Brothers in arms.

Over time, loneliness has a way of sneaking up on you when you are stranded in a truly foreign country. At first, it hides behind all the outlandish sights, sounds and smells that overwhelm you as you allow yourself to be dragged by the frenzied senses through streets and crossroads, straining like a bobcat on a leash. Then, one day, it simply steps out from the mundane shadows and cuts the chord that binds you to the world.

I’m delighted to say, then, that I’ve finally managed to make some Chinese chums in the far-flung Middle Kingdom. I honestly don’t know why this has taken me so long. Once you open your weary eyes and withered heart to the universal code of love and brotherhood that fundamentally unites mankind, you soon find that there are still fine, upstanding folks out there that are simply delighted to make your acquaintance.
What I really like about my new foreign friends is that they’re cool as fucking ice. Nothing ever seems to faze them, no matter what. Come hell or high water, they’re always consistent in their courteous, gently stoic Oriental demeanour. What you see is what you get, day in and day out. Right now, dear reader, that means a lot.

Overall, they’re just so incredibly different from most folks you encounter in these parts. Given my balding blond coiffure and sky-tinted windows of the soul (compounded by the ever-present Nikon bristling on my hip), I tend to draw some pretty suspicious – if not downright hostile – stares whenever I set foot out my front door. This gang is too wise in the ways of the world for this brand of crap. Whenever I run into them en route to the mall or the subway, they always seem happy to see yours truly. It’s incredibly refreshing not to be ogled as some non-essential sod of scum that, in the eye of the beholder, Trump and/or other noble leaders of the once-free world deem unworthy of repatriation to his plague-ridden home soil. Over here, you quickly learn to be grateful for small miracles. Plus, they never mind being photographed.

Also – and this is a biggie – the language barrier doesn’t seem to matter that much. Actually, we very, very seldom speak. We seem to have that rarest of relations going on: a connection that spans beyond words.

The thing I love most about this happy-go-lucky lot, though, and what deeply resonates with my dissident soul, is their downright rebellious nature. Take it from me: being an outlaw in a full-blown surveillance state is no mean feat, and they pull it off with classic renegade charm. Unfazed by the notorious social credit system that perpetually tightens the nuts and bolts on this rickety totalitarian juggernaut of the East, they could not give two fucks about wearing masks in public (or anywhere else, for that matter). Maybe they don’t dig the look. Having spent much time with them lately I can honestly say that it’s much more likely that they are awake enough to see through the entire divide-and-conquer horseshit charade, and simply refuse to submit to thinly disguised global tyranny. Social distancing? They care not. Having the choice to rather be six feet under than spend one’s life six feet apart should be everyone’s God-given right, and they simply have the courage to claim it, standing tall and stalwart like oaks in a storm.

For all this I commend them, and I feel truly blessed to count them as comrades. ‘Till the bitter end, if needs be.

Yea, brothers and sisters, I am proud to say I no longer endure on my own, even though I had to come to the flipside of the earth to finally find my tribe in a world gone mad with apathy and deceit. Should you feel side-lined in these dire, technocratic end times and are still searching for your clan, permit me the scant comfort of introducing you to mine.

Take heart, fellow flesh-and-blood sailor staring down the plank. You are never alone.









© Jac Kritzinger 2020.
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