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My Corona Diary December 2020 - 2021


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It was very difficult for me to translate the German text into English; I actually only know school English. I apologise for grammatical and syntactical errors.

(Khun Ott is one of my German-speaking friends; he was a colonel and Phantom F5 pilot. Now he is retired. I have known him for about 25 years from Hamburg from the German military Leadership Academy).


Erawan Shrine
Together with Ott at Erawan Shrine.

We drove one afternoon towards this myth-enshrouded shrine, located at probably the busiest junction in all of Bangkok. There is no parking far and wide. What does my wily Ott do? We drive his Jaguar cheekily onto the grounds of the Bangkok police headquarters, which are close to the shrine. We park and get out. A car pulls up next to us and a high-ranking police officer - you can see it immediately from his uniform - gets out. He looks at us briefly and asks a question. Ott pulls out his service card, shows it and explains to his police colleague that we want to go to the Erawan Shrine.

"Oh, well then everything is clear. I wish you and the Farlang a few stimulating and inspiring hours at the shrine. May all your wishes come true."

Both gentlemen go into guarded positions and salute militarily. Our parking is thus officially sanctioned. (On the way to the shrine Ott translated the short conversation for me).

The Erawan shrine is located at the busy intersection of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri streets in the heart of downtown Bangkok. Above it, two lines of the Skytrain, Bangkok's elevated railway, meet. There is a deafening traffic noise here for almost 20 hours. Nevertheless, thousands of Thais and foreigners come every day, try to concentrate and then ask at the shrine for blessings, fulfilment of dreams, and success in their personal lives and careers. There he is to gaze upon, majestic in glittering gold, impressive and awe-inspiring. The gilded plaster figure of the god Brahma sits on a one-and-a-half-metre high pedestal in a Thai-style shrine decorated with colourful mosaics.

Countless legends and myths entwine around this Erawan shrine, and an air of tragedy and misfortune hovers over the four-faced god Brahma, a high deity from Indian Hinduism. It was built in 1956 for the hotel being built right next door. Not to offer guests a retreat to pray, but for memorably more mysterious reasons.

To be continued

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Many Southeast Asians believe that there is a spirit, a demon, a divine being on every piece of land. When people take possession of a piece of land in order to erect a building, a dwelling house or the like on it, then a ceremony must be held at an auspicious time before construction begins in order to appease the spirits, these (mostly lower) deities who are at home here and who are to be regarded as the actual and rightful owners of this land, this plot of land, and to make them merciful and benevolent. And so on almost every plot of land used by people there is a "ghost house", in Thai San Phra Phum, which are sometimes even - depending on the purse and generosity of the builder - real "ghost villas". Even in the house and even in flats there is a shrine, a kind of house altar, which serves as the abode of the resident spirits. They are also regularly served and provided with all kinds of offerings such as drinks and rice, garnished with burning incense sticks. This is a form of animism that actually has nothing to do with Buddhism and simply coexists with it. Animism assumes that the whole of nature around us is permeated by an all-souledness. Nature and all its appearances and the things and objects that occur in it are said to have an inner spirit, an individual, personal soul. Nature is animated by spirits, demons, gods, etc.


Here is the ghost house on Ott's property. This ensemble is looked after by his wife, who also regularly provides the spirits living in it with small gifts such as food and drink. And there are always a few incense sticks on top.

Back to 1956 and the construction of the luxury hotel Erawan.

During the construction work, serious accidents occurred again and again; also with fatal results. No one could explain this series of accidents. After every further crash or serious mishap, the safety measures were tightened by the builder and in consultation with the construction workers. Nevertheless, the streak of mishaps and disasters continued. To the workers and everyone involved in the construction, this undertaking seemed to be under a cloud of doom. Finally, when a ship loaded with marble destined for this hotel sank at sea, the frightened workers stopped work. The advice of a ghost expert was sought. He said that the spirits of this property had been greatly angered and that the deaths, serious accidents and mishaps were due to the wrath of these spirits. This expert recommended the construction management and the workers to erect a shrine on the plot. The choice fell on the four-faced Brahma god Than Tao Mahaprom. A statue of the Brahma God was cast and gilded; he was given his shrine to go with it and after its completion and inauguration in November 1956, the hotel construction could be completed without any further misfortunes.


Here is the old Erawan Hotel, which no longer exists, with the Brahma shrine.

to be continued ...

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In 1987, the Erawan Hotel was demolished and replaced by a more modern building and shopping centre on the same site, and the ownership also changed; it is called "Grand Hyatt Erawan". The shrine got a new location that is shady and therefore not quite as hot. In this almost all-day shaded area, there is space for worshippers and prayers as well as for professional temple dancer groups and small music bands.


Here it is - the attractive sight in Krung Thep - the Erawan Shrine. A visit is a must for every Bangkok tourist.


More misfortunes, attacks, bomb terror.

My text is a kind of short summary of essays, of information from the English-language Bangkok Post and the nation over the last decades:

On 21 March 2006, a deranged Muslim destroyed the statue with a hammer. He was immediately attacked and beaten to death by two horrified Thai men (Buddhists). They were taken into custody on murder charges, but were released the very next day. The destroyed statue was replaced by a new one.

(In our country, the Mohammedan would have been given a state funeral, and the two Germans would have been sent to prison, or rather penitentiary, with the maximum sentence until the end of their days; with subsequent preventive detention).

On 17 August 2015, there was a bomb attack on the shrine with 20 dead and about 125 injured, some of them seriously injured, scarred for life! Two Muslim Uyghurs were accused and imprisoned, who wanted to draw attention to the oppression of their people by the Chinese government with the attack.


I try to describe the Brahma statue and I give a few explanations.

The god is seated facing north in a relaxed posture, the right leg bent, the left hanging down. Four heads adorned with crowns and lotus blossoms look alertly into the four directions. The faces with pointed beards are slightly different from each other, but all with friendly benevolent and contented expressions. A fifth crown sits on top in the centre. The figure holds in its eight hands various symbols, each with a positive meaning in Hinduism. A sacred cord typical of Hindu deities leads from the left shoulder to the right hip.

There is a hellish noise, above, the trains of the Skytrain - the elevated railway - thunder over the tracks, on both sides along the streets the traffic rolls, the motorbikes, the buses and the trucks roar, in addition to the stench and the dust from countless exhaust pipes.

In direct sight of Brahma, the praying and meditating devotees squat and kneel. Behind them, covered, the Siamese dancer groups and the music bands. These professional dance troupes are hired by the supplicants - usually for three to five minutes - to honour the god and thus make their wishes gracious. These dance troupes perform traditional Thai temple dances during the prayer or devotion. It goes without saying that after the god's wishes have been fulfilled, offerings have to be made again in gratitude.

Now a few pictures I have taken at the Erawan shrine in recent years. Caution dear readers, some of them could be interpreted as "fully contaminated with toxic masculinity".


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The Erawan Shrine - an island of peace, contemplation, prayer, pause - surrounded by modern Bangkok traffic. Above, the crossing of the Skytrain, the elevated railway, to the left and right an eternally roaring traffic with infernal noise and exhaust fumes.

Below, the praying, devotional people amidst the traffic noise. What would the god Brahma say? Does he feel comfortable in this place? Is this a place of comfort and concentration? After all, even a god has to listen intently when he is in conversation with his believers; and almost always multitasking, and in several languages and dialects to boot. He must be a real polyglot. And that in such nasty conditions. Well …


Here is a view of the deity


to be continued


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This man arrives with the support of dancers and a band, who are to lend unmistakable and distinctive emphasis to his pleas for blessings and intercession. Brahma can hardly say no to that, can he?


The music is very shrill for western ears and remains incomprehensible for us. Yes, you have to be able to understand music, you need access to it. Otherwise you just hear sounds that tell you nothing, that do not penetrate our hearts and minds.


Here everyone can let his imagination run free, what is this young couple asking for?
Healthy children, a happy family life?

to be continued ...




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Whenever my camera spots a pretty female creature, it gets all fucked up in its photo bag, sorry, nervous, excited and whispers to me:

"Get me out, switch me on, I want to take photos, beautiful, great ones, I also expose correctly, choose a suitable time-aperture combination, you can rely on me. For sure"

My camera's blood pressure and heart rate also rise, it seems shaky and excited, but then it suddenly concentrates on its work.


Bangkok, Krung Thep, the Siamese Los Angeles, the city of angels, not only has the god Brahma on offer, but also lots of picture-perfect girls; it's to get on your knees; as we say in German. Whether on Thanon Silom or Sukumvhit, whether along the shops and shopping malls of Ploenchit or Ratchadamri, pretty young girls, young women by the hundreds. I'd rather keep quiet about Nana Plaza ...

Saint Peter, my dear, when I come, I'll bring along prominent reinforcements, none other than Bob Dylan, and then I'll knock and sing "Knocking at heaven's door ..." together with Dylan. No, I don't need 72 virgins, like the Mohammedan mass murderers, one is enough for me, but then please the right one ....

memories, sweet memories ...


now I can be flamed ....

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5 minutes ago, Nasiadai said:

I'll knock and sing "Knocking at heaven's door ..." together with Dylan. No, I don't need 72 virgins, like the Mohammedan mass murderers, one is enough for me, but then please the right one ....

Poetry, pure poetry...

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Thanks guys for the kins words.

The fall at the pond, I told you about, unfortunately had more serious consequences than I had initially thought.
The bloody nose has healed; everything is wonderful.

But the sternum was badly hit. It started to hurt about two days after the fall. Especially left and right muscles and tendons hurt a lot; especially when I move in bed, like from the left side to the right side of my body. This creates hellish pain along the sternum.
I can hardly sleep any more.
But I'm tough, like a boxer I have taker qualities.
Whoever was so careless and reckless must be punished.

I'll survive.

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We Pattaya / Jomtiem holidaymakers have to accept that the 2020/2021 season is over for us.

It is no use running any more. My goose is cooked.
This season - thanks to Corona - is a lost season.
The great hope that remains for us is that the world will get this pandemic under control in the next few months, e.g. through comprehensive vaccination campaigns.
What we are left with is the hope that the world will be spared such pandemics for the next few years, and that as many countries as possible will survive the Corona pandemic and the accompanying lockdowns economically well.
As someone who grew up Christian, I would now say, "Let us all pray for that."


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