Monday, June 17, 2013

All Things are Impermanent!

My recent trip to Bangkok provided me with proof of this fact and once again reminded me of the Buddhist teaching that suffering is caused by trying to hold on to anything. After all, nothing really belongs to me and all things living and not are simply passing by.  Frankly I enjoy Bangkok a little bit less every time I visit though I do enjoy a couple days in the big city from time to time.  The main purpose of this trip was to visit the  JUSMAG Thai  compound so I could see the tri-care people and to register a better mailing address. After that, a relaxing hour in the pool at my favorite hotel, The Federal, and a meal at a great Italian restaurant called Limon Cello was also on the list. 

Three years ago when I started staying at the Federal there was a condo being constructed a couple hundred meters down the soi.  Last year a second one was erected. Perhaps I should have seen it coming.  When  I arrived to check in at the hotel I was immediately informed that the property has been sold to some big company from India.  

The Coffee Shop Front at the Federal Hotel
They will close the end of the year, knock down the structure and build yet another condominium on Sukimvit Soi 11.  My first reaction was an internal voice which screamed “No, you can’t do this to me”!  Fortunately a second later I recovered, mustered a smile and inquired what will you do when the hotel closes.   I’ll miss the Federal but hey, it isn't the only reasonably priced hotel in Bangkok.
Sukimvit Soi 11 with the Federal Hotel and Condo's behind

One of the drivers at the Federal is a fellow my age that used to work for various U.S. Army clubs during the Vietnam era.  Talking, we realized that he was at the NCO club in Lopburi at the same time I was stationed there.  Though neither of us are positive, we both suspect that we knew each other circa 1968 - 1969. Today we enjoy swapping stories about those times.   He actually remembers the amoebic dysentery outbreak though he wasn't one who was affected.  Let’s just say Charlie didn’t eat the lettuce and I did.
Old Guys, friends for a long time! 
Charlie took me to JUSMAG Thai and on the way he confided that when the hotel closes he will move to Lampang and spend his days help his wife with her small food stall, enjoy his time with family and not really miss much about Bangkok. Lampang is not far from Chiang Mai; we’ll see each other again.

The first thing I learned at JUSMAG was that my ID card, clearly marked ‘INDEFINATE’ actually expired (for the purposes of health care) on my 65th birthday; so much for permanency. No problem I now have a new ID card, clearly marked 'INDEFINITE' on both sides.  After receiving my new and improved ID card, I was able to register my new mailing address.   This will perhaps ease insurance matters. We will see. 

Dinner at Lemon Cello was delightful, as always.  The changing times along Sukimvit seem to be good for their business.  I notice that almost all of their clientele are Thai though the food remains authentic Italian and the service is still excellent.  The sign says Pizzeria but they have a fairly extensive menu; I'm particularly fond of the mozzarella and tomato salad and of course the cannelloni.  
Just down a little lane off of Soi 11

Rungnapa at the Limon Cello
Three years I’ve been going to this place and now I’m wondering if there can be a fourth or fifth.  All I know is that all things are impermanent! 

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