The Solo Traveller's View


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Moving on to other projects, I decided not to keep this domain going; and so it is goodbye, dear readers – this blog and all its content will soon disappear.



David Garrett’s Monkey Year

By now you will be aware that David Garrett is having a tough time in this Year of the Monkey. As he was born in the sign of the monkey himself, one might suppose that things would go his way, all the way, this year. But far from it! Chinese tradition notes that your worst troubles will usually befall you in those very years that correspond to your birth sign.

Therefore, Monkeys, beware! This year is likely to spring unpleasant surprises on you. In the recurring animal year of their birth, people are said to “suffer a lot of misfortunes, such as sickness, economic loss, physical injuries and obstacles in their career.” Or, as in David’s case, defamation and blackmail. His current troubles could be seen as corresponding to a universal cosmic pattern that underlies our lives – as ancient tradition has it – based on a cycle of twelve years. As David turns 36, this circle completes itself for the third time and brings with it a set of personal tests.

Now his carefully guarded private life has come under public scrutiny at last. How vastly unpleasant this must be. For once, it just isn’t about the MUSIC, and speculation is rife. “Why hasn’t David Garrett ever had a normal, happy, long-term relationship?” journalists and commenters have asked the world at large, and then were quick to opine that it must be because of his presumably narcissistic nature and supposedly deprived childhood: “He never learnt to love,” some stated with conviction.

How so? What is so striking upon seeing footage of David Garrett for the first time (and the second, and the third time …) is the sheer love, the kindness and affection expressed in his words, in looks, gestures and attitude. It isn’t easy to define or describe, but it is overwhelmingly visible. It is the reason why so many sit up and take note, because this quality certainly isn’t a common one. To quote a Chinese proverb: “Kindness is the best quality of the soul.”

And isn’t there plenty of evidence out there that he was loved as a child, and still is? That he grew up at the heart of a caring family? Look at the published pictures of their albums. His parents were not prone to marshmallow-parenting (sweet, soft and fluffy); they were ambitious for their gifted boy and, we are told, often harsh in their expectations and their discipline. But they clearly did care a lot.

It is too facile to trace David Garrett’s relationship problems back to his early years and to portray him as somehow damaged. Seen from a wider perspective, there are many with similar problems, and we find that eastern tradition summarily states: “The Monkey-Year man’s relationships with women will not be good.”

Wham! There you have it. Centuries of careful observation in one of the world’s most populous nations led the ancient sages to this conclusion. It is a broad generalization, to be sure; a lowest common denominator that allows for a wide range of individual troubles. Yet it isn’t all their own fault, for the same careful and age-old observation describes the manners of Monkey-Year men as follows:

“Male Monkey in Love: gentle, considerate, responsible, romantic. They usually win high popularity among the opposite sex because of their charming characteristics.”

“They can fully understand and respect others. If there is any conflict or quarrel, they will behave calmly and try their best to make up the relationship, so they always bring light-hearted love experiences.”

“How to get along with Monkeys? An everlasting relationship with them needs much patience and understanding. In daily life, they are sometimes impetuous and irritable. They need more space and freedom; restricted love will make them feel pressured. Enough trust is needed when getting along with them.”

“In relationships, Monkeys are not very quick in settling down, as they tend to be promiscuous and are easily bored. However, once Monkeys get a perfect partner, they commit to him/her in every possible way. Since Monkeys love to talk and are sociable, they can be communicated with easily.”

“Before confirming a stable love relationship, they are accustomed to considering all aspects, including future marriage life, children and family conditions. Excess consideration often leaves an irresolute and half-hearted impression.”


The Japanese Fortune Calendar features this description:

“People born in the Year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the cycle. Clever and skilful in grand-scale operations, they are adroit when making financial deals. They are surprisingly inventive and original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with astonishing ease.”

“Monkey people have a poor opinion of other people and tend to hold them in contempt. Yet monkey people are prized for their skills, talents and flexibility. They are good at making decisions and have common-sense practicality. They are fired with a deep desire for knowledge, and they read, see, and know a great deal. They have good memories and can recall fine points and details with ease. They are also passionate and strong-natured, but they tend to cool off quickly. They become famous if they are allowed to pursue their own course.”

Now, I’m no expert on the subject, but I have found the Chinese Zodiac a useful and remarkably accurate tool whenever a general picture of someone’s character was needed. And doesn’t it seem a fitting description of David Garrett’s nature? Highly talented, hard-working, pragmatic, of magnetic personality, skilled, smart, nimble-fingered, lively, playful, entertaining, creative, restless and inquisitive; at times aloof, impetuous and irritable, at others charming, witty and mischievous … What other animal but the monkey could symbolise a union of these traits?

To differentiate this classification of human nature further, ancient Chinese wisdom associated each year in turn with the characteristics of one of their five elements: earth, water, metal, wood and fire. By their reckoning, 1980 was a Metal Monkey year, which adds a more pragmatic touch to its children. They are seen as more intense in their focus, more disciplined, more confident and ambitious, as well as inventive, demonstrative, strong, sophisticated and independent.

“The Metal Monkey becomes the most focused and determined of the Monkey signs. Those born under the Metal Monkey sign are known to display independence and a willpower in all of their pursuits, which is appropriate because the Metal Monkey has high aspirations. While the Metal Monkey shares in the clever mind of its sign, they have the added benefit of wisdom and practicality. In all matters of life, the Metal Monkey is passionate and uncompromising. In this sense, they may be the most concerned with their material standing.”

None of this was written about David Garrett, yet all of it seems to fit, including this warning:

Monkeys should not show off their wealth, or they will be persecuted by others. (…) They should guard against untrustworthy people and discipline themselves in order to avoid trouble.”

2016-06 DG and Monkey on Twitter

His very apposite Twitter post

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from nesting in your hair. – Chinese proverb

Moving on to other projects, I decided not to keep this domain going; and so it is goodbye, dear readers – this blog and all its content will soon disappear.