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My Corona Diary December 2020 - 2021


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But what is this song about? Where does it come from? Who composed it? Who sang it, played it and made it famous?
In 1909, the Hungarian playwright Ferenc (Franz) Molnár wrote his most successful play, Liliom. The first performance was on 7 December 1909 in Budapest. The Austrian writer Alfred Polgar translated the play into German, or to be more precise: he used He used the Austrian idiom, added a lot of "Viennese charm" to the drama and moved the action to the Prater in Vienna. Through Polgar, Liliom began its unique triumphal procession and was performed at all German-speaking theatres and even in Amsterdam, London and New York.

Liliom has been filmed several times, e.g. by Fritz Lang, Frank Borzage, Kurt Meisel, Otto Schenk, etc. All the great German-speaking actors have played Liliom: Hans Albers, Curd Jürgens, Helmut Lohner, Paul Hörbiger, Harald Juhnke and many others.
When a theatre is on the brink of closure because the municipality no longer grants money, the director and his actors put Liliom on the programme and the theatre is sold out for the next three months. Our Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus also staged the melodrama at great expense in the 80s. I still remember it well. My daughter had just been born and the actors were advertising their play on the big square in front of the theatre. It ran for weeks to sold-out audiences.
My urgent recommendation: If Liliom is given in a theatre somewhere in your region or the surrounding area, definitely go and see it! An entertaining, exciting and eventful evening at the theatre is guaranteed. It is precisely Liliom that creates a catharsis in us theatre-goers, we experience a "cleansing" and "purification" through the fact that "lamentation" and "shuddering", "pity and fear" (ancient Greek: eleos and phobos) are aroused in us. Through the stage action, which we as theatre-goers experience at close quarters, a peculiar feeling of pleasure flows through us, which is linked to these states of excitement, into which we as spectators of this melodrama are transported and from which we are released again. Especially in the case of Liliom, which touches all theatre-goers particularly intensely, this discharge of affect is extremely forceful and fervent.

To be continued


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In 1944 /45, the composer Richard Rogers and his lyricist Oscar Hammerstein were looking for a stage play suitable for a Broadway musical. These two - Rogers and Hammerstein - were the most successful musical writers of the 40s and 50s! The worldwide hits Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music (about the Trapp family) were all penned by Rogers and Hammerstein.
They decided on the Liliom and Molnár gave his approval. They moved the story to 1940s America and "Americanised" the plot. Hammerstein adapted the material, which originated in the imperial and royal monarchy, for an American audience.  They also gave Molnár's socially critical play a hopeful ending. They named their joint baby Carousel. The premiere was on 19 April 1945 on Broadway. Carousel was a great success and ran on Broadway for over two years to sold-out audiences. house. One song appears twice in it: "You'll Never Walk Alone". First in the first act, and then in the grand finale with pompous orchestral accompaniment.

On the history of its impact:
After only several weeks, a successful reception history of this song began. All the great singers and entertainers have covered this song and included it in their repertoire. Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Chris de Burgh, Ray Charles, Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, the Kelly Family to the Toten Hosen have performed their version of the song. The list is by no means complete. Even the fabulous soprano and opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa has interpreted this song. By the way - in her active days, she was one of the leading Mozart interpreters in the world and one of the most sought-after by conductors with her soft and lyrical soprano voice. Mozart, the great womaniser.
None other than Frank Sinatra performed our song at the inauguration of US President George H.W. Bush in January 1989; in a particularly sustained, hymn-like manner.
The Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924) was also so enthusiastic about Liliom that he wanted to make an opera out of it. But Molnár refused to agree, saying:
"If you set my piece to music, the whole world will talk of a Puccini opera. But as it is, it remains a piece by Molnár".

To be continued


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The most successful cover version is by the 1963 Liverpool beat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, who for a few years shared the same managers and producers, Brian Epstein and George Martin, with the Beatles, also from Liverpool. George Martin produced the 1963 track together with Gerry Marsden and the Pacemakers. The Pacemakers held the number one spot in the British charts for several weeks. It was ultimately Gerry Marsden's voice that made this song a world hit and an evergreen. It is the very version that we all have in our ears and that we intonate and sing in the stadium.
When I started listening to the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS; it still exists today) on FM as a 14-year-old high school student in about 1963, I took part in the meteoric rise of a new form of rock music, namely the beat. The beat bands usually consisted of 4 to 5 musicians, a drummer and 3 guitarists; possibly a keyboard player. Almost all the groups played their own compositions and were successful, storming the English hit parade. Among them were many songs that became evergreens, long-running hits that are still part of the classic canon of beat and rock music today.
All the up-and-coming Beat bands of the time, such as the Beatles and Stones, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Yardbirds, Kinks, Animals. Manfred Mann and many others played (almost) exclusively their own songs from their own production, which they turned into hits. That was what was new about this music! The identity of composer/lyricist and performer/interpreter guaranteed authenticity.

Here is an aged Gerry Marsden live at the Anfield Road stadium. His voice, however, is still very beautiful.

The Pacemakers had a string of big successes and number 1 hits between 1962 and 1965.
For example, in 1963 their How do you do it, which made it the hit of the year in 1963 in England; ahead of the Beatles!


Another great song is the beautiful ballad Ferry cross the Mersey. A hymn and declaration of love to the city of Liverpool.


Auf Wiedersehen und auf Wiederhören  Gerry Marsden

And: Thank you for these songs.


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Over the last few years I have changed my hotel and the area where I holiday in Pattaya. I used to stay on Second Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8, right in the middle of the action.
But three years ago I moved to Jomtiem. This change from the middle of the action to the periphery of the Pattaya scene is most probably due to my increasing age and above all to the severe stroke that hit me more than 8 years ago (paralysis of the right side of my body). I chose two great hotels/guesthouses there in Soi Welcome, where I get a nice spacious room for 10,000 baht per month. There are several other good and inexpensive guesthouses in Soi Welcome, many good restaurants and, above all, some bars with lots of pretty girls and opportunities to party, drink and be merry.
Joys Paradise und Hotel Happy Bou have been my favourite accomodations in this Soi.

I just saw a video of a party on Khun Bou's Facebook page; this party took place two years ago in January 2019, and I was probably there myself.
We in the Western world have just had two celebrations: a Christian one, Christmas, and a secular one, the turn of the year, Old Year's Eve.

What actually is a festival?
To celebrate feasts is human; and I believe that only we humans can celebrate feasts.
Neither the palm trees on the beach nor the sea, nor the nightly stars, nor the deckchairs and parasols celebrate feasts. The ships and cranes in the port of Hamburg don't celebrate festivals either. I think that festivals are not celebrated in the animal kingdom either. I have never seen the four or five geckos in my hotel rooms dancing together. Neither the monkeys in the jungle nor a pride of lions after a successful hunt celebrate feasts; that is reserved for us humans.

* every religion has its own specific holidays
* we celebrate the birth of a child
* we celebrate a solemn funeral when a person has died
* we celebrate a wedding
* we invite friends and drink when we have been promoted or when we have received a hefty pay rise.
* the winning of a football championship is celebrated lavishly

There are many occasions and ways to celebrate. We human beings are - inevitably - celebrating and therefore festive living beings.
For me, the feast is a moratorium on everyday life; it is an exit from grey normality, from daily routine. So my three-month holiday – always in the winter months -
as an exit from the Teutonic winter is - in a modest way - a celebration.

Live from Hamburg – late! 0.50 am

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Some thoughts about Soi Welcome  -  Jomtiem / Pattaya

What and who can be seen in this picture and what is the actual statement, the implicitly intended meaning of this picture? I try to give an answer and dare to formulate a thesis that refers to the Soi Welcome in its particularity and uniqueness.

Three gentlemen can be seen; they are standing at the entrance of the Richmond Family Bar in our Soi Welcome. These three grandseigneurs are in the prime of life and - as the Bavarians put it so nicely in their dialect - they are "gestandene Mannsbilder", fine figures of a man.

The gentleman in the picture on the left is wearing a checked tartan skirt with a certain pattern and a sporran.The respective different patterns and colours of the kilt show the affiliation to a certain Scottish clan.
His short-sleeved shirt shows the Scottish colours on the sleeves; a white St Andrew's cross (saltire) on a light blue background.
At the bottom of the dark blue shirt are two rampant lions, the coat of arms of the Scottish kings.
In front of his belly, this gentleman carries a sporran (Scottish for "purse"). This sporran is part of the traditional dress of the inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands. It replaces the trouser pockets on the otherwise pocketless kilt.

The gentleman in his football kit is a Russian господин. He is wearing yellow football boots, blue socks, blue sports shorts and the shirt of the Spanish football club FC Barcelona with the blue and chimney red vertical stripes and the club crest at the top right: George Cross (top left), Catalan flag (top right).

The gentleman on the right is wearing an elegant black suit and a white shirt with a bright red tie. On his head he wears a red baseball cap with the inscription "Make America great again". His silver-grey hair sticks out from under the cap on the left and right. He holds his left hand bent in front of his chest with the thumb extended upwards and the index finger thrust forward; the remaining three fingers are curled inwards to form a kind of a fist. The hand forms the symbol of a revolver, a gun, so to speak. It is obvious: in this outfit, with this clothing and the gesture with his left hand, he represents the former President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

Three gentlemen, as different as they are in nationality, origin, language, culture, clothing, interests and attitudes, virtues and values, nevertheless form a unit. They are united in friendship. They enjoy the amenities of this place together, the sun and the warmth, the beach and the sea, the excellent Thai food, the warmth of the Thai hosts, the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere of this street, they drink a beer or two in one of the pubs in the evening, they celebrate a party together - whether the occasion is a birthday, a special holiday, a victory of a football team or the arrival of new holidaymakers.

That is the essence, the authenticity, the unity, the mineness of this street, the Soi Welcome.

The described characteristics of this Soi unite the different persons and groups of people. The contradictions, different interests and attitudes, the animosities that the various nationalities and ethnic groups harbour against each other are negated in a first step and then lifted and preserved into something new, something common. This new common ground freed from the "old burdens" enables then - the Thai hosts are included here - acquaintance, conversation, community, friendship.

live from winterly, dark, cold, grey Hamburg - 14.1.2021 - 7.05 local time  early! too early


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I read on the Facebook page of Phil Ross, boss of the bar "Le Pub" Soi Diamond, that the Pattaya City Council is renovating and beautifying the entrance to Walking Street.


Phil shows several pictures of the work being done on the entrance gate to Walking Street with large equipment.
This is what the Pattaya Municipality has money for?
They have no other worries?

Tens of thousands of Pattayans have hardly had any income for almost 10 months, many do not even have money for daily food and drink.
But the city of Pattaya spends a lot of money on renovations and beautification.

My hotel in Soi Welcome, Jomtiem, under the direction of the boss Khun Bou, has been giving out free food and drink to those in need in the Pattayan tourist industry.
The money for this comes from guests such as a Dutchman, a German couple and some others.
Are there any other renewal and beautification works going on in Pattaya that are paid for by the city of Pattaya?

I also wanted to transfer money to "Happy Bou" - Hotel in Soi Welcome in Jomtiem -  for the next action .... but now I am thinking about doing that.

Tens of thousands of Pattayans have hardly had any income for almost 10 months, many do not even have money for daily food and drink. But the city of Pattaya spends a lot of money on renovations and beautification.

If the city of Pattaya overlooks and passes over the people whose work they live on, and instead spends money on beautification work, then the need does not seem to be great yet.
I have nothing against important, essential repair work, e.g. a fallen electricity pole, a blockage in the sewerage system etc., but beautification work at the entrance to Walking Street?
Exception: The costs are paid by the companies that advertise there; that is something else.

Whatever ...  Maybe I make a mistake and my assessment of the situation on the ground is wrong.
I don't know …






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at mPih:

Yes, of course. That's how it can be. You invest money, and that puts people to work and earns them wages; sure.
Putting money into investments is always better than putting it into consumption.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

When you watch videos from the last weeks and months of Pattaya on youtube, you are overcome with melancholy.
The images repeat themselves for weeks. Almost deserted beaches, most bars, restaurants, music clubs, venues and other locations are closed.
The few that are open have no guests. It is a disaster.

The weather service has predicted frost, ice and snow for large parts of Germany for the next 8 days.
For the Hamburg region temperatures between - 3 and + 4 degrees, snow showers, freezing rain, ice-cold wind and thick grey clouds.
Plus the complete Corana lockdown. Those are nice prospects, aren't they? This is where the fun starts, isn't it? I lose it, I panic.
The alternative: Pattaya / Jomtiem; 30 degrees, blue sky, sunshine, water temperature 26 degrees. In the evening, two or three Chang beers
with good atmosphere and party music.

And, if the opportunity arises ... there is something else, isn't there?
Oh yes, now I remember, how does Shakespeare have his Hamlet express himself:

„That's a fair thought, to lie between maid's legs.“

[Here should be a picture; but I deleted it.]

I am unshaven. Khun Fah got me out of my bachelor manners in no time at all;
the only thing she tolerated was that I didn't have to shave for three or four days.


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Winter and Corona lockdown

One's own flat - actually almost the whole country - has become a prison, a jailhouse! The night was cold with temperatures under zero degrees.
I am sitting at breakfast and Elvis comes to my mind. I rock and bawl and dance with Elvis with a cup of hot coffee in my hand.
„Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin‘ to the Jailhouse Rock“

It's maddening. As crazy as German politics has been for years under Madame Merkel.

Exhausted, I collapse, recollecting myself, reflect and suddenly my mind is in Soi Welcome. I blossom like a flower in the first warm sunshine.
We start our stroll through the bars and pubs of Soi Welcome. We begin at Joys Paradise with the German landlord Andy. There is some extremely loud heavy metal noise going on (I refuse to call this stuff music). The eardrums hurt, the diaphragm bounces; and even the two bar girls with their seductive looks and ingratiating smiles cannot prevent our escape from the bar. Andy, that's how you drive away guests who make a good bill now and then.
But: still much better than at home.
We cross the street, stop at "Happy Bou" and mingle with the party people. Great atmosphere, a musician entertains the guests with live music, he sings and plays international songs and hits alternating with current Siamese tunes and tearjerkers. We drink a beer together with Tony, Khun Bou and господин Cvanov and his blonde wife. I enjoy the atmosphere and think of other places of pleasure in this Soi: Our Place, KC's Hideaway, Richmond Bar, Rehab Bar, Helter Skelter and a few others. Nana Night Bar, does it still exist? Nui Pizza, great for hearty breakfasts. Do these bars still exist? Will they be open again when I return in a year's time? It may be that my memory is clouding me and some pubs and bars have already ceased to exist or now have a different name. Anyway, you can have a beer in any of these places.

Times are bad - so they say
It serves us right - so they say
The naysayers - in the form of the Corona virus - are once again directing the action.
Let it go to hell - the melancholy, instead let's catch the sun.
There's so much future ahead, let's conquer it!
Let's reach into the blouse of happiness.
Let's do it - now!  ...  or never

The happiness of the moment sometimes falls into our laps. Like a hint that life gives us, seemingly nothing - and yet so big. A small word full of cordiality, the warmth of comfort, all this and much more can be found in the Soi Welcome...

Here you can enjoy good young Elvis:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Let's continue with my winter Corona diary.
A massive cold wave is rolling over Germany for 6 days now. After the snowfall, it gets very cold.
Only in the south is it still mild at the moment, but not for long: the cold air is quickly asserting itself - with significant consequences.
A look at the weather forecasts also shows that winter will settle in Germany in February 2021.
A view from my kitchen window of the courtyard and the buildings behind it.
Temperatures below minus 20 degrees in large parts of Germany at night. Here in the Hamburg area, the ponds and lakes freeze over.
I know that Canadians and US Americans from Maine and Alaska, for example, laugh about this; it is normal for them in the winter months.
Also for the Skandinavians, the Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, cold and snowy winters are normal.
The Teutonic winters are usually milder. Snow is generally only in the low mountain ranges and in the German Alps.

In these days and weeks it is very funny to drive a car.
Or is it not funny, but very dangerous?

When will spring finally come?
Meteologists predict that spring will not arrive until the end of March. That means another 6 weeks of freezing and shivering in Siberian cold.
On top of that, your own apartment is a prison, a jailhouse, thanks to Corona lockdown.
Those are nice prospects, aren't they?
When will I be back on the beach at Jomtiem?
Will I ever swim in the 26 degree warm water again?
Will I ever have a Chang beer with Khun Bou, with Tony Sing, with господин Serg Cvanov again?
Will Khun Andy, a compatriot of mine and boss and host of Joy's Paradise, ever snap at me and reprimand me again?
!!! I have no idea, only he knows everything better !!!   Andy is yelling loudly at me.
Oh, dear fate, I'll gladly put up with the know-it-all and belligerent Andy, if only I could be back in Soi Welcome ...

http://s637300098.website-start.de     website in German language

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