31 December 2019

Looking Back: Year 2019

The year is almost over, Happy New Year! And guess what, it seems that I am still here. This blog is still going strong, so let me review what has happened during the past year by giving this overview post. This is the tenth 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.

2019 was a good year for me. I have been having fun in my career, enough that I even got promoted. I also applied for permanent residence in Germany, and was approved, which means that I will always have a home here. This also means that my path to citizenship is also approaching. This is also the year that I decided to move forward and live for the future, and not for the past. Concretely, this means I stopped obsessing over the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses: I haven't written about this topic since 2018, since I decided that I'd rather focus my attention on the things that I actually enjoy. While I might have a past that I don't like, I also don't need to always dwell on it. So as far as I am concerned, that chapter is now closed, and I won't re-open it again.

So overall, life in 2019 was good, and the year was something I enjoyed.

So what else happened in 2019, at least according to this blog?

In January, I talked about renewing my vaccines. This was relevant because I took a not-so-short trip to Southeast Asia, and we thought it was wise to do so. When it comes to travel, I actually started this year outside of my home country, since I was in Vietnam when the new year ushered itself in.

In February, I took comfort in Ethiopian food, which is something I do once in a while. Don't go to an Ethiopian restaurant when you're with a date, because it's going to be messy. I also remarked about a bunch of dead trees, which is sad because these are trees that are farmed just for Christmas, only to be thrown away a few days later. I also talked about spending time with former colleagues who are academics, which is something I don't typically do. I also shifted away from Nokia, when I got a new phone, which was remarkable since I have been a Nokia user ever since I had my first mobile phone.

In March, I gave my academic books away, signalling the end of another chapter in life. I also exercised my right to be forgotten. This month also saw me in Belgium, when I spent a long weekend in Brussels and did some day trips around the city. Additionally, I was in Luxembourg for a business trip.

In April, I talked about applying for permanent residence. And I exercised my right to be forgotten again. This was also the month when we were in Istanbul for Easter weekend.

In May, I exercised my right to be forgotten for a third time. I seem to have been on a roll. I also lost my love for Tegel Airport. And I also got food poisoning, which seems to happen whenever I visit fancy places, like Luxembourg. Speaking of travel, I was on the road for two weeks, spending time in Barcelona as well as in various places in Andalusia.

In June, I wrote about me being impressed with the new airport in Istanbul. I also wrote about ethics and moral dilemmas. I was also watching airplanes which is something I do whenever I feel under the weather.

In July, I remarked how holidays are holy in Europe. I also wrote about my personal views on money and spending, as well as about how sometimes I feel that I needed to conserve bandwidth, and about the ups and downs of the employee experience.

In August, I met up with a friend who is less fortunate than me, which made me think about the sad feeling when you think that your best years are already behind you. I was also rather pleasantly surprised when I realised how open-minded Filipinos can be. Also, for some reason, I also discussed about sex and technology. I was also promoted.

In September, I celebrated by seventh year anniversary here of being here in Berlin. I also talked about motivation, and about updating my CV. Travel-wise, I also had a three-week vacation in Peru, where I also stopped in Madrid on the way, in order to meet a friend and have dinner.

In October, I was dodging drug dealers.

In November, I finally saw the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time, and they were definitely brilliant. I also received permanent residence! Finally, I was in Amsterdam for a weekend at the end of this month.

In December, I wrote about my changing attitudes toward money again, where I contradicted what I wrote earlier. I also hopped around Europe, first to western Germany for a business trip, then spending Christmas in Budapest with my in-laws, followed immediately by a stay in London to check it out, while the UK is still part of the EU.

This year, I wrote about 43 books, 4 plays or theatre performances, 2 operas and 4 other musical events.

Summarising my travel, it was again an interesting year, as always. I added Turkey to my country count, increasing it to 50. And I still went on trips where I revisited countries I have been to before, discovering new places within them. So I went to Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Peru, the Netherlands, Hungary, and the United Kingdom again this year, not to mention the fact that I started this year in Vietnam. Compared to 2018 it seems I travelled less, but that might change next year. I already asked my boss for example for an additional week off of work for 2020, and that seems to be no issue. No other big changes are anticipated for 2020, so we'll still be here.

Happy 2020 everyone, and hopefully I still see you here this incoming year!

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