Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The ATM Graveyard

The ATM bone yard, Nonthaburi

As a child, the idea of an elephant's graveyard was a strangely compelling one; the idea that elephants knew when it was "their time" and supposedly trekked off into the jungle to some special place to pass away, away from the rest of their herd.  The idea has been repeatedly pooh-poohed over the years since, but as long as there are re-runs of old Tarzan movies and the likes on television I suppose it'll live on.

ATM machines in Thailand get not only the usual use and abuse they do anywhere else but are also victims of heat, humidity and that good old Thai technology.  It's only natural that they, too, expire - and while they're not able to amble off into the jungle it stands to reason that they have to go somewhere.

From my hotel window I could see one such bone yard in Nonthaburi.  A few of these appeared to be under some repair, but from their exposure out in the sun and rain I'd guess most of these were on their last legs, so to speak; harvested for salvageable parts, at best.

I checked the lot when I'd pass by my window over the days I was there, and while  I did see a screened canopy put into place it was much like the old myth: every day there were a few more, and while you saw them come in, you never saw any go out.

If machines have souls, could this lot also be haunted?  I wanted to ask my friend, but ghosts are a topic not usually welcome with him. I guess it'll have to remain a mystery.

1 comment:

mahjongguy said...

Welcome back! Finally. :)

Regarding failed ATM machines, that's one you can't put on Thai technology. They're all from NCR, Hitachi, Diebold, and the like.

75 pages of notes? I look forward to reading the results of that, but we can wait. Enjoy your time here first.