Bangkok: A new home!
June 1, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
Perhaps you are familiar with the aria by Giuseppe Verdi from Rigoletto, "La Donna e Mobile"? Loosely translated it means that a woman may change her mind.
Say hello to il Signore Mobile.
A couple of days ago I looked into the mirror and I failed to see a "vagabond." I did see a traveler who really needs a "home base."
Today is the first day in my new studio apartment in Bangkok.
Bangkok is the last place I thought would be my address. But Nang Rong, my favorite small town in the countryside is five hours north and Hua Hin, my favorite beach resort is three hours to the south.
The centrality and convenience of Bangkok is undeniable. Plus I can take advantage of last minute promotional air fares. For example on Saturday I am flying an hour and a half to Phuket, the large island resort for $47.00 one way on Orient Air, Thailand's answer to Jet Blue. I am booked at the Patong Bay Shore Resort for the "low season" rate of $29.00 including breakfast. What a country!
On 15 June I am headed back to last year's "home away from home," Nang Rong, to attend a wedding.
On 22 June I am heading south to Malaysia.
So, I won't be here that much but I do have a home to come home to, even if it's just to wash some laundry and relax for a few days.
And speaking of my apartment, it's really cool, and bright with wall to wall windows on the exterior wall facing west.
The furniture is all new. Two couches in the corner with a small coffee table atop a decorative rug. Large wooden clothes closet with mirrored sliding doors. TV cabinet with DVD. Dark wood room divider/bar/bookcase. Queen bed with a wrought iron headboard. Beside the bed, a mirrored wall and above, a mirrored ceiling! Colorful art work, tile floors, modern bathroom. Kitchen cabinet, but who's cooking?
I did have to buy some new linens and dishes at Tesco/Lotus - Thailand's answer to Sears. The service was outstanding!
My view from the seventeenth floor is also outstanding. Unobstructed vista with dozens of skyscrapers in the distance. Canal below with motorized passenger boats. I just may hop aboard to see where they go.
Did I mention that the Bumrumgrad International Hospital is nearby? The streets are teeming with cute nurses in stark white neat uniforms and caps. The hospital boasts a McDonald's, Au Bon Pain and Starbucks. A Japanese and an Italian restaurant. But my favorite spot is the Dairy Express Food Court where a full inexpensive Thai menu is on offer to staff and visitors.
Thanks go to my buddy Jeff who introduced me to Gay, a Thai lady who is the girlfriend of Amir, an Israeli guy who owns a few apartments here. Gay, who has been to Israel said, "No problem" when I asked if I could put up a mezzuzah on the doorpost of the carved door frame.
So, I am home.
Did I mention the outdoor swimming pool on the seventh floor?
I may never leave this place.