Nirvana, freedom, etc.

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.

July 2011 update: The Nirvana Experiments are now available in e-book form on DCO Books, Amazon, and Smashwords.

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.”

Yeah, but.

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.


10 thoughts on “Nirvana, freedom, etc.”

  1. Mr. Shackaway underestimates the privileges of living in a moobaan outside Bangkok. For one thing, if an assault by the red shirts is imminent, we have an early-warning system: the security guards will all run away. For another thing, we have some pretty spiffy-looking carp in our ornamental fish pond.

    I suspect that Mr. Shackaway’s companion du jour would be displeased by this appellation, and would appreciate it more if she were referred to as l’amour de ma vie. That means the love of my life for those of you who may not speak Frog.

    • Howdy, Bill. Re. your earlier comment, misidentifying me as the author of the *moobaan” post, please note that there are three bloggers on this site: me, Shackaway and Leary. Replying to the wrong one might in some instances, this being one of them, get me in the soup, hot variety, with my often sweetly tolerant wifey thing, who would in no way appreciate being called my “companion du jour” or anyone else’s, for that matter.

      • So the nearly injured party pulls back from the brink. Now it’s some duck, denied a tasty snack, who’s the injured party. That’s what the Thais refer to generically as “tat liang pet.” Cognate therapies for disaffection with hubbies include electric blenders and, in one legendary instance, tying the offending member to a helium balloon just so the offending hubby can watch it float away to some distant land and, possibly, a distant duck.

  2. It is no longer permissible to use terms like Frog, Wop, Kraut, Limey, Hymie, etc. It’s like the N word, which may no longer be written, spoken, or even thought. Bill Page should be crucified by the media for this unpardonable sin.

    Hey, if I want to read books about spiritual enlightenment, I’ll read books by somebody who knows what he’s talking about, like Deepak Chopra or Osho.

    • Yeah, and the AARP is after him for that business card that identified him as “retired asshole.” A “slur on all older Americans,” the organization’s spokesgeezer complained.

  3. I’ve only got one personality inhabiting my head, but he likes the hell out of “Nirvana Experiments.” A very nifty book, funny and smart. It’s hard to do those two things together, but Bill nailed it.

  4. @steve: “You” think you’ve only got one personality inhabiting your head, but some of us know better.
    @Kim: Not only that, but as an asshole he is not in fact retired; he remains active. 🙂 (How do you do an evil happy face?)

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