June 22, 2013

An announcement regarding Taiwan

I have a little announcement to make... 

Yes, I am going to Taiwan, no change there. And just as planned it is only me going.  I will go later this summer. 

However there is a small change... After my visit to Taiwan in January I decided that I was going to be in Taipei at least to start with, so I would have the safety of the international network - and additionally to that Taipei is very well organised and structured with a well functioning metro and so forth.

Well, that part of the plan has changed. I have decided, after having gone back and forth, to go to a school in another city. It is still a big city but I need to be somewhere where there is a little bit less distraction and not quite so many interesting things to get involved in - because I am very good at getting involved in various interesting things. 

In Taiwan the distances are relatively short so even if I live in another town, Taipei is easy accessible and I can easily visit and even move there if I feel too isolated, but I really need to push myself out of the comfort zone and challenge myself - and in Taipei I have the feeling I'd quickly get into the international community too quickly - that is what I tend to do wherever I go... 

June 21, 2013

The preparation - slower than planned, but it's going

Preparing that move

First there was work, then there was renewal of pass and other paperwork And then there was of course visiting the family, seeing my aunt and my cousins I hadn't had a chance to see in years (last time I tried I got snowed in...). And then some other travel that I wanted to do, plus the last chance to travel with some of my friends. 

Now there are are no excuses anymore. I need to prepare the last steps of the move - here, as well as in Taiwan. I am really on the way, even though I haven't really understood it, emotinally, yet. It is not all that easy to pack up and say goodbye, nor to get rid of all the things I need to get rid of as well as determine what needs to come with me. 

I don't like detailed planning, except for the things where it is really necessary, I prefer to be able to be spontaneous. I can't be completely spontaneous when it comes to this but I will make sure I allow some flexibility, and perhaps I am allowing a little bit too much of it right now, as I don't have all the details sorted. I have practically left Düsseldorf already, I will just come and go a few times during the summer, most of the time I will be on the road - France, UK and hopefully Poland await - and maybe somewhere more... 

Soon enough you will start seeing posts about Taiwan and my upcoming adventures here on the blog. But for a while longer there will be other things that are in focus. Bear with me! 

And have a good summer! 

June 20, 2013

The most spicy food in Indonesia

If you want real spicy, it's not in Jakarta you should stay

Various chillis in the market, Manado, Indonesia
They told me that the most spicy food in Indonesia come from Manado, Sulawesi.

They also told me that in Manado they eat more or less everything that moves.

So naturally I had to go and explore...

I was visiting Indonesia 2010, with no specific agenda - it was an impulse and a spontaneous idea. While I go to Asia every year Indonesia wasn't really on my radar screen. Sure, I had met great people from Indonesia, and I knew I'd go eventually, but it wasn't on the top list. And still I went there before going to other countries, like Japan, that I had wanted to visit for much longer.

It all started email from HR saying "you have to take your holiday". So I looked online, found a special deal for Jakarta, and booked. Just like that I was going to Indonesia...

I arrived in Jakarta a dark night, very late and came to an airport that felt more like a small provincial airport than an international one, and had I not already been given advice on which taxi company to use and had a first night in a hotel booked I could have been lost and fooled then and there. Jakarta is not an easy city to get your head around.

June 15, 2013

My main reasons to spend that extra time in Gothenburg

Yes, I went up to Sweden because I needed to get a new passport, and yes, it is great to see everybody that I managed to see, but forgive me, the main reasons to spend some extra days in the Gothenburg (Göteborg) area are these: My niece Elin, just over two, pictured below -  and Sander and Aima, the two children of my good friends -  funny, charming, full of ideas, tips and tricks, of course very clever - aren't all children that we are close to - and forcing me to rediscover things I had forgotten. Plus I can be just as silly as I want with them... Not bad!

We had a long session playing with the sock-monster Axel, to the right, created by Sander. Axel has, as you can see, a moustache that is a little bit too long and makes it difficult for him to eat.  Maybe puppets should be my new call, can you see me in a career as a puppeteer?

With the children (and especially with my niece) it isn't just about maintaining but about building a relationship - thankfully there is Skype and many other ways to do so, because how else could you do it with children as young as my niece?

June 12, 2013

And the sun is shining - a trip to Gothenburg

Ann-Katrin eating a huge cinnamon bun, bun bigger than my face
Cinnamon roll at in the Haga district
As a part of the preparations for the move I have had to go through my documents and ensure that they are up to date - to apply for a Taiwanese visa, or even to travel to Taiwan and much of Asia, I have to have a passport that is valid for more than six months. Mine wasn't - it expires later this year. I therefore decided to combine getting a passport with seeing friends and family in Sweden. 

I booked my tickets earlier this year and on Wednesday I arrived in Gothenburg. It's been a pleasure; It is as stressful as always in one way; A hectic schedule, a lot of people I want to see and I am seeing and a lot that I want to see but can't - it simply isn't possible as everybody lives busy lives. But this time I have a little bit more time than I normally have, I have 10 days, which means I have a the possibility to meet up with a few more and see a bit more than normal. 

Covered so far...

Picnic/BBQ in Alingsås, a beautiful little town close to Gothenburg,  celebrating the Swedish National Day June 6 with the family - almost all my siblings and their partners, as well as the parents.

June 01, 2013

June 1 - I am no longer an employee

From today, June 1, I am no longer an employee. Instead I am a student. I am taking my first step towards a new life and eventually a new career, but never again will I let work become more important than life - work has to be life. It has been an interesting and fun road so far - both work and career - but it is definitely time for something new. My decision  2012, to move on and find new areas to grow in was the right decision. Never again do I want a job that mainly means sitting down, in the future I want to make my passion my life, and I need to do what I do best; Not sitting still.

Now it is time to spread my wings, take off, and see where my dreams will take me...

I am excited, thrilled, and a little bit scared. And I hope you will follow me on this new adventure - from travelling Europe, to the planned move to Asia - and then, well, who knows what will happen after that...

And to ensure that I really do what I say I do: When this is being published I am actually already on the road - I am in Prague, Czech republic, with friends.  The adventure has started!