Get into a groove

Two weeks into my new Dali life, and I’m finally finding my groove, finding my rhythm. Recovered from a dreadful cold, most of my stuff unpacked and organized in my temporary accommodation, scored a great membership deal at a fabulous swimming pool, picked up my Chinese language study again, finding focus and places to work.

My favourite Dali work place

Got rhythm

I’ve found that having a rhythm is all-important, now more than ever. House, finances, health and work are in flux. But habits, rituals and spaces that feel like home or a workplace provide stability. I use a habit tracker app to get daily prompts to study Chinese, block time for quality reading and exercise. As a result I feel much better.

Mental and physical health are being restored here


Last weekend I had my first big night out in Dali. I slapped on some ghoulish Halloween make-up, put on my Dutch ‘minority’ costume and danced for hours in King Cat club. It’s been more than 100 days without alcohol now but who needs booze when the DJs are this good? It was wonderful to finally let off some steam and be surrounded by new friends.


I’ve been going over to check on the Heyang house proceedings every couple of days. Contractor Yang shifu and his labourers are working fast and delivering beautiful work.

Yang shifu

The house and courtyard are now one messy-yet-organized building site with about 6-8 workers all working on different tasks – plastering the walls, finishing up the windows, putting in the sewage, laying bricks. Roomstyler is an excellent communication tool: I design, they build it according to the images I send through.

Working it

Work-wise things are going well enough. I need more (paying) clients, but for now, I’m quite busy with events lined up for November and December. Three of those are not bringing in any money but that’s ok. I’m happy to contribute hours for the Have a Heart fundraiser event in Kunming, organize the second edition of a micro-festival with my Kunming International Situationist Society art collective and prepare a Dutch community get-together for Sinterklaas.

The one event that earns me some income is another iteration of the Dutch Culture Night, this time in collaboration with the Dali Art Factory. Which means I have now three partners/venues here in Yunnan. Today I’m finalizing the proposal and budget for a full programme of Dutch Culture Nights in 2021 in Kunming, Dali and Xizhou.

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