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The Dog Is Back + Motorcike Rab-Jang

Original Written (2008.10.17)


“Modern Dog”

“Dog Never Lies, Rock Never Dies” the catchy phrase of Thai top indie band “Modern Dog” tells it all…

The very first Thai alternative band comes back with its new album “Ting Nong Noy.” The Dog defines the sound of its 5th studio album as “Thai Rock.” It’s the modern rock sound added Thai flavour and some Thai instruments. As they’re getting older, their music is more compromise but still prudent.

“Dog’s members”: ‘Pong’ (Drummer), ‘Methee’ (Guitar), and ‘Pod’ (Singer)

I know this band since I was on junior high-school. (Around 15 years ago… Oh no! We’re old T__T ha ha ha) Other than its great music, “Modern Dog” is well known for its great performance!

Last weekend I had seen their concert at “Groove, Ekkamai.” Even Dog got up on stage late, but they didn’t disappoint the fans. The band gave their best play, and the fans went all out with them, this is the feedback you always see in Dog’s concert. I also head-banged and jumped high as every time I saw them!

If you wanna try to hear Modern Dog’s new song, let’s click this link! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEX3lr0GwFk&feature=related (MV)
Or http://www.myspace.com/moderndogneverlie (Their space & song)
This is their 1st single “Ni Yai” (Novel).

Photo Credits:

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‘Methee’ (Dog’s Guitarist) in chauffeur bike’s uniform

When I decided to write about “Modern Dog”, I noticed of the orange chauffeur bike’s uniform which they use it as one of the gimmicks in their new album. So I want to write another story for you!

“Motorcike Rab-Jang” or Chauffeur Bike is the unique occupation that you can’t see in Japan! It’s one of the fastest and most comfortable ways to travel in Bangkok. (But sometimes it’s also dangerous! As you can see some chauffeurs zigzag on the street or go on the footpaths. Especially for some young chauffeurs who might think they’re riding in the motocross tracks!)

Even now Bangkok has BTS sky-train and MRT subway-train, but they’re still not thorough enough. That’s why “Motorcike Rab-Jang” is still popular for the people here. Nowadays there are over 100,000 chauffeur bikes in Bangkok, and they can provide services to about 1,000,000 passengers daily.

Motorcike Rab-Jang” at Huay Kwang intersection

“Motorcike Rab-Jang” or called shortly “Mo’cike,” is one of the most popular jobs for Thai labor class. (Nowadays you even see some females do this job!) It’s so easy to do, you just have your own motorbike and driving license, and it’s much more comfortable than construction job. Even former Thai No.1 rock back “Loso” use to release the hit song “Motorcike Rab-Jang” which depicted some aspects of their life.

It is said that this job take place in Thailand around 30 years ago. It started in southern Thailand where the “Mo’cike” offered services for rubber farmers who had to bring their products to sell to the middlemen. Around 1982, it appeared the very first “Mo’cike Station” in Bangkok at Soi Ngam Du Plee (Rama 4 Area). Because of the cheap fees and the inadequate transportation in Bangkok, “Mo’cike Rab-Jang” gradually widespread and became one of the main transit choices.

In Bangkok, you can find “Mo’cike Stations” (Thai ppl call it “Win Mo’cike” or “Queue”) in any Sois (alleys) or villages. The service fee in Soi’s area is around 10-20 baht. You can also ask them to go to the other areas – the prices depend on the distances and areas. The later service is very popular in the rush hour; when you have to be hurry for your appointment – “Mo’cike” will zigzag on the street and bring you out of the traffic jam! Some chauffeurs are very skillful and know the shortcuts very well. Sometimes they are hired as document messengers.

In the past, there were so many conflicts in this occupation. “Win Mo’cike” once were occupied by big people or mafias – the chauffeurs had to buy the Win’s uniforms and pay some profit for their protectors. And sometimes there were area conflicts between Win Mo’cike. The previous Bangkok governors tried to solve these problems by register Mo’cike chauffeurs and provide free uniforms for them. It seems to be much better and that’s why now you can see most Mo’cike in Bangkok wear same orange uniforms. (But sometimes you could see other colors like green, red, purple, pink, etc…. And now Bangkok Administration has planned to use various colors to identify Mo’cike in different areas.)

‘Uncle Liew,’ my regular chauffeur

I had interviews one Mo’cike in my village. He is my regular chauffeur since I was young. (I used his service since the price was 5, 10 and now 15!) I and mother often call him “Loong Auon” (Uncle Fatty), but his colleagues call him “P’ Liew” (Bro’ Liew).

50 years old Uncle Liew came from Nakhonratchasima province. Like many Thai countrymen, he escaped the drought to find some jobs in Bangkok. He started this job since he was 33, this means he do it for almost 20 years!

He said before there was prolong political conflict, he can make money around 400-500 baht a day. But now the situation is not well, he earns only about 200 baht a day! I think it’s such a hard time for the parent of 2 children like ‘Uncle Liew.’ (Bangkok people try to be more saving. Like in my case; when I travel in Soi, if I’m not hurry I prefer to walk than call Mo’cike.)

I ask him about trying to change another job. He said that he is old now and he doesn’t know what to do. Because there are few choices for a labourer like him – such as ‘Being construction worker’ or ‘Go back to do farming at his hometown.’

My village’s “Win Mo’cike” in relax moment

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Pa-sa-Thai Workshop

Hma = Inu (Dog)
Pleng = Ongaku (Music)
Mo’cike = Baiku (Motorcycle)
Rab-jang = Hiyousha (Employee)
Soi = Komichi (Alley)
P’ = Ani (Brother)

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