Usually it is a thankfully thinkless chore: everything goes into the suitcase. No decisions. Ten minutes after starting ... 'snap' ... 'click' ... it's done. It's not so easy now. Most of my books I'll leave behind. The ThinkPad and my Sony Mavica will get packed. All the other stuff will swing back and forth between 'storage' and 'what to go' ... right up until the last minute. When I return to Bangkok in September my new rooms will be ready for permanent occupancy: my little library will be shelved and some familiar things will already be hanging in the closet.
Tomorrow, at about midnight, we'll take the Trans-Asian Sleeper to Paris. This is Thai International Airway's best non-stop out of Bangkok. During our dozen or so hours in the sky, the only things to see will be the carpet of lights that make up Calcutta, the moonlit Himalayas, a sprinkle of fast asleep Central Asian cities, the morning Alps and a still smoldering smudge at the periphery of CDG.
On Thursday morning Mike and a couple of my crew will meet us at the airport. And then ... well, let's wait to see what happens.
If Wescott stays behind, Faith and her two sisters may be the last saints to entertain you for the next seven or eight weeks:
The daughters of the imaginary Roman widow, St. Sophia or Holy Wisdom - popular personifications of the virtues brought into the world by her, or it. They are supposed to have been put to death at the ages of twelve, ten, and nine, respectively.
These three NEWNESIAN events are for Andy Page:
Though things happened "100, 75 AND 50 YEARS AGO," I like this cartoon best:
Today I received a wonderful going-away gift from the four women who work in the Business Centre at The Oriental. It's a sketch of me alighting from my balloon right here at the Oriental. I was very moved by this. And, I take it as a compliment that in the picture I look a little bit like I am Thai. Thank you so much.
NEWNES I shall pack; his size and sturdy construction allow him to travel easily. Wescott will remain in storage; he is falling apart ... the binding is bad and it won't be long before he is just a collection of individual sheets ... as it is, he now sleeps in a ZipLock. My back issues of The Onion and The WORST-CASE Scenario Handbook also will stay here in Bangkok. Though I shall have daily access to IN OUR PAGES, the Bangkok Post will be beyond me for the next two months.
A lawyer who abandoned his career because he missed the point in an important litigation. His second choice of a profession, the missionary priesthood, was more fortunate. He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Eventually ill health obliged him to resign his bishopric and the active direction of his order; but as he was also a musician and a poet and a learned theologian, his time was not wasted, though he lived to be ninety.
When I return to Bangkok on September 25th PACIFICUS will be the saintly greeter. He was lame, deaf and blind.
The CEO of EIC probably felt pretty much like Bill Gates on the morning after. NEWNES doesn't mention who he was:
For the past 93 days I have been writing this journal from these rooms. Today they are in a packing-mess. Tonight they will again be neat, presumably awaiting their next occupants; hey, there is no room loyalty in the hotel business.
My flight this evening is really convenient. Though long by the clock, it passes quickly as it is a night-sleeper: after a dozen hours flying against the sun it arrives in Paris in time for breakfast.
My next journal will start at LeParc Hotel ... tomorrow.
The final bit: