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My Corona Diary December 2020 - 2021


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15 minutes ago, Nasiadai said:

I know, I realise, no one reads it.
Too long, too intellectual, too exhausting, too boring ....


the reasons you feel that no one reads it, may be misplaced.  It could be that these days, there is no one, to read it and I hypothesise the following:

In our generation (we being over 60) there were very few, in the population that studied or even knew of "classical" music. Of which Mozart is a component. I imagine that only 1 or 2% of my peers, had/have any knowledge of 'classical' music. I studied classical piano for seven years and in my life I've met only three other people, who have also spent such time on a similar course of study

Subsequent generations are placing more importance on contemporary knowledge and skills, in my country, folk get Knighthoods and Dameries, for winning a gold medal at the Olympics. A generation or two before, you'd have to do something truly earth shattering, to attain such an honour, see Rutherford.

The dumbing down of the education system, whilst inevitable, is leading to having entertainment as "the" goal. In a farming analogy, when you've got more sheep than you need,, to provide more wool than you need, you have to keep them busy and entertainment is that tool, unless revolution of the sheep or genocide of same, is your goal.

Becoming a billionaire/trillionaire is fast becoming moot. Population abundance seems to be a pointless goal. See the many novels dealing with this idea.

The steady and unstoppable progression, we find ourselves observing in the younger folk, is one that has abandoned the retention of institutional knowledge, that us olden boys possess.

It used to be that young 'uns would learn at the feet of old 'uns, I know I did. but these days if the knowledge hasn't had millions of sales/views/friends/blah blah blah, it's seen as irrelevant.

I would predict that your treatise on Mozart will be one of the last.

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a few addenda:

in 2004, the BBC produced a first-class documentary on his life and work.

I quote what I found on the internet:

“The documentary elements are presented by the charismatic young conductor/broadcaster Charles Hazlewood as he embarks on a personal journey in order to gain insight into Mozart's genius and legacy.

The programmes present a compelling account of Mozart's musical progression and his often traumatic life story.

Young actor Jack Tarlton plays Mozart in this sumptuous drama and the series stars Kenneth Cranham (Mozart's father), Claire Skinner (Mozart's sister) and Emma Cunnife (Mozart's wife).

The programmes trace an artistic journey and a private life revealed by central dramatic characters whose letters provide the historically authenticated backbone of the drama.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3:




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38 minutes ago, Coss said:


I would predict that your treatise on Mozart will be one of the last.

Dear Coss,

I hope that my little essay will not be the last treatise on Mozart.
In 2014, I sat in the Düsseldorf university library in May and June and was in the Mozart section.
There were two or three shelves with books, journals, periodicals etc. on Mozart, his life, his work, the history of his influence.
I hope that the study of Mozart and the other great composers of so-called classical music will continue in the future.

Sorry, I have just suffered another attack of high blood pressure.
I had to take several heavy blood pressure lowering drugs to prevent another stroke or even worse.
My head is spinning, dizziness is confusing me.
My blood pressure went up to 203!

SYS    DIA   Pulse

203     90     96

These are catastrophic measurements. Sorry.



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My starting point was the repeated broadcast of the Amadeus film on the German-French culture channel Arte.tv.

Now let's turn back to worldly things.
It has been almost two years since I last travelled through the countries of Southeast Asia.
I read my old travelogues that I wrote for the members on my email list (family, friends, acquaintances).
There is one particular place I have always enjoyed visiting; namely the STRAND Hotel in Yangon.
I have shortened this report, adapted it to an Anglo-American audience and then translated it.

The report will follow shortly.

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It is tea time.

After hours of sightseeing in Yangon, I return to my guesthouse in the late afternoon, take a shower and dress up, because I intend to have a "5 o'clock tea" in the time-honoured STRAND Hotel.

Charly proudly at the entrance

 What the ORIENTAL is to Bangkok, this hotel is to Yangon, right next to the harbour. Right next door is the British Embassy, hahahaha that's no coincidence. Until about 1948, the British were the masters of the country. It's only a 10-minute walk from my hotel / guesthouse. So you can see how central and prominent I live. How often might Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and George Orwell have walked through this door? These English novelists often resided here.

If you want to know more about this hotel, here is the link:
http://www.hotelthestrand.com/ in English, the official website
I invite you to follow me and drink a pot of "5 o'clock tea" with me, ah, celebrate.

The lobby of the hotel


For those who like something so sterile, here you go.
A room - the "Standard Room" - costs 600 dollars per night. The "better off", the "wealthy" among you, would you want to stay there for a week for 4,200 dollars?
For about 4,000 euros - and now the women on my list are not reading this, so please close your eyes, thank you - for 4,000 euros I would let the dolls dance in Pattaya with one of my Thai friends: and party; at least 2 weeks would be enough money for that. And of course a pretty girl every night ... any questions?



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In the bar. Over a jasmine tea.


Two lovely, picture-perfect serving girls, hotel employees took care of me.


My expectations were also confirmed for this luxury hotel. Behind me - on the right - an elderly couple sat at two tables and chatted. About 12 metres in front of me, in my line of vision, sat two Asian businessmen. One was leafing through a file and the other was busy with his pocket PC. Another couple entered the bar and sat down on the bar stools at the bar/counter, ordered two long drinks on ice and bored each other. A short time later, a gentleman in a blue suit entered the bar, sat down in front of me at the table, smoked a cigarette and played around with his smartphone.
There is no communication between these luxury guests. Each couple, each guest sits individually, isolated at their table, on their bar stool, bored.
I smile and smirk to myself as I observe my surroundings. My facial expressions must have been lively. One of the two hotel employees who has been watching me approaches me and starts a conversation with me. I tell her about my observations here in this hotel bar and compare these experiences with my communication experiences in my guesthouse. There is, for example, the American with his Japanese girlfriend or the Swiss, an old globetrotter, with whom I meet and chat again and again in the small room of the reception (="lobby") of our guesthouse and we have a lively exchange and also give each other tips on sights and what else one should see and experience in Rangoon. A lively exchange and, albeit short-lived, the making of friends.
The young woman listens to me with interest, then smiles briefly and says, yes, that is how it is mostly here, as I have observed. The guests largely keep to themselves. She speaks very good English. She is pretty as a picture. Her smile makes the sun pale. Oh my goodness. I wish I were thirty years younger right now.  
She asks me where I am from, if I have been to Myanmar before, and so on. I answer all her questions and the delicate question of which of the SOA countries I like best, I answer diplomatically and evasively: all countries are attractive, each one has its own special advantages. But I also point to the enormous tourist resources Burma has for sun-seeking holidaymakers; for example, on its coasts of the Andaman Sea with miles of lonely beaches and the completely undeveloped island world of the Indian Ocean.
This is where development potential lies for this country. The young lady is amazed and laughs in my face. Of course, I rave about the Buddhist temples of Rangoon, about the friendly helpful people I meet every day. Sure, I talk about Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, about the brutal military dictatorship and the failure of the West. Her eyes light up. Here is a stranger who knows a little about her country.




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Our conversation goes on like this, and then she asks me if I would like another drink. After the tea, which has been drunk in the meantime - it was almost a whole litre - I get thirsty for a coffee. "Please, without sugar but with a lot of milk." Here, the coffee is always sweet. I don't like that at all. A short time later, the waiter serves me my desired coffee in the presence of my conversation partner. We continue our chat.

My coffee with lots of hot milk


I learn something about her and her family. She is 32 years young. She had asked me if I could guess her age. "26 years," was my answer after a quick look at her face. "Oh no," she laughs "I am old lady now. I am 32 years." She is not married, nor does she have a boyfriend.
It is clear to me, of course, why she is single. She can't find a partner that suits her. She has a good education, for example as a hotel manageress, a first-class job that pays well by Burmese standards. She is looking for a man who is at least her equal. With such demanding criteria, the air on the marriage market becomes very thin, especially in a destitute developing country like Burma. For men who meet such picky-upscale social criteria prefer to connect socially "downwards". That is how it is with us, and that is how the marriage markets are developing here too. No, no, I kept these reflections of mine to myself, of course.
She is a charming, gracious conversationalist. It is wonderful.

After about two hours, my time at the STRAND unfortunately comes to an end. It is now shortly before 7 pm. It is already dark. I have to go back to my guesthouse.
My girl brings me the bill. 4 US dollars for the pot of tea; that is 5400 Kyat.
I ask about the coffee, which I miss on the bill.
She smiles: "The coffee is on the house. It's from me. Thank you sir for your nice conversation."
I protest, pull out my wallet, but my objection is rejected. I pay 6000 Kyat, say goodbye with a smile and a nod of the head, look around at the other young lady, the waiter and the bartender. With a quick glance and nod of the head, I say goodbye to the other guests, if they notice anyone leaving the bar. My girl accompanies me to the door, opens it and wishes me another good evening.
I come back to the STRAND. Sure, 100 %, I promise her.

Live from Yangon, Rangoon, Burma.  March 2017



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It is 3 March 2022. In terms of the season, we now have spring in Central Europe - but there is no sign of spring.
For days, an area of high pressure has been lying over southern Scandinavia, providing sunshine and temperatures between 5 and 9 degrees (in the Hamburg area) during the day.
At night, however, the thermometer drops to - 2 to - 4 degrees.
The weather is expected to continue like this for the next few days.
This morning I had to go to my doctor; I had to cross a subway to get there. The stairs were icy. It was very dangerous.
I know where it is much more pleasant now .... Temperatures around 30 degrees - sigh ...


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