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My Corona Diary December 2020 - 2021


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It is becoming more and more a certainty:
I won't be able to come to SEA this season either.
Instead, I am forced to endure this nasty cold and wet Teutonic winter. Current temperature in the Hamburg area about 4 degrees during the day and light frost at night. Heavy cloud cover for weeks, no sunshine and lots of precipitation. The rivers and streams are full to the brim, some are in flood. Snow in the German low mountain ranges and in the Alps. In the regions above 500m, 600m there is snow.

I am also beginning to doubt whether I will ever be able to fly to the SEA countries again - even in a possible post-Corona season. My current state of health does not allow it. And I am constantly getting older, i.e. my state of health hardly improves with increasing age.


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I have no choice but to accept these adverse conditions.
During my active time in Hamburg, I only worked and slept. The centre of my life was in Düsseldorf, 420 km away. I spent the weekends and a few holidays in Düsseldorf.

Here in the Hamburg region, almost all my friends and acquaintances have died off in recent years. A good friend, a secretary at my company, died relatively young; two of my best buddies - slightly older than me - died shortly after each other.
Here I am largely alone. In the evenings, I sometimes go around the corner to my pub and chat with one or two pub guests. Or we watch a football match or the sports show on TV together. During the day, when I'm shopping, I sit down in a café and chat with the person sitting next to me.
The most intensive social contacts I have left are with my party friends (AfD = Alternative for Germany). We meet regularly for discussions, lectures, presentations, etc. That's fun for me and always gives me new vitality.

Düsseldorf is the center of my life. I spend the time together with my family, daughter, friends and girlfriends. There is the "Altstadt" - downtown -, there is the Alt beer, the many pubs and music clubs, there is atmosphere and good mood. There's my beloved Königsallee - Düsseldorf's magnificent boulevard - with its sophisticated fashion shops and extremely expensive luxury shops. There is our garden and  two stone's throws away my old beloved university with its library, where I often sit for hours reading and studying.

But here, too, death comes to visit more and more often.
One of our best friends has been in a coma for 3 months and has no chance of coming back to life.
Death is part of life; it is a constant companion of all living things; it is omnipresent.



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What happens now? What is worth reporting?

One of my best Thai friends, the captain of Thai Airways, has made an appointment with me; he will land with his plane in Frankfurt on Wednesday 5 January at 6 a.m. and stay for one day before flying back.
I take the train from Hamburg to Düsseldorf on Tuesday, spend the night there and drive from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt the next day to his hotel, where he and his whole crew are staying.
We met in the lobby of his hotel at 2 pm.
He still speaks almost fluent, flawless German. After more than 22 years.

Our reunion was effusive.
Old times gone by, the many shared experiences were our topics of conversation.
Then we started calling his family and our mutual friends in Thailand via Line and facebook.
We quickly got in touch and we chatted and talked.
The question always came up:
Charly, when are you coming?

my answers:
In view of the constantly changing entry requirements and the restricted conditions in the country (corona protection measures), I cannot make any promises.
I will most probably not be able to come this season.
But I promised to do everything I can to come in October 2022; if I'm still fit and I can afford such a trip again, I'll stay a scant 6 months until April 2023.



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There was a little compensation. My captain had his crew with him; among them 4 pretty stewardesses;
three of them single.
Around 5 pm they joined us. They had slept during the day.
So good old Charly could once again flirt, laugh and joke.
We sat together for over an hour in happy conversation.


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I'll go back, but this covid thing and the high airfares, will have to return to the old days first. A friend paid $8,000 NZD one way to Laos from NZ, for what is normally a <  1,500 NZD, return ticket.

I know businesses have to cover costs, but the consumer has a choice, particularly with video calls and such, making the family call us at 2 am, because of the time difference...

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I would like to take up a topic that is currently being discussed on another board in connection with the positive economic development of the country in recent decades and the tense situation on the labour market.
I am trying to present an extremely extensive and complex topic as briefly as possible:
The demographic development of the Siamese population and its impact on the areas of society as a whole, the economy, and labour markets. I will also examine the impact on the Sanuk scene, the bar scene, the P4P scene.
Demography is one of the topics I have been working on intensively since the year 1968/1969. 
At that time I did a paper for school entitled:
"Structure and Development of the Population of the Federal Republic of Germany".
At that time, I read scientific literature on this subject in Düsseldorf libraries, many essays, treatises, books, statistics, etc. I was very interested in this subject.
Over the decades, I have always remained interested in this topic.

Siam's negative demographic development.


The problem of negative population development of Thailand has become virulent since the turn of the century at the latest.
Until the early / mid 1980s, Siam was a growing society; since about 1985, Thailand has recorded falling birth rates; something like that, anyway.
The Thai economy has grown enormously in the past 50 years.  Wages and salaries have risen sharply; prosperity has improved noticeably.
Siam has long since ceased to be a developing country; it is also no longer an emerging economy, but is an up-and-coming industrial and service society.
The strong increase in prosperity in the past decades, the great demand for qualified labour (demand also for female labour!!!) in all fields of the national economy leads - as in all other national economies of this world that have developed similarly positively in the past - to a decline in fertility and thus to a decline in births.

The pool from which the bar scene, the P4P scene can draw has shrunk enormously in the last 15, 18 years.
All the developments that we Sanuk tourists find unpleasantly disturbing or even catastrophic result from this fact; for example, the increase in the age of women found in the bars. In the 90s, the average age was perhaps 22/24 years, in 2020 it will be 32/34 years (estimated by me; I am an "old hand").

Insert: a reminder of a discussion on Khun Sanuk's "Nanaplaza board" in 1997/1998. The topic was roughly: when is a woman too old to work in the bar scene. The result was: women over 32 are too old for the bar scene; both for the gogos and the beer bars. They can only work as service staff or as mama sans. Or they try their luck as freelancers.
Today, 32-year-olds are still considered acceptable.


It's no coincidence that from about 2008 / 2010 / 2012 onwards, prices in the bar scene went up mightily; went through the roof; prices for drinks and ladydrinks, for the barfines and for the girls.  Prices doubled, tripled.
I remember very well how intensively we discussed this (also on German-speaking boards).
For many Sanukers, a three-week holiday, e.g. in Pattaya, "in booze" with "wine, women and song" was no longer affordable.

Structural change of the male western Sanukers.
In the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, the Sanuk scene was dominated by Western men in their prime (30 to 58). They were in working life and spent their annual holidays in Siam (about 2 to 4 weeks); preferably in Bangkok in the Sukhumvhit area between Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, and in Pattaya.
From the beginning of the 2000s, a structural change began among Western male holidaymakers. In the course of these years, the number of the 60 plus generation increased rapidly, while that of younger men steadily declined.
Many retirees discovered Siam as an inexpensive long-term holiday paradise. Many of these older men were active Sanukers in their younger years.  Today, the old generation of white retirees dominates the Pattayan bar scene.
Many of the younger, regrowned Western men - i.e. those aged 30 to 58 - can no longer afford a 2- to 4-week Sanuk holiday in Bangkok or Pattay. Prices in the P4P scene have doubled and tripled.

The Sanuk scene will fill up with women and girls again in the post-Corona era. For sure.
But the conditions for us men will continue to deteriorate - in the medium and long term. Prices in the sanuk scene will continue to rise. Drinks, ladydrinks, barfines, the prices for the girls will continue to rise.
For many western men, prices have become too expensive from 2008 /2010/2012 (something like that). They have doubled and in some cases tripled. When I think of the barfine, for example: it used to be between 300 to 500 Baht. From the said years they went up to 500 to 2000 Baht! Only for the barfine!!!
Many Western men can't and don't want to afford that anymore.
They wave it off: too expensive. It is no longer worth it.


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