We’re now in a new year so belated Happy New Year, people. I have been a bit occupied, mainly with work and home-hunting (the latest development in my recent apartment agency BS saga) and not a few late-night football pub viewings with good colleagues. To be honest, I haven’t been feeling very festive lately. My apartment agency issues haven’t gone away at all, but I didn’t want to have my last blog in 2013 be about them, nor my first of 2014, so no more of that in this post.
2013 was a weird year. I accomplished a few major personal goals and achievements. Firstly, I finally made the move to the mainland after 5 years in Taiwan, after several years of thinking and hesitating, and within a week had landed a decent job back in media. I spent a month living out of a suitcase in a hotel, before finding my own place. Earlier in the year, I quit my job in Taipei after almost 2 and a half years. I finally went to Southeast Asia, going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, and it was fantastic as a whole. I also went to Japan for a short trip, and climbed Mount Fuji- shows how far behind I am in blogging about my travels that I haven’t written about my Japan trip yet. I kept writing throughout the year, mostly travel pieces for the China Daily and the Global Post, as well as a few book reviews for the ARB though I didn’t do any feature story. In terms of relationships, 2013 was another year of failure as I had a particularly sudden and perplexing ending to a semi-relationship with a particularly feisty Chinese girl. Meanwhile, I left a decent rabble of coworkers in Taipei but have managed to land amongst another good bunch in Beijing.
Unlike one year ago in Taipei, my New Year’s Eve was spent out during the entire day and inside the entire night, and my New Year’s Day was spent …. working, so I don’t have any special New Year’s photos this time. New Year’s Day night was spent going to a local sports bar to see a big Premier League game only for the place to be closed, before heading over to the usual pub to watch one half. Halftime saw us walking to neighboring restaurants asking them if they were showing the game on TV. We found one, with the staff seeming bemused at this mixed rabble of Westerners and Chinese. A few drunk oldsters even came over, excited at seeing real white Westerners in the flesh, though this was not mutual. One colleague was a bit nervy at the prospect of baijiu toasts interrupting him watching his favorite club, which drunk locals are supposedly wont to do with foreigners at restaurants, but thankfully it didn’t happen.