We’re afflicted, here in Bangkok, by an atmosphere of foreboding. The messy events of April-May might appear to be behind us. But this surface calm, in some ways, resembles a moonlit pool on a still night. You’d never suspect this pool is full of big sharks just waiting to erupt in a frenzy. All they need is for someone to toss them a nice chunk of something bloody. Yesterday’s bomb was the mere slice of a dorsal fin, a wee tear in our tranquility. A harbinger, we hope not.
It’s hard to find even glimmers of optimism, no matter who you talk to. Same thing goes for the world economic situation, we’ve got these streets full of morose bears carrying end-of-the-world placards. America’s got huge problems, Europe too, and China’s a disaster just waiting to happen, so where’s your money going to run to? You hear talk of second jobs, retirement plans back on the shelf, no Lamborghini this year, never mind the BMW’s all dusty. Nothing but hard times.
Anyway, Sara says just relax, okay? Things are what they are, and the future will bring some similar kettle of fish no matter how much I fret. So why fret? As usual, of course, she’s right. She doesn’t even charge me for all the advice. Only smiles, shakes her head, and wonders why I never take it.
The world’s going to hell in a handbasket. So I ask myself, if I switch from PC to Mac, will everything be okay nevertheless?
My friend Bill, a mathemathically adept computer whiz and digital missionary, tells me that my whole life will change as soon as I move to Mac. “Nobody who has changed from a PC to a Mac has ever gone back again.” This wisdom has already enjoyed a long life on the street , and it’s only part of his pitch.
Yeah, and not only that: he has a good friend who will sell me an iMac that’s pretty well new—still under warranty. This item is so slick that Steve Jobs reportedly wants it back, not to mention NASA agents have been sniffing around making Bill’s friend nervous, probably figuring this machine will help them put a man on Pluto. But he doesn’t care if anybody ever puts a man on Pluto or not, and he’ll let me have it instead. For about half price, he’ll do this thing.
So I’d have to be crazy not to buy it, right? Think of all the money I’ll save. What a deal, etc. Sara sees some wisdom in this, but she’s a Thai woman, and a shopper. Plus she loves to see me screw up.
A new Lamborghini can cost $450,000. If somebody sold me a nearly new Roadster for half price, I’d save $200,000. Which is quite a lot of money. On the other hand, I’d need to come up with the other half, which would mean cutting back some on my Camembert and premium sencha tea. And all I need this Lamborghini for is driving to the corner store, which some people would claim is a waste of a good Lamborghini.
But Bill looks at me, radiating the kind of certainty only competent mathematicians ever really muster, and he says, “Trust me. It’ll change your life.”
And something tells me he’s right.