Thursday, December 31, 2020

Daylight spotted

A sunset from last year
I saw daylight today for the first time since May. I usually buy groceries at night, but since this was the eve of a holiday I went out early, and the sun had just set, so it was still light outside. I don’t think I was exposed long enough to generate any vitamin D; nor did I collapse into a pillar of dust, which was reassuring.

The rules concerning the Deadly Virus keep changing. I just stay at home rather than try to figure out when, where, and how I’m allowed to go outside. Maybe that’s what the government wants.

I’ve been watching the videos on my YouTube channel just to remind myself what life used to be like, back when retail shops were open and solvent, and you could go where you wanted, when you wanted.

While sitting in my room I’ve been reading about the fast transition from democracy to dictatorship in Germany during the 1930s, and I’m seeing too many unsettling parallels between then and now.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Rainy days

The little refrigerator in my apartment is almost empty. This seems to happen every week or two, and it's very frustrating because it obligates me to leave my room just to go out and buy groceries. It has also been raining for days in Paris, and this further discourages me from going out. The grocery store is quite close, but in rain I must hold an umbrella, which means I can only carry one bag of groceries instead of two. And with the trouble I have just walking in a straight line these days, I worry also about slipping or falling. Nevertheless, objectively I cannot complain about the rain, since we're below our quota for rain in the City of Light.

The weather is supposed to be drier and colder today, but it is a holiday, so most stores are closed—that is, even more are closed than usual,  since virus hysteria has closed down a great many businesses already (some permanently). There might be a supermarket or two open, but I hesitate to get all ready and drag myself out only to discover that nothing in the neighborhood is open. I’m still thinking abut it. Maybe tomorrow.

I haven’t been outside for anything other than grocery runs, but I did see a photo in the news yesterday showing the area around the big department stores around the Opéra Garnier packed with shoppers, which I found encouraging. Maybe some people are breaking free from the brainwashing.

I’ve lost track of the current batch of restrictions linked to virus hysteria. Apparently there is still an 8 PM curfew, and everyone still has to wear a mask.I simply take the path of least resistance, by not going out at all. At some point, I really need to visit a laundromat and a barber, but with constantly changing rules I’m afraid to go out, and with increasing inactivity it is becoming physically harder and harder to do so.

The prime minister has submitted new legislation that would allow the government to declare and renew states of emergency without bothering to get the approval of parliament. I wonder if the legislation was translated from German. It is apparently also proposing restrictions on freedoms for those who don’t get vaccinations against the Deadly Virus. There’s probably still a stock of stars available in a warehouse somewhere; only the wording needs to be changed. Or maybe just a special number for those who have assumed the position and been vaccinated, like, say, 666.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Changing of the Rules

The rules are changing again, as they do every day it seems. On the 15th, the need for a police form will be dropped, but an 8 PM curfew will go into effect. Cinemas, theaters, stadiums, concert halls, museums, and poker clubs will remain closed. People under 18 will be able to go to indoor sports centers, but not people 18 or over. Adults can only practice sports outside, and only up to six at a time unless they are on teams. People in nursing homes may visit relatives under certain conditions, but must be tested and observe other restrictions.

The Eiffel Tower is “closed until further notice.” Notre-Dame is closed indefinitely due to fire damage. The Louvre and Orsay museums are closed.

Cafés and restaurants will remain closed, at least until January 20 (supposedly). Discotheques and clubs will remain closed … until further notice.

At least that’s the gist of things. Nothing seems to be fully documented anywhere, so I guess you only know for sure if you’re fined or jailed for breaking one of the zillion daily regulations. It’s easier to just not go out at all, which is what I do (except for groceries).

It’s hard to understand how I’m supposed to look for and find a new job under these conditions. It would be difficult enough under normal circumstances, but this is a hundred times worse. Barber shops haven’t even been open long enough to get a haircut, and so I look like a wild man or wolf-man, with a fur-covered face behind the legally mandatory mask.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Remebrance of Christmas villages past

Time passes so swiftly. Life falls so quickly and easily out of balance.

The virus hysteria of this year (but not the virus itself, ironically) has robbed me and millions of others of our health, our jobs, our savings, our freedoms, and a year of our lives. And it has also deprived us of the Christmas markets.

At this time last year, there were Christmas villages in the Tuileries and at La Défense. There were storm clouds on the horizon and transport strikes in progress (and probably a virus already circulating), but the markets were still open. I didn't much care for the trinkets sold at these markets, but I loved the food, and I had enough money to buy snacks one or two times while walking among the little white wooden chalets of these popular markets. Despite the cold and the strikes, they were still busy.

One stand I liked sold great fish and chips. Big boneless fish fillets, fried in a very tasty batter, accompanied by plenty of fries (chips). I would go there sometimes for lunch at Christmastime.

Aligot and sausage
Another big favorite of mine was aligot, a specialty from Auvergne made from pureed potatoes, melted tomme cheese, cream, butter, and garlic. I bought it topped with diced, grilled sausages.

Then there were sandwiches with various fillings, like cheese assortments, smoked salmon, foie gras, cold cuts, tuna salad, roast beef; etc.

Some places sold big slabs of chocolate, or gingerbread cakes, or canelés: little caramel cakes with the texture of foam rubber and custard centers.

Mulled wine was very popular, too, but I don't do drugs so I never bought any. It smelled nice, though.

There were churros and donuts and much more. Now it's all history.

Tuileries Xmas village in 2019
The Reich has forbidden the markets. It forbids going outside without special police papers. It imposes a curfew at 9 PM. Everyone must wear masks. And thanks to its wartime restrictions, I have no money, I look like a hobo, and I can no longer walk very well.

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