Category: Thoughts

Corona Post

Seeing as I have a lot of free time now, with the universities being closed and no real online substitutes being offered in my program, I figured I could write a post of some sort.

I’ve done some major life changes recently and also had some ideas for projects to do, I’ll detail them here.

I sold my computer

As a person who has traditionally spent his entire free time in front of a computer, selling my desktop was a big and difficult decision. Because of the corona virus, my semester to China was cancelled. Since I was expecting to leave for China, I rented out my apartment on a contract that allowed my tenant to stay until September 2020, starting February 2020.

This meant that I had to go to my dad’s place with almost all my belongings being kept at my uncle’s and aunt’s place. I only brought my laptop, my tablet, my Nintendo Switch and a few other things. I survived with these things for more than a month without my large desktop setup with multiple screens and a beefy computer. As has happened multiple times in the past, I realized how liberating it was not to spend all my time at my computer.

However this time I decided that I would not return to my desktop for the foreseeable future. Once I got back to my uncle’s and aunt’s house, I dug out the PC and the monitors from my stashed belongings, posted it on a second-hand site. They were sold within a few days. Now I only have my tiny 900g, 12.5″ laptop from 2017, which is a great laptop, don’t get me wrong.

For me, this is a major change. Instead of sitting all day at my computer and thinking “What should I do on my computer?”, I am now detached and instead think “What should I spend my time on?”. The field of options I have to spend my time on is no longer limited to what my computer to do, only what I can think of. It’s a liberating and freeing feeling.

I want to review chips

Yes, potato chips from a bag. If you know me, you know that I love chips, chips of all kinds. I love tasting new flavors of chips and enjoy them as a snack. I also have an embarrassingly good overview of what all the different kinds of chips here in Denmark are like. Denmark is a great place for potato-chip lovers such as myself, because most stores have their own brands with many varations, as well as imported chips, artisanal chips etc.

I realized that while my knowledge of chips in Denmark is great, I’ve never really taken it to the next level. I thought there must be a way to practice my love of chips in a somewhat constructive manner. It led me to the idea of reviewing chips and publishing reviews. This would allow me to take a more critical look at what chips are like, as well as standardize my opinions on various chips.

Sure this may all sounds silly, but the internet is vast and surely there must be other people who share my interest. Even if there are not, it would be an enjoyable project for me to taste, describe, rate, and publish opinions on various chips. I could expand it to importing chips from around the world, I already know that there is significant variation between American, Danish, and East Asian chips for instance, which would be interesting to explore further.

I was going to live in a basement

As part of my temporary accommodation in Copenhagen, I was going to live in a basement for three whole weeks without a kitchen. As I have just gotten into cooking and also generally appreciate living above ground, this sounded a bit worrying.

To cope with that, I was going to write a daily diary, possibly posting it here on my blog, documenting my experience and projects with living in a basement. Of course the basement was decently furnished and had decent air quality, but it was mostly used for storage. While not inhuman conditions, I figured writing a diary would keep me sane and help me focus on the positive and interesting aspects.

Which is how I got the idea for this post and for writing more in general. Not only would a diary about life in a basement help entertain me and keep me sane, perhaps a diary would help me regardless of my altitude of living. You may see more posts in the future, possibly involving chips.

Parasite – 기생충

I’m not a movie guy, and I’ve only ever watched one Korean movie before, but on the recommendation of one of my students, I watched the newly released Korean movie, Parasite, or 기생충 as its Korean name is.

The movie has won many awards, rightfully so. It explores the differences between the life of the Korean upper class and the under-privileged, a topic that is on many Koreans’ minds these days.

The family we follow manages to “infiltrate” a rich family’s life by getting their various servants fired and them taking over their job. The rich family has no idea their maid, driver, and two tutors for their children are all in the same family, but instead believe they all share a professional relationship and just happen to know each other.

spoilers: When the rich family goes away for a camping trip, the poor family is tasked with taking care of the house. While they’re away, the previous maid returns and we find out that she’s been hiding her husband in a secret basement in the house.

When the poor family discovers this, they pressure the old maid by threatening to expose her. That is until the old maid finds out that the poor family managed to get her fired and manipulated the rich family to hire them all, now she threatens to expose them. Suddenly, the rich family decides to come back early as the campsite got flooded. After this, chaos ensues as they fight to keep their secret.

It ends in a bloody battle and several deaths, it is well worth the watch and my description will never do it justice.

My take aways
The movie was gripping, exciting, and intriguing the entire watch. Starting out you think you understand the premise of the movie, thinking it might be a sort of comedy. All that takes a huge turn after the old maid’s husband is found in the basement. Fairly quickly, the premise and mood of the movie turns much darker and bloodier.

As the poor family works for the rich family, their resentment builds up over time, culminating with the dad who works as a driver, stabbing the man of the rich family. The rich family goes about their life throughout the movie, completely unaware that they are acting privileged and are belittling the family who works for them. For me this was very effective in conveying some of how the very underprivileged must feel among the very over-privileged. Most of us is somewhere in between and rarely get to see this contrast, the same goes for Koreans, but putting the two extremes together was very effective for conveying the feelings felt on the underprivileged side.

It was just as interesting seeing a poor family portrayed as it was to see a rich family portrayed in Korea. Both were intriguing for different reasons. The rich are similar to many other nation’s rich upper class, perhaps with the difference being the intense focus from the parents on the education of their kids. The poor family too lived like in many other countries, but clearly prioritized having access to things like internet and Kakaotalk as an all important connection to the outside world. Perhaps this is now the same in most countries.

Having watched this movie, I definitely have a thirst for watching more Korean movies. Although this is the only one I’ve watched in recent times, you can tell that the Koreans have skills and experience in creating captivating movie experiences.