A full year

2016 started in Kyoto, Japan. I rarely celebrate New Year at all so a cozy home-made Japanese dinner with our AirBnB host who tried to get us to sample all the alcohol she owned from various parts of the country despite our half-hearted protests (“we have a train to catch early in the morning!”) was a perfect way to celebrate. The entire trip was great; a full post about it is in order.

In March, I left Autodesk where I’d been working since my graduation. The environment was relaxed and I miss some of the people there (and all the table tennis I haven’t played since I left) but I’m glad I made the change. I’m at ThoughtWorks now where I get to work on more interesting projects with some pretty smart people, and I feel like I’ve already learned more than I did at Autodesk.

Talking about work, I also tried my hand at teaching – from August to October, I taught a part-time web development course at General Assembly. I’ve never formally taught before and I enjoyed figuring out how to explain all these things I’ve gotten so used to over fifteen years into ten lessons for people who are trying them out for the first time. It was super tiring, made me appreciate my schoolteachers more, and was lots of fun!

Also for the first time, I travelled to Bangalore for work twice thrice. Thought it doesn’t feature on my Terribly Exciting Places to Visit list, the combination of good weather, bad traffic, we-close-at-eleven nightlife, and meetings with a friend made it rather enjoyable. One of the trips collided with the aforementioned teaching job, leading to an exhausting interesting time when I came back to Singapore on the morning of a class, flew to Bangalore the next day, and then returned on the following weekend in time for the next class. Whee–ouch.

The recreational travel front wasn’t as bright as the year before though. We went to Cameron Highlands in August after postponing the trip twice (a hill station at last!). The place, unlike the bus ride to it, was comfortable and convenient. In September, we did a short trip to Batam, which I can thoroughly recommend for a weekend getaway. I also went back home for Diwali because I’d forgotten about the life-threatening smoke, but we were at my grandparents’ in Shangarh for most of the time so it was all good – great, in fact.

Mid-year also witnessed a change in my living scenery. G and I elected to find a place together and our hunt for a place “somewhere central” brought us to Chinatown (thanks, 99.co!). Living in the middle of the city is fantastic – everything is a stone’s throw away. I can walk to work! Record stores and nice cafés are just round the corner! FoodPanda actually told me that they had “too many restaurants nearby” and suggested I filter them! Braddell with its tall trees and adequately-spaced buildings is being missed, but did I mention how nearby everything is now and that I walk to work?!

That brings us to the tail end of the year. It was shaping up to be quite uneventful (I’m in Singapore, which has has happened only once before despite my living here for six years) so I compensated by discarding many many many plastic pieces of paper from my wallet in lieu of a new record player, the beginnings of a record collection, a new set of speakers (I’ll miss you, beautiful Swans!) – the works, essentially. Can’t say I regret it at all, to be honest!

Here’s wishing you a happy new year too!

Christmas Day

Christmas, it seems, is a time for rearranging furniture, buying new furniture, and enjoying music whilst sitting on said furniture.

Rega Planar 1 playing Iron Maiden's The Number of
the Beast

Hope you had a merry one!

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