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Tea Leaves

A wake-up call to Asia, tackle your own 'Asian hate'

Bangkok cab ride shows that COVID-19 tensions are bringing discrimination into the open

A migrant worker from Myanmar is seen at a construction site in Bangkok after the Thai government eased some protective measures following a COVID-19 outbreak in June 2020.   © Reuters

For expatriates like me, an unexpected upside to life in Bangkok during the COVID-19 outbreak is that it has become significantly easier to hail a taxi. Before the pandemic, drivers would often ignore me or try to rip me off, thinking I was among the millions of foreign tourists who used to visit the Thai capital every year. With no tourists in sight, those stressful days seemed to be over.

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