30 December 2016

Looking Back: Year 2016

The Year 2016 is coming to a close. I should say that I have a love-hate relationship with this year. There were great things that happened, and there were also things that sucked. Anyway, as I have done for the past six years, let me review the year by giving an overview post.

First of all, I guess I didn't realize that I would find myself living in Berlin for 4 years, and counting. In the past, 4 was a relatively high number. When I found myself hitting Year 4 in a certain place, I am sure I would be packing up and leaving again soon, moving again somewhere. I remember being in Buffalo and I was finishing up Year 4, and feeling very antsy. Anyway, it seems that I will still be here in Berlin for a while.

2016 is also the year with big events. I got married. Brexit happened. Trump got elected. There's more, but let's keep that for later. In the meantime, let me just give some highlights.

In January, I started the month by wondering whether I was burning out. I also wrote something about Berlin's drunk and homeless people. And I also wondered whether I would still have the energy to continue this blog. I also wrote about my waning interest in Couchsurfing.

In February, I wrote about how I was shocked with the way Americans go grocery shopping, as well as with the way Americans shout a lot. I also discovered a video game about chickens. I also ranted about being a Third Culture Kid again.

In March, I wondered whether I was slowly leaning to the right politically. I also wrote about how Jehovah's Witnesses advocate genocide. I headed out to East Berlin which I haven't done in a while. I also wrote about teaching in German academia, and about my thirst for adventure.

In April, I ranted about how Germans expect you to know everything. I also had the urge to visit a new country. I wondered about millenial entitlement. And I wondered whether I have turned into a foodie.

In May, I wrote about Orwellian totalitarianism in the Jehovah's Witnesses. Continuing with the theme of religion, I also wrote about religious exceptionalism.

In June, I wrote about how I gave a talk and learned something new, as well as about how people's looks vary depending on the destination of their flights. The Orlando shooting happened, and I wrote about how prayers are not needed. Regarding the topic of travel, I ranted about how other people's itineraries look like a checklist by going to 7 countries in 8 days. I also started by 12th year of blogging.

In July, I started the month by writing about religious hypocrisy, as well as about Brexit and racism. It was also my birthday, and I wrote about something I love about Berlin. I also wrote about food, by writing about burgers and eggs. I also gave advice on how to leave cults by building a new social network.

In August, I complained about French strikes, and wrote another advice article on how to leave cults by getting to know oneself. I found a hilarious old experiment I did years ago, and I wrote about ethnic restaurants in Berlin. Finally, I also wrote about the importance of finding good doctors.

In September, I complained about lab participants that are on drugs. I also wrote about my hair, and my nomadic life. I also wrote about the importance of education if one wants to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses. And finally, I blogged about chasing visas when one wants to visit another country.

In October, I wrote about German grumpy folks, and I also complained about lab participants who think I am stupid. This was also the time when I learned how to enjoy a conference city. And I also wrote about how to deal with Jehovah's Witness parents.

In November, I mused about appreciating food, as well as about the first-world problem of figuring out where to visit next. I also got a gaping hole in my face. And I wrote about living inside a bubble.

In December, I wrote about my cultural out of body experience, as well as about my collection of coins. I also complained about a bad experience with German trains, and I wondered about the state of the world. I also realized I need to maintain my knowledge of Japanese, and I wondered what to do with this blog yet again. Finally, I started enjoying improvisational theatre.

This year, I wrote about 21 books, 3 plays or theatre performances, and 4 musical concerts.

I added 3 new countries to my country count (Norway, Slovenia, and Iran), bringing it to 48. Additionally, I visited the United States (twice), Denmark, France, Spain, Poland, and Hungary again this year. I also visited a couple of other places within Germany. I will definitely be in Berlin during 2017, albeit with some changes. Here's to hoping that 2017 will be a blast, be better than last year, with many more awesome things to come.

Happy 2017 everyone, and hopefully I still see you here this incoming year!

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