I’m reposting this item (originally put up by Jack Shackaway 22 April 2010), in light of the fact that Bill Page’s Nirvana Experiments are now available in e-book form. Well worth reading.
Goodbye writer’s garret in town and hello moobaan at the edge of the universe, ostensibly in suburban Bangkok. Bill Page, Bangkok old-timer and columnist of note under various names, has recently bought a townhouse and set up shop with his companion, her daughter and two demented imps from Hell passing themselves off as dogs. He’s been thinking of ways to lure old cronies to join him, probably seeking confirmation that he himself has done the right thing. This is from his latest pitch: “You would love to see some of the stuff they’ve got lounging around the swimming pool. Woooo-eeee! I think you can still get a 100,000-baht discount on a townhouse if you hurry. We’ll put in a good word for you in case they’re afraid of downgrading the neighborhood.”
First—as my own companion du jour expresses it, aptly if not so happily—I’m afraid home-owning would infringe on my freedoms. (We won’t even talk about my bank account, here.) And if I did want to buy a house, I can’t think of many places I’d more rather not live in than the outskirts of Bangkok. Besides which fact, Bill has been misled, from what I hear. What he calls a swimming pool is really an ornamental fish pond, and those babes he refers to aren’t lounging; they’re fishing for carp. Given his profile, furthermore, if he should hear the cry “Thar she blows!” while he’s floating in this pond, he’d best watch out for incoming harpoons.
Yeah, well, those who live in glass houses, right? But rest assured that any houses I live in, glass or otherwise, will be rented.
William Page’s collection of stories of spiritual quests from around Asia, The Nirvana Experiments, (formerly published by White Lotus [Bangkok], which no longer handles fiction), deserves a new home.