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My Corona Diary December 2020 - 2021


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In a few days I'll send off a letter to my Thai friends.
To the three retired generals and the still active captain of Thai Airways.
Some days ago he was in Paris. He sent me some pictures and some videos.

I am in close and constant contact with the pilot via the internet.
Nevertheless, I send letters.
Letters are very personal; they please the recipients; the addressees notice, someone is making an effort, he writes a letter, prints it out and goes to the post office and sends it off.
My letters always contain a few scanned pictures that I explain; usually these pictures tell a little story.


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Thought and written on a grey October Sunday.
For every living being, nothing is as certain as death - literally certain. But man is the only living being of whom we are certain that he knows, however uncertain the time of his passing may be: "mors certa, hora incerta" = that's how I learned it in Latin class. All life is subject to this almost definitional condition. You don't have to be Benjamin Franklin to realise that, at least for us humans, taxes and death are inevitable. We also know, of course, that we have the gift of believing in an individual life after death (as we do in one before birth, but this usually concerns us less, unless we believe in reincarnation) - a hope of faith that can make the certainty of death more bearable for many, but does not eliminate it. This hope may yearn for the compensation of earthly tribulations and at the same time nourish doubts as to whether it is not an illusion after all. But it cannot lift from us the burden of realising our earthly finitude.

(It was hard work to translate this short text. Even with my helper programmes it was difficult; I had to correct again and again.)


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When one grows old, when one clearly feels that one's strength is diminishing, that the options one has left are becoming fewer and fewer; yes, then such thoughts flash through ones mind.

It is a grey October day, the sky is covered with thick, black-grey clouds, a low-pressure area is approaching from the British Isles, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, the melancholy situation invites one to dream a little of the planned coming holiday.

I look at the photos of the last few years on my 23" screen.
Laos, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, the Laotian landscape rugged by mountains and hills.
Myanmar, Burma, Yangon - the old capital, built by the British colonial rulers, released into independence in 1946 -, Mandalay, the metropolis in the north, Bagan, the ancient residence of the Burmese kings, where between 800 to about 1200 AD the Burmese rulers let out their building frenzy.
I will do anything to escape the cold, dark, Teutonic winter time. But, when can I get away? End of November? Or perhaps a month later, after Christmas? I don't know yet.

With the help of my pictures, I beam myself to Laos, to Burma, to my beach near Chumpon - Hat Thung Wua Laen beach.

to be continued ...

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Here are a few pictures - and a few fragments of memories - what goes through my head, what spontaneous memories come to my mind.


Will I still have the strength to walk for days through the Unesco World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang? Will I be able to look at the wondrous Wats and Buddhist temples, which are overwhelmingly beautiful and bear witness to the deep religiosity of their builders?


Do it again, Nasiadai


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a few more snatches of memory:

I would like to travel through Burma by train again - from Mandalay to Yangon. People, children, mothers with their children stand along the railway line and sweets are thrown to them by the passengers from the train.




the little one was lucky. A passenger threw him a sweet and the mother caught it.


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Maha Bandula Park is a green oasis, the green lung, in the heart of downtown Yangon and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding historical buildings, including the City Hall, the Supreme Court, all built by the British.


I borrowed this picture from the internet.

The most eye-catching feature of the park is the Independence Monument, a white obelisk about 50 metres high surrounded by two concentric circles of chinthe (half-lion/half-dragon deities).
On an English-language website I found the following information about this beautiful park:
When laid out by the British in 1868, the park was called Fytche Sq after Sir Albert Fytche, chief commissioner at the time. Later it was renamed Victoria Park to commemorate the queen whose statue used to stand where the Independence Monument is today.
After independence, the park was renamed to honour General Thado Mahabandoola, a Burmese hero who conquered Assam and died in action in the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1824.
For a year or two following the 1988–90 pro-democracy uprisings, the park was occupied by soldiers; many of the more violent events of the time took place nearby.



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This young Burmese lady really wanted to be photographed with a white foreigner.
(Obviously she didn't care that I was already stone old and could have been her father. I am sure she much preferred to be photographed with a young man. But since there was no one available, she simply chose the old cripple, namely me).


Anyway, she asked me to take a few photos of her and then she wanted to be photographed with me afterwards.
I took a few shots of her and then I made a few adjustments on the camera and then handed the camera to her friend.


Good old Charly - with a "borrowed daughter" in Maha Bandula Park downtown Yangon.

Memories, sweet memories ...


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