The story of the Thai taxi driver spooking passengers by saying that he was possessed has taken an unexpected twist.
After being interviewed by the Department of Land Transport the driver said that his habit of “speaking in tongues”, crying and strange behaviour in making passengers put their fares in a collection bowl was all for a good reason.
He is tired of Thais picking their noses in his cab.
Thai Channel 3 morning news followed up on the story, a video of which found its way to YouTube.
The female presenter says that Owat or “Oi” was at the DLT to explain himself after many passengers complained about his spooky antics.
He blamed passengers for picking their noses.
The male presenter is aghast and says: “What has that got to do with pretending to be possessed?”
They were about to find out.
According to driver “Oi” he suffers from people picking their noses all the time. He said everybody did it and it is a dirty habit lacking in manners.
He said he had tried to stop people before and faced the prospect of physical abuse for sticking his own nose in.
So now he resorts to pretending to be possessed – the ghost he makes up gives warnings about nose picking thus removing him from the threat of violence.
He said that he had been driving a cab for ten years: “It’s disgusting and everyone does it. I have tried to stop them.
I don’t want to handle their bogey infested money, either,” he said.
So he gets them to place their notes in a khan or small bowl and finds a way to get it to the bank without touching it.
He then apologized profusely to everyone he could think of including the media though he stopped short of mentioning society as a whole.
The DLT said that his license was being suspended temporarily.
Oi will undergo a full physical and mental examination from a qualified doctor before being let back behind the wheel.
The male presenter who had initially been so skeptical said near the end:
“I do understand him. And he has got a point about the money.”
Thaivisa notes that visitors to Thailand from some societies are surprised by the propensity of some Thais to “khe jamuuk” / “khe khii muuk” – pick their nose/ extract bogeys – in public.
Snorting out nasal matter on street corners by holding one nostril shut has also been an issue in the past though public health campaigns have helped to limit this practice as well as spitting in recent years due to health concerns.