I open my eyes, switch of the 7.30am alarm on my phone, and I am concentrating on my body, my mind. Just one minute, before getting out of this bed. I try to think which day of the week it is, because every day feels identical here, everyday the same story, like a ‘Perpetual motion machine’. I remember yesterday was my ‘Bad Quarantine Day’, and that was the last day of the working week, so it must be Saturday, Saturday October 10. Which is the 10th day of the 10th month according to the Gregorian calendar, the calendar that is currently used by most of the people on our planet. As mentioned yesterday, today, in Taiwan it is a National Holiday: Double Ten Day. Nevertheless, my breakfast is served on time and I am happy to discover, that the packages includes a Taiwan pancake, rice cake and black tea. I close the box, and for the first time, I read the text on the box that contained all the items and I hold my breath for a moment. It says: “When you think Positive, Good Things Happen”. In addition, there is a big smiling sun with hearts and bees on it. I think: Wow, spot on! Like this package has specifically been designed for all people in Quarantine! So applicable and relevant for me today. I had a good and relative long sleep, and not only I feel more positive, it is also feels that it would probably be more easy to keep on thinking positive. Carpe diem, so let’s seize the day!
Yesterday, a friend of mine suggested to have a look at the Sherlock series while performing my daily sports exercises. I didn’t doubt his recommendation for a second, as I know him already for many, many years, I started the first episode. I grabbed my jumping rope, and feel that my muscles almost have been recovered from the torture from the last days. Jumping feels so smooth. Although, the ceiling is pretty low, I manage to keep on jumping for my personal all time record, without touching the surface ! So yes, practice makes perfect. I love to see London, through the eyes of mr. Holmes, and feel like I am for a moment again somewhere else. Interestingly, the episode triggers my creative mind, as I try to understand Who did it? Why did he do it? What are the clues that I missed? The show, and also my exercises felt super short, although the length was about 90 minutes! That probably means, tomorrow might be again a rather painful day for my muscles.
Suddenly I hear some roaring noise. I walk to my window, and look around, me. After a while, I see a Boeing CH-47, better known as a Chinook, followed by 4 helicopters. Under the Chinook, there is humongous flag, the flag of the Republic of China, or in Chinese Zhōnghuá mínguó (中華民國), but de facto, the flag of Taiwan. Interestingly, this flag was originally designed by the anti-Qing dynasty group in 1894 in China, just before the Japanese took control over Taiwan for about 50 years. About 15 years later, in 1911, on 10th day of the 10 month, the Wuchang Uprising started. This led to the end of the imperial Qing Dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China. More interestingly, that all happened while Taiwan was under Japanese control. By the way, the Wuchang Uprising was in the city that became notoriously famous this year: WuHan. Yes, the city from the COVID-19. In 1949, the government of the Republic of China, was expelled by chairman Mao and his associates. To where? To Taiwan! So the government from China, moved to Taipei, Taiwan, and as you can imagine, that this government wanted to continue to their original name, the country that they founded in 1912: Republic of China abbreviated as ROC. Chairman Mao, started ‘his’ China, that he called the People’s Republic of China abbreviated as PRC, on October 1st on 1949 marking an important day in China.
So, you could say that there are currently two China’s: one People’s Republic of China, and one Republic of China. Confusing isn’t it? Furthermore, the PRC doesn’t recognize the ROC, and still sees Taiwan as part of their China. It is still a very controversial topic, and again, I am just a European citizen, and try to learn about the current situation. Currently, I try to imagine again the position from both side of the fence, and I try to understand whether the status quo would be acceptable for them. Saving and keeping their ‘face’, is probably a much more important value than in the Western world. I am Dutch citizen and we always want to negotiate with each other, and find the best possible solution for all parties involved. This consensus decision-making is called the Polder model, but I am almost convinced that this Western-like approach, would not make any sense to this controversial topic. Nevertheless, I think it is a very interesting and special situation, and I truly hope, that it will not escalate, and from that point of view, the status quo might be not a solution, but a pathway to kick the can down to this never-ending road.
Back to the Chinook, the red flag, with the white star surrounded by the blue rectangle is fluttering proudly. Probably, the delegation of the aircrafts will go to the Presidential Office, very near to my hotel. I remember, while driving last Sunday in that area, they were building a big stage at that location. I switch on the TV, to find the coverage of the event. I browse through the gazillion channels: sports, news, movies, drama and many channels about food and travel, but can’t find the stage, can’t find the Chinook, can’t find the coverage of the Double Ten Day.
Today’s lunch is great, Korean style kimchi, vegetables, eggs, super tender chicken and delicious rice. I focus on eating my lunch, and don’t open any apps on my phone and I don’t watch my computer or TV screen. I just focus on my food. I feel relaxed, and I have not had that feeling in the last couple of days. In this world of higher productivity, better profits, running faster and faster. Multitasking becomes more and more the standard, like having 10 Tabs open on your Browser. It makes us feel more productive. To do a lot of things at the same time. As an entrepreneur, I know you have to be very agile, and need to stay focused, focused like a laser pointer, so the light will travel to the desired location without being distracted by its surrounds. Without focus, you have a regular light bulb, in which the light will go everywhere, or in this metaphor, will go nowhere. I know, this comparison in not fair, as both the laser as well as the light bulb have different purposes, different tasks. However, I feel, if we are performing a task in our lives, the laser pointer might be more useful than the light bulb. Maybe I should make an additional rule during my Quarantine: when you consume food, focus on the food, nothing else. At the same I think, but what about watching a series on TV while performing my sports exercises. There goes my theory. Or not? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on my body, instead of Sherlock and his helper?
Before I booked my flights, I try to find a checklist of things you need to bring during a quarantine. Most website recommend to bring books, coffee, tea and food. Yes I brought some books, but the hotel takes care of my coffee, tea and food. And if I really miss something, I can use Foodpanda to bring it to me. What was not on the list, was karaoke set. I knew, from my stay in Japan, that singing either alone or with friends and colleagues is a great way to let off steam and create a positive mind set. Just believe me, I really cannot sing at all, it sounds awful, like a sea lion at the zoo, barking for fish. Despite my singing talent, I know it gives a positive feeling, and I start to connect all the electronics to sing along. The first song feels extremely awkward, especially when I realize, it is the middle of the day, in a hotel room, no party lights, completely utterly alone and I feel like I am performing on big stage without any audience. I feel ashamed, I feel embarrassed, but keep on singing. Like dinking the first beer, I feel that the second song feels better, more confidence, and after a half hour singing, I feel like I am the best singer on the planet and definitely win every song contest! How on earth is that possible, to pivot that feeling in such a short time frame, probably it is the chemistry in my brain. Probably, because I just let go all my fear for embarrassment and don’t care what other people think about me, I only care about myself. Overly confident, and overly proud I end my performance by thanking my imaginary audience and start brewing a cup of well deserved coffee. Yes, today is great day, I don’t need feel any need to go outside today, I feel very happy with my current situation, alone in my own room, without the distraction of the outside world. Happy double-ten day, congratulations Taiwan with this special day for you!