Quarantine Chronicles — 1

Deniz Arslan
2 min readMar 6, 2020

As Coronavirus is spreading its wings like an ominous mythological creature destined to bring death and destruction to the masses, I have been spending my quarantine days in the outskirts of a relatively unknown Chinese shithole in the middle of the country, about which the locals sometimes whisper — albeit, after one too many alcoholic substances — that the whole place was conceived as a poorly designed joke by the central government to test the resilience of farmers during the Great Leap and forgotten afterwards.

Andrew Wyeth, “Hans Herr House”

In the midst of that business boom and short-lived stability my country enjoyed during the years of Oh-look-how-christian-conservative-we-became-without-even-converting-to-christianity Era, we discovered about the rising demand in fake oriental wisdom in the developed western world. An acquaintance of ours, who used to live in Germany back then, told us about the yoga, the reiki, the guilt, the third-generation coffee, the recycling, the unstoppable shattering of all existing belief systems leaving behind themselves a huge and bottomless hole and the bio-markt. This is how we started to trade with the Chinese: we were going to supply that magic good, whose absence was not even realised. After touring the Chinese countryside for two months, we have found ourselves in this God-forsaken town, where everything was upside-down. As my non-existent blind grandpa used to say, wisdom is to be found where it is stripped down to the roots so methodically that it appears like common sense.

So we hit the goldmine as they say. We starting trading with the inhabitants of this unknown Chinese town, selling them dried figs and buying obscene amounts of crude oriental wisdom to reprocess in our factory in my hometown and sell it to hapless Europeans. Raw material was ample, demand was high, we were ambitious, in such a short time, we managed to turn that makeshift, small-scale operation into a profitable enterprise exporting containers full of fake wisdom all over the world.

When something is too good to be true, it is usually not true, as my nonexistent deaf grandma used to say. So something happened a few years ago. Some small problem, which looked like a mere bump on the road, turned out to be a landslide hampering the whole operation. We were undercut by Indonesians!

I will tell you the rest in the second episode of my chronicles. I am allowed to go out of my house once in a week and I need to go and buy some food. And if you were wondering, I deliberately missed the evacuation plane sent by my government. I enjoy being here, under quarantine!

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Deniz Arslan

Ülkemizin en önemli yalançıları arasında gösterilen, serbest meslek sahibi, emekli diplomat. Pantolon eskitmecede Balkan dördüncüsü.