1. What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before?
I took a boat to China!
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I doubt i made any.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Taiwan, China. I'm not sure if i really visited Saudi Arabia or Malaysia, but i looked at them out of a porthole.
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Nothing. Most of what i had in 2017 will be gone as soon as i start work again in 2018. I'm prepared for several more years of misery till i can afford another brief taste of freedom.
7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't really care about dates. I quite enjoyed climbing up the mountain behind Delphi. It was baking hot and i didn't bring enough water and didn't see another soul because no one else was crazy enough to hike in that weather. Getting caught alone in a tropical storm in the middle of the jungle in Taiwan was pretty scary too. Oh, so was getting drunk and stranded in that little village next to the badlands. And the smell of diesel fumes in the thick, humid fog of the Strait of Malacca. Perhaps those alone times are most memorable now that i am in mainland China where anywhere you go there are a half dozen other people there waiting for you. Except for Hengsha Island. Biking around Hengsha Island in the Yangtze smog was amazing too.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Deciding to look for work again.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mostly just the usual colds and flus, but a particularly memorable injury was the epic, epic sunburn i got in Hualien. It incapacitated me for days. The lower half of my shins are still discolored months later.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
All i've bought this year besides food and transport is interview clothes and a water bottle. I guess that water bottle is pretty useful. Oh. Games and books. Most of those were good.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration this year?
I don't really celebrate individuals.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Private Chinese lessons. I think i have spent almost 10,000€ on learning a language that once i leave this country i will probably never use again. I could have spent a year living like a king in some backpacker paradise for that.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Quitting work. Though by the time i finally did i was just exhausted.
16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
Despacito. It is the only song that i heard in every country i visited, and was actually memorable enough for me to recognize it again each time.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner
iii. richer or poorer? poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish i had spent more time at sea. Just being out on the ocean completely away from everyone and everything was amazing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I already spent Christmas. I went to school. Bought a mango. Came home. Played a computer game. Slept.
21. How will you be spending New Year’s?
You're looking right at it. Beer, rice crackers, couple of shows, maybe a computer game. Then sleep.
22. Did you fall in love in 2017?
Hell the fuck no.
23. How many one-night stands?
None, thank Christ.
24. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
Good question. I really enjoyed The Expanse and Dark Matter. But outside of my sci-fi bubble i think The Americans continued to be one of the best shows on TV. I was very pleased to discover Dirk Gently too. That is totally up my alley.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
Another very good question. I really enjoyed reading all of The Expanse novels on the boat, and i enjoyed reading half of Factory Girls by Leslie Chang (the part about the migrant workers, not the autobiographical part). But let's not kid around. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson is the one that keeps coming back into my head and that i recommend to everyone i meet. The world building is great.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Despacito? Ha. I don't know, i stopped buying music after moving to Berlin where i could hear new great stuff every week. I might start again now that i am living somewhere where clubbing is less convenient. I dunno.
One discovery might be 薛之谦, who is a popular Chinese torch singer.
28. What did you want and get?
I wanted a sabbatical and most definitely got it.
29. What did you want and not get?
I wanted freedom but realized that as long as i have to return to work i will never really have it.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I only watched one movie and it was Valerian. It was awesome.
31. What did you do on your birthday?
I have no idea. I hope i didn't go to work.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Same as it has been for a decade or more. Adidas. Jeans. Tank top. Hoodie. The end.
34. What kept you sane?
Alcohol, hiking and the internet.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I am so happy to be over all that.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Another excellent question. The issue of how (mostly) African migrants have struggled to make it to Europe only to be exploited and discriminated against once they arrive became very obvious to me in southern Italy. I have always been an advocate for true freedom of movement, but this year has been a horrifying wake-up call for me as even people on the so-called left spout protectionist/nationalist nonsense. I have no time for anyone in the developed world who wants to pull up the drawbridge behind them.
But, now i have been spending more time in China, i am also even more annoyed at capitalism, and particularly the confluence of capitalism and immigration law that encourages the rich to buy permanent residence through investment in developed nations. Because that's exactly what is happening here. Once successful Chinese get rich enough, they leave for America and take all their cash with them. Not because America is a great country for immigrants, but because it is a great country for rich people. Meanwhile the global poor who created the wealth in the first place get screwed, again.
Oh, and fuck everyone who is listed in the Paradise Papers. The most criminally under-reported story of 2017. I guess no one cares any more since even the motherfucking president of America will shamelessly pull any scam to extract cash from the poor and line his own pockets with government money. Disgusting.
Yeah, fuck capitalism. Fuck nationalism too. Fuck rich people and fuck borders.
Oh, i watched Unicorn Riot's Blake Snake Killaz movie this morning. So fuck the police too.
As usual, there is a lot to be "stirred" about.
37. Who did you miss?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I met so many fascinating people. I think the best have been my two main language teachers, simply because i am spending so much time with them. It's interesting sharing so much of your life with people who technically aren't even friends. Sort of like a real-life LiveJournal.