Octoberfest Cancelled

Due to coronavirus, Germany has canceled Octoberfest. The event would have taken place from mid September to early October. It was a “difficult decision,” Munich Mayor Markus Soeder said, but it had to be done.

“The risk is just too high. You can neither keep your distance there nor wear a face mask. Living with [coronavirus] means living cautiously until there is a vaccine or medication.”

Germany has nearly 150,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus now, and Octoberfest brought over 6 million visitors to Germany in 2019.

While new coronavirus cases have approached zero in some countries that have flattened the curve successfully, like China and Korea, and will likely do so in much of the world during the summer, there is concern that another outbreak could take place in the fall and winter.

Patrick Rincon, a contributor to BombsDollars.com, collaborator with me in my travels, and sometimes co-author along with me of travel articles (see our work in Roads and Kingdoms), was planning on going to Octoberfest this year.

He talks with me on YouTube and shows off his German accent:

The cutest Nanjing aunties! — New YouTube videos on coronavirus

I’ve been hard at work trying to come up with content for you during this coronavirus lockdown period, and luckily I still have lots of exciting video from China and Asia, even though I am currently in the United States. So I present some of it here: my experience meeting some vivacious young (at heart) women in Nanjing Youth Cultural Center in February:

Election Results: Korean Democratic Party wins landslide supermajority

As I wrote in The National Interest,

As of 1 am Korea time, Korea’s public broadcaster Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) projected the Democratic Party to be on track to win about 174 seats, while the opposition United Future Party (UFP) would win about 109. The target for a super-majority is 180 seats. [Note: The Democratic Party has since been confirmed as winning 180 seats.] Projections leave only about 17 seats for minor parties and independents, a huge drop from the 55 seats won by all third-party candidates in 2016.

The partisan-regional divide was exacerbated. The Democrats dominated the west side of Korea, while the UFP painted the east pink. The Democrats are expected to win nearly 100 of the 122 seats in the Seoul Capital Area, which consists of the city of Seoul, Incheon, and the Seoul suburbs in surrounding Gyeonggi province. 

Read my full article at The National Interest.

I also made two videos about the election and the TV graphics. The first imagines what American election coverage would be like if the networks used the same kind of graphics:

The second is in Korean:

Koreans begin voting now!

Korea’s 21st General Election has started. Korean citizens will vote for the 300 members of their National Assembly. I have been blogging about the election, the candidates, and polls at www.KoreanElectionBlog.com.

My prediction, which I made at the blog, is a little on the high side. I said the Democratic Party of Korea, the current plurality/ruling party, would win with 160 seats, while most Korean newspapers are predicting in the high 140’s (which would still be enough to control).

Watch me and American University Adjunct Professer Lee Jong-eun discuss the election:

We will both be talking about the election results on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow night. Follow our socials:

Asia Travel Writer – Mitchell’s Facebook

Bombs + Dollars (foreign policy) – Facebook

@MitchBlatt – Twitter

Lee Jong-un’s blog

Lee Jong-un’s Facebook

I publish “Drinking Asian Liquors” compilation

Over the years, I have enjoyed trying out new and interesting drinks from around the world. Sometimes I film myself drinking them. Sometimes I narrate. Here I cut together some of the best videos I have done before of myself trying Chinese bai jiu, Thai Mekhong, Japanese gin, and medicine wine.

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here to see my regular new videos: Mitchell Blatt, Asia Travel Vlogger