The trouble is, we never had any. I can't remember once in the time that I stayed there--what, three weeks?--that we actually recruited a customer off our afternoon station runs (perhaps needless to say, there were other hotels that did better). We didn't have many other customers, either: throughout my brief career, the house was all but empty. Since I was supposed to be living on tips, I finally got the message and decamped for another and busier hotel.
I hadn't thought of that place in years until this afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where I visited the Khubilai Kahn show. It's entertaining and instructive in its own right but one item that particularly caught my attention was the blurb for a portrait of "Buddha Amitabha Descending from His Pure Land."
Wait a minute, "his?" You mean there is more than one? Turns out yes:
The image in this painting shows the Buddha Amitabha descending form his Pure Land to welcome the soul of a recently deceased individual into his paradisiacal abode. Amitabha is one of several Buddhas who create and maintain such realms.So, there is more than one Pure Land--competitors, just like hotels? Do they all have to pile into their jitneys and drive down to the train station every day, clip on their bowties and shout "Ami-TABHA" and such like? And is there some poor sect that never gets any customers and has to go home every day empty?
Seems kind of sad to me, a heaven with no takers. At least in our day, we used to get to drive down to Echo Lake at night and go skinny dipping. I hope they have that kind of fun in the Pure Land.