Where to Buy Stickers in Bangkok

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From the innocuous “men” and “women” signs on restroom doors to the urinating cartoon Calvin on the back of many a vehicle, stickers and decals play a much larger role in the life of Bangkok residents than one may realize. 

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Two years ago I wrote about a taxi I was in that had the following information conveyed on its passenger door window through a series of stickers: No smoking, weapons, drinking, sex, durian, dogs, or water buffaloes allowed.

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But where do these stickers come from?  I don’t see sticker stores in the malls nor do I see sticker aisles at the local Big C hypermart.  The answer turns out to be unsurprising: like most things of universal importance in this city of nearly ten million people, the stickers can be bought from a street vendor.

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Up and down the streets, waiting at filling stations and stopping by the street food stalls where taxi drivers like to congregate, the sticker vendors drive these wagons powered by modified motorcycles, the panels of decals hanging like blinders, blocking their peripheral vision.

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Upon closer inspection, some of the stickers tell a lot about the people who would buy them.  There’s a popular cartoon of an Issan (northeastern Thai) boy with his pants dropped, peeing.  The Playboy bunny is a popular brand here, even if the magazine is not locally available.  And the classic Harley Davidson logo is popular even among the drivers of Japanese brands of scooters. 

 

0 thoughts on “Where to Buy Stickers in Bangkok

  1. Love it!!!I think perhaps I’ll take a ‘don’t pass gass’ sticker, (above) and paste it in our bedroom :DSeriously though, that’s pretty funny.I love how unique and flavourful different cities are worldwide.

  2. some of the stickers just made me laugh. Some I was staring but can’t figure out what they are supposed to be. btw, when I first read your title through my subs page (in my poor visioned eyes), I thought you meant Where to buy pot stickers in Bkk.. lol.. I was expecting food..

  3. i love the no durian and no water buffalo signs!i’ve been thinking about putting a sticker on my car bumper too… i would get a sticker that says 26.2, of course!

  4. I’m just glad that Batman is represented, though I shouldn’t be surprised considering the “geez that’s a lot of stickers!” magnitude.

  5. Visual overload. I have seen some old station wagons here ( remember them from the 70’s and early 80’s ) that had the rear side windows pasted up and down with numerous stickers.

  6. @Roadlesstaken –  Yeah, I know Phil through the SF Int’l Asian American Film Festival, where I worked for many years helping them manage the theatre operations. You so don’t strike me as an angry man, Alex, but congrats nonetheless. “Original gangsters of social networks” LOL @ZSA_MD – I remember those station wagons! The mini vans of the 70s.@drung888 – @murisopsis – ANYONE can have a Batmobile!@mocawong – As Alex pointed out, though… no Xanga sticker! =(@Page887 – You can make any vehicle a BMW if you have the right decal. That seems to be the thought process here.@kunhuo42 – But of course you would, Aaron. I can’t think of anything more appropriate. =D@Fatcat723 – Yeah, with all the vehicles (esp taxis) the stickers are a way to pimp one’s ride.@The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – Wins the “random job of the week” award. High school career counselor to student: “You want to be a WHAT?!”

  7. Dear Chris,I always love seeing photos such as these of the sticker vendors on their bicycle/stands riding through traffic. Bangkok must be such a vibrant place to live.Here in SoCal, of course, we have dozens of “swap meets” (which are housed in old drive in movie theaters for the most part.) A lot of the stickers one sees adorning the back windows of autos {bumpers disappeared from cars about a decade or two ago} are sold in the swap meets, and a lot of them come from Mexican vendors who drive over the border to sell their wares here in California. Peeing Calvin is ubiquitous is see, all over the world. Bill Watterson never drew Calvin peeing in the strip. I wonder if he has a decal on the back window of his car?Michael F. Nyiri, poet, philosopher, fool

  8. @baldmike2004 – Michael, one wonders not only whether Watterson has such a decal on the back window of his car, but who is the artist who drew the peeing Calvin? And for that matter, why DID bumpers disappear from cars? The chrome industry must be near-death!

  9. No wonder you noticed the rainbow sticker on the wall at the flag store in Vermont! Say, do those sticker vendors in Babkok have any rainbow stickers?

  10. I love these little perks that you have in Thailand. They must make life so much more interesting and random. When I find myself visiting in the future, I’ll be sure to pick up a lot of them. I’m sure they’d make funny gag gifts for friends!I was surprised about the durian restriction on the taxi =/ So it’s not allowed on even if it’s not open?

  11. @christao408 –  Ive got one bumper sticker,, Ill try to put it on my site,,later, its an old Metallica sticker I bought at 7th heaven in the 80’s, its so old i would hate to put it on a car..Hey,,I got a story published by yahoo,, if youre into the Bible or science fiction,You might as well give it a look,,,I found it by googling “We fell out of their starships, and they flew off to the skies..” Not kidding..thats the title,,hope you like it..Later man. Page.

  12. @nurseynursey – Good question.  Don’t think that I’ve seen any but I could have spent an hour browsing the collection and wouldn’t have seen everything!  =D@yang1815 – They also serve like sails and if he tacks into the wind, should help reduce fuel consumption.@icepearlz – You have to wonder how many accidents these vendors get into, not being able to see peripherally.@AzureRecollections – This is the question I ask myself: is life really more interesting and random in Thailand or did I just not notice and appreciate the interesting and random things back in North America?  As for the durian, I would suspect that unopened durian might be okay.  The stickers are hardly enforced… what rules here are?!  

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