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New Year

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Happy New Year 2011

Today is the first day of the new year. As everybody knows, but some people choose to forget, it is very much the same as yesterday, the last day of the previous year. To be honest, I find celebrating new year somewhat arbitrary and regard them more as a good opportunity to meet friends and have a good time. I don’t care much for countdowns and even two years in Taiwan has made me tired of fireworks.I feel that I have some things I want to write in this post, even though summarising the year is not among them (I do that on my birthday).

To start with, I want to thank everybody who made last night’s party wonderfully nice; special thanks to the hosts of course! All factors except possibly the weather contributed: just the right number of people (and a fair number I didn’t know), just the right amount of alcohol, just the right atmosphere. It was great, thanks!

I would like to mention a more serious and also somewhat pessimistic topic. New Year’s Eve seems to be a day when self-delusion is elevated to a virtue. What’s up with all these New Year’s resolutions? Isn’t it obvious that the concept is deeply flawed and probably leads to more harm than good? For instance, if there is something you want to change in your life, why do you wait until a specific time to start? It’s arbitrary and if you really want to change something, you should do it immediately. There is no future,  the future is now. Moreover, setting yourself a goal to achieve within one year is doomed to fail. Why give yourself one year to achieve something? Why not estimate how long it will take and then set a reasonable deadline, preventing you from postponing important actions until December, when it’s almost time for a new resolution? New Year’s resolutions are the epitome of bad goal management. I won’t elaborate on what to do instead here, but check this link for some thoughts.

Lastly, I’ll write something about what’s going on in general. I seldom write about my personal life here nowadays, but this will be an exception. Apart from a minor essay, I have virtually full control over my time right now, meaning that I can do whatever I choose to do without the sometimes annoying restraints imposed my university curricula. So, what do I do with my time, then? Apart from idle surfing, reading, cubing, studying Chinese and hanging out with friends (i.e. the things I usually do), I’ve also started writing my novel again. That project was put on ice when I moved to Taiwan, which means that I haven’t done anything for several years. Now, however, I’m not only up-to-date, I’ve also updated my planning, plotted the remaining parts of the book and started writing. I don’t know when it’s realistic to have a draft ready, but I would guess pretty soon.

Gott nytt år!
Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

The New Year tradition as celebrated here in Taiwan is a lot more compatible with the Western way, probably because they borrowed the holiday from us in the first place. January 1st is a day off, but we had classes like normal on New Year’s Eve, just like on Christmas Eve. New Year’s Eve has no special place in my heart, it’s just a reason an good as any to get together with some friends and have fun. Which is what we did.

It didn’t start out that way, though. Ian, Peitsen and I were supposed to meet at the train station at around seven, but for various reasons, we went there separately. Everything was okay until I was about to get off the bus and discovered that my wallet was missing (here, you use the card once when you board the bus and once when you get off). Since I’m sure that I had when I got on and it wasn’t on the bus when I tried to get off (I stayed on and looked rather carefully), the only explanation is that somebody stole it. Very odd, considering that I was sitting down all the time and the bus wasn’t that crowded, but I really can’t think of any other reason. If somebody found it and thought it lost, they would have asked around or told the driver.

So, starting the evening with losing credit card, alien residence certificate, some money, student card, and so on, wasn’t that good, but with Peitsen’s help, we were still able to meet up with Ian, although somewhat late. From then on, the evening progressed smoothly with lots of good food at 月明’s place. She lives close enough to the Taipei 101 to see the fireworks without much effort, but I hadn’t realised the location was that good! In all, I had a really good time and my classmates are one of the major reasons I like studying at NTNU right now, so thanks a lot, again!

Since I neither believe in New Year promises (January 1st is like any other day, so if I thought I ought to change something, I would already have attempted to do that, see my post about postponement), nor use this day to summarise the year (I use my birth day, so please wait another two months!), I’ll round off this post with some photos (I suggest you head over to Facebook for other people’s photos, mine are somewhat random and some nice people are missing entirely):



Ian and I.

Happy New Year!

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Sedan igår har jag och Alva kompisar som bor här och kommer att fira nyår med oss. Vi har arrangerat en liten tillställning som officiellt börjar om en timme ungefär, så det börjar bli dags att dra sig härifrån. Det här är anledningen till att jag inte skrivit någonting på sistone, men det blir bättring på det under början av nästa år. Jag har ett par recensioner på gång och funderar också på att på något sätt sammanfatta året som gått. Till dess önskar jag er en trevlig nyårsafton!