Quarantine Notes 22.04

My landlord was going to city again, so I made the Chives Pancake (葱油饼). It should be much more flatter but I really tried my best. It took about 2 hours to make 5 pieces (the mini one doesn’t count). I heard that there is some frozen ones in Asian Market, after we could freely move I will definitely buy them instead of making them myself. Although I’m not quite sure whether I will still think of this food. Recently I really don’t miss any food, but after eating something I can still be impressed by them.

And I went out! Because I wanted to see someone and there’s no extra contact happened (we both didn’t take public transport).

It’s very amazing to see flowers, ducks, insects and… people. When I walked by an ice-cream shop, there were already full of people in front of it.

Is eating ice-cream prohibited? No. In theory, people can now also take public transport and even meet individually at home. But I still feel these things are very strange. I can’t be so happy when there are a lot of people dying, and everything in future is unsure.

In east Asia the culture it doesn’t encourage people to have fun, and my mother is influenced by it very much. So if there is no special reason, it’s not allowed to have fun. Maybe I’m a bit like that too, but for me there’s also a lot of practical reasons to not have fun for the moment, for example, protecting my landlord (he’s in the high-risk group).

I took one photo on my way. And I thought I could take more photos on the way back, but then it’s too cold and dark and some flowers already rested.

I went to Penny for the first time since 13.03 on my way back. There’s no basket to use but only shopping cart (for keeping the distance), but they are outside of the supermarket so I didn’t take one, just bought a few things and left.

When I was home, my landlord was watching a very important TV program for him and he wants me to not cook during this program. It has been so long that I came back at this time. I found a quinoa snack from my Rossmann order. Luckily it’s not bad.

When my friend talked about plan after the crisis, he mentioned to move a place. And I suddenly recognized, one of the reason I feel like I can’t plan anything after the crisis, is that I’m in this remote house which only suit for ascetic life. If I want to cook longer, invite people, let people stay with me, hold event at home, keep pet, decorate my room differently… I must always first inform my landlord. It’s like, they all need a reason.

Walking on the street, there was a police car passing by. I was thinking, will someone check my document and ask what I’m doing outside? It reminds me when I was in elementary school, I liked it very much to explore different corners with a friend. But there can be a teacher any time appear and ask us, what are you doing there. So we got a solution called “sticker chasing”: my friend had always some stickers with him. If someone asked, he would say that I want to rob his stickers, so he was fleeting without direction; and I could say that the stickers should be mine so I was trying to chase them back.

I don’t like the feeling to always think of a reason. Under this kind of circumstance I feel threatened. For my situation, staying at home means either initially to choose an ascetic life, or always looking for reasons for my non-ascetic activities. I’m still quite ok with the initially chosen ascetic life, and somehow I’m trying to make it even more ascetic. But in long term I will change it.

Quarantine Notes 19-21.04

Recent biological clock: waking up aroun 7:30-8:30, feeling hungry, brushing teeth and eating, feeling tired again around 9:30…

I’m still trying to finish a piece so I confronted with myself from 15:00. Before-deadline lunch/ dinner:

20.04.2020

I had an online meeting where we decided to play a 5-minutes spontaneously. Because the violin needs longer time to start, I played Otamatone there. Through the Zoom connection a saxophonist thought I was playing saxophone, so sounds like pretty successful. I may use it more for improvisational music in future.

And from next month the school in Shanghai will all open. My mother is planning to wear mask for all the lessons (they will soon be off-line too!), so she ask a friend of mine whether he can buy some masks for her. My friend bought it on the way after work and asked me about my mother’s address. He said he’d use the fastest express delivery service to deliver them. Although I told him it’s not necessary because my mother will use them next month, he still chose that express. And after about 90 minutes, my mother received the masks.

Well another story of “China speed”. I’ve heard that this friend also used the same delivery to deliver handmade breakfast to his girlfriend when she was ill. It must be very absurd for people out of China: people there must earn their not-so-big money so my friend can’t be off work for half a day, but he still want to show his concern and care so he paid people who earn less money to spend the time instead of him. Maybe that’s why people living in China believe so much in money, because except “buying someone else’s time”, they don’t have other choice (maybe being very much isolated is a choice).

And at night I finished the first edition of the score.

21.04.2020

After eating a lot of days of bread, toast and salad, I started feeling bad in stomach, so a day with congee. My mother was warning me about taking enough protein, so I had some vegetarian sausages too.

The congee with rice and dried grained corn is so good. Whether you eat it sweet or salty, it’s great. It’s typical in north China so before I went to Germany I had only once when I was very small. After that I was keep trying to figure out, what kind of corn (or the way to prepare the corn) is it and always got no answer. This time I found the dried grained corn by accident when I scrolling the website of the Asian Market. It may be the second best purchase (after the toy bunny) since quarantine.

And probably you can find in picture I started to plant carrot now. Let’s see how will it be.

Officially since this week the restriction is relaxed. But my life is not changing too much. This semester for universities will be all online, and there won’t be concerts before September. I don’t know why would I go out, but maybe I won’t do grocery online from now.

I finished rewriting a piece for my friend’s online project. I’m looking forward to the premier of the new version next month.

Quarantine Notes 13-16.04

Several deadlines on 15.04, so some last-minute work.

And I’m trying to back to soundscape study so I’m doing some readings.

A Chinese art-therapist is doing a project and asked me for some music, I’m still kind of confused with the whole scene of art-therapy but I still offered to remix an old piece of mine for free.

I had the rest of the dish from last day and had some noodles.

14.04.2020

The music for the art-therapy project is already online and got more than 200 views. That’s the “Chinese speed”, sometimes I get overwhelmed by it. And this speed is still not a fast one (2 days for creating the content and get 200 views in one day), but the art-therapist was satisfied with it, so do I.

And a new dish, using the rest of the fresh vegetables, tofu and some pickle. It’s very spicy in a very weird way, combined the spicy flavors of the pickle, the spring onion and the onion. I feel the first time I cooked something really bad. But I still have to eat it for about 3 days.

Did an online meeting. And I cleaned the bathroom because the cleaner can’t come. She’s working for my landlord for very long, I’m actually feeling bad to let cleaner come during this time, but she didn’t come just because some personal reasons. As I googled about the solution with cleaner/ babysitter in this time, a website said if they’re legal workers (except as Mini Job) they should get allowance from the government; and if they don’t, they should be illegal anyway. The website has even a note after the word “illegal work”: which in 90% case they are. So should 90% household workers be left in the crisis? If an industry has 90% illegal workers, there must be some problems in the system.

In evening I recorded a demo for my piece for Mindfuck Coronopera, it’s a very rhythmic piece which includes voice and body percussion. I found it really need some time to practice. But the director still didn’t decide how to present it so I will think later about how to help the performers to record the piece.

15.04.2020

What did I eat except the very bad dish (just slightly better, but I don’t have much ingredient now, and I’m lazy):

Had an online meeting, good to see teachers of HfMT again.

And another Amazon Fresh delivery. People are boycotting Amazon for the way the treat their employers. I’m still learning about the situation. Although in China, their working condition is much better than many other delivery companies. And kindle did help me buying Chinese books oversea. The only skeptical thing I experienced from Amazon is that they cooperated with the censorship very well, they may even delete books from your kindle after you bought it (and the book was banned after the purchase).

I received a final result of a track exchange with two other composers. It’s really interesting and we will keep doing it. I still don’t know when they’re going to be public though.

16.04.2020

Second computer-free day in a roll.

Did some reading and laundry. Folding clothes in sunset without hurry is great.

Quarantine Notes 17-18.04

Online meeting at 11:00 and 20:00, two deadlines. The first meeting was with teachers and students of the school I did my master. It’s my first time to join an online meeting (the online workshop doesn’t count) with almost 40 people. I must say it’s much less stress comparing with meeting 40 people in real. But it’s good to see them and to know a lot of lectures will be given. I will attend at least one of them (online).

Because of the delivery, I finally had toast and chives. From the picture you may tell that I’m missing Prezel with chives, it’s true but after this breakfast I feel already satisfied. I’m planning to use the rest of the chives to make Chives Pancake (Chinese snack) but I still don’t know when.

My spring onions before I ate it. After eating it I knew, it can even blossom. But these spring onion’s root already started getting rotten, so I can only try when I have new spring onions. I will try to plant carrot and onion this time, but not for eating. Planting them with water can let them perhaps blossom but they won’t grow the eatable parts so big that I can eat them again.

And this time I’m chopping vegetable for 3-4 days. It is said that cooked vegetable is better to be finished in 24 hours, so I just left them uncooked and will eat them as salad. I tried the salad style I learned in Portugal but found it’s not that easy. The original style is to use only lettuce, tomato, onion, olive oil and salt. But the proportion of the different kinds of vegetables, the way to cut them and the vegetables to use (the onion I bought from Rewe is super spicy…) are all important. So I ended up something like that, added some goat cheese. I was just nervously procrastinating. I really have to do things other than chopping vegetables.

Here is the package from Rossmann. I recommend the corn chips (Mais Waffeln) very much. I started to love it when I was in Spain and found a very cheap version produced by Dia, but it’s the first time I found something similar in Germany. Of course, Cheetos is still the best corn snack, probably the best snack.

And some nail painting after receiving nail stickers. Actually they’re not so easy to use with non-transparent nail polish. But I feel not so bad with my experiment.

I also cleaned bathroom today as the cleaner finally didn’t come. I was worried about how to keep the distance and keep safe if she came, but now it’s not a problem until the next appointment which is in a month. I don’t think in a month everything will run normally. A friend said after that people must be so hungry of raving so we should organize a festival for 3-day-raving. I guess I will support them, but I personally don’t have the desire to go back to “normal” life.

What will I do first if everything is running again? Perhaps go for another bubble tea.

18.04.2020

Had tiring dream, and indeed tired because of all kinds of work yesterday. By the end of yesterday I finished a video lecture for my schoolmate’s seminar in Shanghai. I was very nervous, I’m sure it’s not only because of the camera. I think I’m just still not qualified enough to give a lecture alone. But I must try it hard. I have things to share, the problem is just how.

A lot of resting.

And watched 2.5 hours of One World. Just wanted to know how the top class streaming event is going and know some more singers. It’s a great show but I just can’t receive more positive energy after 2 hours. Perhaps I will check it again later.

Meanwhile (yes I turn off the volume sometimes) I edited a video of my mother and her friend in USA playing a duo from their home. I was a bit surprised that in China AppStore there is no app like “acapella maker”, and seems Chinese artists didn’t try online collaboration at all during the outbreak (some started after the so-called “post-corona time”). I’m interested in asking some friends about the situation, but I can totally understand if they didn’t have the energy to do art when they were facing an unknown disease as the first group in the whole world.

I personally can’t agree with Matthias Horx’s article about the time after Covid-19. It’s in general like a placebo or even narcotic if he’s not too naive; and it doesn’t mention China at all, of course neither Iran, Korea, and all developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin-America. I’m not saying China is always a great influencer, but in the case of Covid-19, as the first country who undergoes it, China’s role can’t be ignored in any discussions.

I will have another deadline in 6 days, part of me doesn’t want to rest anymore, maybe it’s still better to try sleep earlier and get up earlier tomorrow.

Quarantine Notes 12.04

Soon it’s a month since I stayed home.

Finally some new food! But mixed with a bit rest of canned vegetables… And because the bread will go bad soon, I didn’t cook rice.

My mother told me that it’s crazily windy in Shanghai. It made me miss the all kinds of crazy weathers there. One of my former partners said, the weather in Germany is like me, always mild, not too hot, not too cold, no heavy rain last longer than 1 hour. Comparing with Shanghai, the weather change in Hamburg is almost like nothing changed. Especially when I’m inside, I can only feel it’s brighter and warmer outside, which doesn’t influence me so much.

I miss the moment that it’s over 40 degree outside, and suddenly it rained so heavy and there were quickly a small flood in the street. I must go to a shopping mall to stay inside, and the the moment I entered the shopping mall, my poles shrunk because of the air-conditioner.

Of course that could be beautiful in memory, and perhaps still beautiful if I experience it once. But months long like that is really horrible. I’m still kind of afraid of going to Shanghai between June and September.

And I’m again in studio today. I started cooperating with a Chinese art therapist who live in Germany. And also did some work for two more other cooperation. I still have to write and compose something for myself. It’s hard to keep disciplined especially in the cold room. My landlord start wearing short-sleeve T-shirt. I’m wearing long-sleeve one now, but in studio I really need to wear down jacket.

I’ve seen a net friend lost a family member because of Covid-19. She said it’s really really necessary to stay at home now. So I still don’t know when I will go to get fresh vegetable. I ordered something more from Rossmann, a pharmacy and healthy food retailer, so if I’m not sick fresh vegetable will be the only thing I need to buy. But I guess it will be after one week. I may experience the Germany style of mild summer that time.

Quarantine Notes 09-11.04

Sent some documents which I postponed for very long time.

And I got message from a friend that he’s organizing a project to stream some short pieces by a group of musicians. It’s very inspiring but it took some time to look for a suitable piece.

Pandemic makes my need even lower. The best food I can now image is just anything with soup and vegetable. So luxury instant noodle again:

Finished one more piece for “Mindfuck Coronopera”. That’s the other online art project I mentioned before, but for the moment they only have information on Instagram. They have a planned premier date which is not so far, so I guess there will be soon more information out of IG.

10.04.2020

Too cold. I can’t go to studio. I’m also having some small pain inside my mouth, it’s something like ulcer. Maybe it’s just time to stay warm and take vitamins.

I tried to work more on iPad and also moved my computer to bedroom. Finished an online meeting and start writing something.

11.04.2020

One more whole day in bedroom. Kept writing and watched some Easter program.

It’s somehow lucky that there are some open-minded churches in this city, so I got to know some evangelical tradition through going to the experimental art events they hold.

And my super random Easter dinner:

Apple pie + canned vegetable + soy sauce. Quarantine life is not only “not caring what I’m wearing” but also “not caring what I’m eating”. If I’m not hungry, I don’t want to leave bedroom for a second.

Perhaps without outside pressure and temptation, I could live like that for long. A friend recommend me a bag made of leather. I told her, that’s why you’re so anxious of finding new jobs. My income did reduce since Covid-19 outbreak, but since I can eat same food for about 5 days (maybe longer, but I don’t want to cook 2 times the same) my balance is still ok.

Quarantine Notes 07-08.04

11:45 online meeting. After that I knew that my landlord is going to city center so it could be a good chance to take over kitchen for long time. So first, noodle for some days (finally I finished it in 5 days… I know it’s already not healthy I can’t eat that more than twice in one day).

Then the apple pie I always wanted to try. Apparently it’s not successful, although my landlord claimed it’s good. I’m doubting old German guy’s taste very much now.

Cooking is tiring, especially when you made mistake. I didn’t put anything under the apple pie when it was being baked, and the filling was out of the cake. I spent much time to clean the oven and passed an internet event. After that I rested too long, so almost didn’t achieve anything more.

UK Prime Minister is in ICU, it’s very absurd time (everyday since Covid-19 outbreak is, but some days are even more absurd). I wish I will not soon evident an important leader to die in his tenure.

08.04

Online meeting at 11:00. I did it first time in bed room.

It’s getting warmer but in cellar it’s always colder. Maybe it’s just because everywhere else is warmer so I feel it’s colder in cellar, but as result, it’s more difficult to let myself go to studio now.

In evening I finally went to the studio and made a video of my improvisation set, which I wanted to do from beginning of March. It’s just not easy to start even an improvisation when you have to prepare all equipment beforehand and plan how to record the sound and image better. And it’s also not a good feeling to edit sound from different mics as well the video all myself.

A friend of mine once said, he won’t do solo tour. Because musicians already spend a lot of time to practice themselves, if they have to organize and perform a tour all alone, it will be very depressive.

Well, seems it’s true. I still didn’t make the recording public. But I will still send it someday to get a solo performance chance. I mean, it would be cooler if it’s not a solo performance. But a solo performance chance… is still a chance.

After work I found there’s no one in kitchen. So late night soup, very rare:

And you can see the spring onions grew a lot! It’s a bit weird to put cooked spring onions and growing ones together, it let me think of the picture of Donald the duck eating grilled duck; or the story of Tod and the chickens in Bojack Horseman.

But spring onion is really easy-planting plant. The only small problem is it makes slight spring onion smell in the room. I used it as a reminder to open the window everyday.

Quarantine Notes 05-06.04

“Quarantine, no human right; no quarantine, no human left.”

“Wearing mask, no human right; not wearing mask, no human left.”

These sentences became popular these days among ethnic Chinese people. But I disagree with them. Quarantine doesn’t necessarily mean people will lose human right, so as wearing mask.

People who don’t know about things in China may think these are jokes. But in some areas of China, people were insulted for not wearing mask (they were not able to buy them), or be stopped from bringing food to their old parents. So quarantine/ mask is equivalent to demising large part of human right can be true. You can’t treat these sentences as jokes if you knew it. Because people could understand it as if embracing the most strict policy is the only way to control the pandemic.

After several days full of online meetings, I didn’t go out of bedroom for almost whole day. I started planting spring onion. Without eating the plant, I have no motivation to plant anything. And other vegetables all need soil and plant container. which are hard to get these days (yes garden market is opening, but I don’t want to go out for unnecessary reasons).

Finished another film, did some reading. Computer-free day, wonderful (if it’s just one day).

06.04.2020

Online meeting at 14:00 and 16:00.

I finally wrote a proposal I thought for long. I illustrated my idea with Adobe Illustrator in half an hour. I found I had some progress in digital illustrating. But painting is still a very distant thing for me, I still can’t do more than nail painting if deal with physical materials.

The package from Asia Go is here. I didn’t get four of the items I ordered. Before I try to contact the customer service I checked my Paypal, they did send me some money back, but still 1.3 euro less than they should. And they didn’t inform me about the changes in item at all.

But at least I got 5kg rice. And I think it’s a time to support the local, at least I should support them more than Amazon.

Have you ordered any food delivery these days? How much tips have you paid? I’m get used to not calling food delivery since I was in Shanghai, so the only time I ordered food in Germany was for other person, I didn’t take it myself. In Shanghai there are relatively often typhoons, there was a frequently discussed topic: should we call delivery if it’s dangerous for the delivery people to bring the food? Either we make them in risk, or we make them lose money.

Now I think there shouldn’t be this discussion because there should be a safe working environment for all. Unfortunately, it’s still somehow risky for the delivery people to work. Will you pay more for them?

Probably this month I will use “pay now eat later” service to support some restaurants I like. To be honest the only thing I want to eat but don’t have home is toast since the quarantine life. Maybe I will buy some in next food shopping, perhaps in two weeks.

Paella

Paella, was the alias of him
On my anonymous account in a Chinese social media

At first I just used
“the Spanish guy”
Until a net friend said
it makes her want to have Paella

Calling a Spanish Paella
is almost racist
Almost like to call a German Schweinshaxe
Or a Chinese Spring Roll

But that’s how much I know
About Spain
I even don’t know
What is this dish called in Spanish
after long time I used the Chinese word of Paella

The only situation I used this word
Was in this social media
To write about him

There are walls of language between us
walls of prejudges
walls of monogamous relationship principle

He grows wildly towards the sun
I am in the shadow he left

My words about him
are always secret
They’re hidden from people
hidden from rite
hidden from the physical world

In digital world
they are still behind the Great Fire Wall

wrapped in Chinese
under an anonymous account
and with all kind of alias

I was told
not to say them loud
but after hiding them long
I found I cherish these words so much
that I’m afraid other people to find them

They were part of me
He cut them from my body

Either they are not found
Or people try to place them back on me
In millions of wrong ways

When I was in Spain
I first time used this word for the food
Later I became vegetarian
And I lost my Chinese phone number*

“Paella” remained vain
I stopped to give it a meaning

*In all Chinese local social media people must login with a Chinese phone number.