Yellow Car Game

A couple years ago on a trip to Asia, I spent one brief day in Bangkok. What struck me most? Color!

First of all, here's a photo of my Thai Airways flight over (left) contrasted with a typical US Airways flight (right).

Thai Airways plane interior vs. US Airways plane interior

Thai Airways plane interior vs. US Airways plane interior

Keep in mind, the photo at left I found posted online with the caption "The Ugliest Plane Ever" -- but I seriously disagree.

When we got to Bangkok, the norm was fluorescent colored cars.  It all prompted me to wonder, at large, why western civilization likes things neutral colors: our buildings, our cars, etc... why grey? navy? maroon? tan? When we could make things pink? green? yellow? purple? 

photo by  Eric Brochu

photo by Eric Brochu

There's a game we used to play on long road trips called the "yellow car game" - just an excuse to punch each other when we saw a rare yellow car. In the states, let's be real: if you drive a yellow car, you're an oddball.

Sure, I don't want to be that girl in yellow car, but it's a nasty peer pressure that keeps our culture in bland "polite" saturations. It does make you wonder what the ripple effect of these colors choices have in our collective psyche.

Right at the juncture of east and west, here's a neighborhood of Turkey that's confronting that bit of culture. It hasn't quite prompted me to lead our color revolution yet - but it did make me smile.

Sebnem Arsu/The New York Times

Sebnem Arsu/The New York Times