circling him and his contraptions taking photos, I overcame my reluctance enough to get a few good shots. So, here is my photo tribute to the incredible ingenuity and skill of a man who, for lack of a better name, I must refer to as "Old Man DIY."