Friday, 8 January 2010

May Peace Prevail on Earth

I saw this in front of a church in Tanzania. I took this picture because I thought some words in Swahili was quite similar to Malay (see if you can figure it out below).
Peace in Tanzania

And then I went to Nepal, and saw this same signpost again!

Peace in Nepal
Something mysterious going on here. What is this peace pole? A quick search on the internet, and I found the World Peace Prayer Society and their Peace Pole Project. Now I must go looking for it when I travel ;)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2009 in review

Time passes by so quickly. Before you know it, another year has gone by. What have I achieved in 2009?


1. Working and living in a foreign country for the second year

Wow – cant believe its been 2 years already. Feels surreal to tell people I’ve been living in Bangkok for 2 years now. Also, one of the oldest expat in office now (many have left). But, I still cant speak Thai – although…


2. Learn a foreign language

Yeap – I enrolled in a beginner Thai class. Now I can tell people that I’m not Thai! However, still a long way to go before I could carry a conversation.


3. Blogged

Yeah, I can’t believe I managed to keep this blog alive. Although I’ve been pretty quiet the last few months, especially in December. OK – I’ve gotta continue and update more frequently about life overseas. Oh yeah, I think I earned about $4 this year from Google ads (hahaha).


4. More responsibility in the job

Uh huh – I’ve got promoted from ‘officer’ to ‘manager’ level (feels like I’ve ‘grown up’). And the role comes with a lot of responsibilities. I’m already feeling a bit overwhelmed now, especially towards the end of the year – if anyone has noticed, I’m barely in Bangkok or have any time on my own! And this blog and my photography is the first to be affected. But the learning curve for me has spiked. I’m now managing several projects on my own, conducting workshops on my own and deciding on how I spend my own budget even. And of course, arranging my own time – yeah, lots of flexibility in this job. I think I’m starting to get a hang of this job – although I wish I had more time for myself.


5. Travelled to 9 different countries

Excluding Thailand and Malaysia, of course. This also includes 2 new countries (Tanzania and Philippines) and several new places. Some places are already becoming quite similar, its blurring together already. I’m starting a new column on the right - “Where have I been in 2010?” – so I don’t lose track!

Here’s the list of travels in 2009:

  1. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  2. Jaipur and Jodhpur, India (Jodhpur twice)
  3. Chiang Mai, Thailand (twice)
  4. Koh Samet, Thailand (holiday)
  5. Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania
  6. London, UK
  7. Colombo, Sri Lanka
  8. Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal (part holiday)
  9. Hanoi, Vietnam
  10. Beijing, China
  11. Cebu and Bohol, Philippines (part holiday)
  12. Shanghai, China

Conclusion: India is still the most sucky place to go. Philippines is surprisingly very nice. And everyone should do a safari in Africa at least once in their lifetime (and don’t skimp on getting a good guide – it does make a lot of difference).

Oh, and I must add that I managed to stay in Bangkok for an entire month (of June) – which is a big feat by itself!


6. Did paragliding!

Its so cool, everyone should do it. And its not as scary as it seems. 


7. Upgraded my camera

Bought a new camera and sold off the old one. Although most picture taking experience is still the same – so therefore, its always the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photo. Also managed to join several microstock agencies and sold a couple of photos (I think I earned like $3 so far). Now, I just gotta take and upload more photos. However, due to hectic schedule, my photography enthusiasm is a little down towards the end of the year (yeah, I’m blaming everything on my workload). Gotta find a way to pick it up again this year. Hmm… would having a Macbook help?


Well, in summary: 2008 brought me lots of new experiences. 2009 gave me a chance to refine those experiences. Lets see what 2010 brings…

Happy 2010!