01 January 2016

Looking Back: Year 2015

The Year 2015 just ended. And I am still here. So let me review what happened here during the past year, by giving an overview post. This is the sixth time I am doing this: I have been doing this since 2010, and I think it's a good way to wrap up the year.

Time indeed flies fast: I've been here in Berlin for three years now. Things are still the same, things are still good, although I have a feeling that big changes are going to happen this incoming year. I am not at liberty to tell what they are at this time, so stay tuned for that in case you're curious, as I will definitely talk more about it later when I can.

So what else happened this year? Well, here are some highlights.

In January, I talked about seeking an adventure, as it has been a while since I have been into one. I also blogged about feeling out of place due to not having the right background for some events here in Germany. I also finished my bottle of One Million. And I ranted about digital nomads, saying how inappropriate that label is. Travel-wise, this month began with my flying from Bangkok to Budapest, and then to Berlin, on my return from Myanmar.

In February, we watched Sumi Jo perform in Berlin, which was amazing. Additionally, we also saw Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, which is a favorite piece of mine. And yes, I also blogged about religion and its negative effects yet again, in conjunction with the Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris. Finally, I experimented in my kitchen by making some Chinese tea eggs. They turned out quite well, actually! And when it comes to travel, we stayed in Berlin for this month.

In March, I blogged about how the media sensationalizes things for its readers. I also complained about travel blogs, comparing them to broken records, as they seem to be saying the same things over and over again. I also remarked about the lack of customer service in Europe, as it definitely is quite horrible compared to North America. Then I also wrote something about the changing ways of communicating with an airline, where nowadays we can check our flight status using Twitter. And yes, again I went to listen to some amazing music, by attending a concert featuring the works of Karol Szymanowski. Travel-wise, this was quite an interesting month, as I spent two weeks in Israel and Palestine, followed by a business trip to Los Angeles, with a side-trip to Boulder, Colorado.

April was the month when I ranted about hipsters, as I see them everywhere here in Berlin. I also purchased a new laptop, which is not a Sony, as they don't make VAIOs anymore. I attended a piano recital by Maria Lettberg, and I blogged about some thoughts regarding my electronic life. I also reflected on some of my feelings when I see Filipinos on the road. This was also the month of Easter, which we spent in Paris.

Then came May, which started by me blogging about the psychology of defeat. I also expressed some of my thoughts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, having visited this region recently. I followed that with a post on how I didn't enjoy Los Angeles. And I also saw a good piece of theatre entitled Stupid Fucking Bird, which I saw while I was in Boulder, which I liked. I also blogged about my experience with food poisoning in Paris. With regards to travel, this was the month when I had a conference in Thessaloniki, and the week after I did a surprise appearance in Buffalo.

June began with a post on another musical event, the Titanium Klaviertrio. I also wondered about the correct or typical frequency in which one should take a shower, given that I thought one of our guests needed to take more. I also a couple other plays, Schwarz gemacht and Straight White Men. I started going to the German-Japanese stammtisch. I also talked about the other side of academia, and finally, I talked about exceptional service when it comes to flying. We didn't travel outside of Berlin for this month.

In July, I celebrated ten years of blogging, as I started this blog in July 2005. I then remarked about the Greek paradox, as Greece has an economic crisis yet when I was in Thessaloniki it didn't feel that way. I also blogged about the boutique hotel experience, and how I flew to Buffalo as a surprise. I also listened to some percussion music, and I thought that Berlin is getting too hipster for my tastes. Finally, this was the month when we went to Budapest for a wedding.

In August, I finished another cologne bottle. I also ranted about linguists and their data, and how I seem to be desensitized when it comes to moving. I also blogged about my first ambulance experience, in conjunction to when I had surgery for the first time. We stayed in Berlin this month, and my sister also paid us a visit.

In September, I talked about how to live positively even though there are negative world events happening left and right. I also wrote about a Hungarian wedding that we attended. Of course, dealing with the German health care system also involves bureaucracy, so I wrote about that too. I wondered whether religious people could be liberal, and I also dabbled with the Hungarian language, and I also described how I needed to prepare for my surgery. Travel-wise, I went to Malta for a business trip, and I followed that with three weeks on the road in Morocco, which also spilled into October.

In October, I talked about how elderly people could be so rude. I also wrote about my surgery in detail. I followed that with an article comparing the benefits of counting destinations versus actually seeing them, which are travel strategies I both have employed. I also ranted about children and their personal choice about religion, and I also wrote about the refugee situation in Europe. It was interesting and weird because I actually found myself on the other side of the Mediterranean this month, seeing the perspective of those trying to cross it to head north to Europe, while I was in Morocco.

November gave me a chance to listen to modern music again, and I also ranted about Islamophobia, given the recent attacks in Paris. I had two short trips this month, one to Tübingen for a conference, and another to Vilnius for a weekend.

Finally, in December I ranted about Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia as well as about delayed bags, since I experienced this on my way back from Morocco. I also hinted about upcoming changes, and I also wrote about a recent negative experience with pickpockets here in Berlin. I also talked about how I hate it when speakers go overtime. This is also the month when I went to Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina for a week.

So that was 2015. It was overall a productive year again. My professional profile grew again, with new publications. I added 6 new countries to my country count (Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Lithuania, Croatia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina), bringing it to 45. I am still in Berlin for 2016, but there might be changes after that. This blog might move again, but at this point, it is still too early to tell. Here's to hoping that 2016 will also be a blast, with many more awesome things to come.

Happy 2016 everyone, and hopefully I still see you here this incoming year!

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