All posts by 'Pong

2018 Wrap up: Saling in a Haze

Leaving Bangkok in January 2018
Leaving Bangkok, January 2018

The year of 2018 has been a quite a ride. Like 2016 and 2017, I have to go back and forth between Washington DC and Bangkok. In addition, I got to explore some territories I’d never been to. Here is a quick summary:

  • In Bangkok from December 2017 to the end of January
  • Work in Washington DC in February
  • A trip to Russia in April
  • Back in Washington DC until the end of June
  • A short visit to New York City
  • A long break in Bangkok from early July to mid-September
  • Back to Washington DC again until mid-December
  • Another stop in Tokyo
  • To complete to cycle, now I’m in back in Bangkok

No wonder that by the end of the year, it feels exhausting. The plus side was that it triggered some thoughts of possibilities.

It was a long time ago since I spent some time in a country, like Russia, I didn’t know their language. That made me realise how I missed an exploration that somehow Bangkok or Washington DC could not fulfil.

Also, I got to focus on Animated Doodle. That was a personal accomplishment that I had been struggling since I left Sydney. It was started during the mid-year break in Bangkok. The pace slowed down when I was back to work in Washington DC until it was done months later. That gave me some confidence that a personal project could be managed and achieved.

On the other hand, there were also some downfalls during the year. Some accumulated issues have emerged and caused me a fair amount of stresses.

I don’t mind this lifestyle—living in the two capitals back and forth. But that might not be sustainable in the long term and security has never been certain. There was a prospect for a longer contract that I could stay put in DC for a year or two without having to leave the US every three months. But that didn’t happen. Not to mention personal finance mismanagement.

Those possibilities and mishaps during the year have given me a lot to think about on goals, directions, and actions. At the moment it feels like sailing in a haze. However, it is a kick in the butt for me to move forwards. Hard works ahead and I need to get on it.

Workwise here are some notable ones:

Discovering Bicycles in Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most visited cities in the world and there are abundant stories about it. I wonder if there would be any angles that I would discover and get me anchored during this trip. That was the relationship between the city and bicycles.

I would say that it was the first time that I’d experienced one of the most bicycle-friendly in the world. Without any previous knowledge about it, it was fascinating to this urban transportation in full range. From moms to a salaryman to a homeless man, they all had a bike at some point.

Bicycles were everywhere, so also parking: on the streets, in subway stations and apartments. I found those bikes on the street added another unique characteristic to the Tokyo urban landscape.

Rules and regulations about bicycle parking were apparent. Of course, there would be some mischief and mistreatment. We are human after all.

Tokyo on the walls

This is what you get when you wander along the streets of Tokyo.

Even though Tokyo doesn’t have back lanes to explore like in Sydney, its street scapes isn’t less interesting. For some reasons, I found it more similar to Bangkok. The precisions were apparent but there were also some clutters and wits.

I could explore more but it turned out my focus was shifted to something more specific. That shall be discussed on the next post.

Animated Doodle: Golden Spiral Animation

Finally, I get to the last instalment of this series. It is an extended animation of the personal project I was working on from July through October.

The original idea was a series of looped animations that progressed into a golden spiral each day.  When all the looped animations were in place, the spiral took shape in a just moment. And it continued on.

This animation, on the other hand, is an experiment to see how it’d work when the spiral figure is more permanent. Each looped animation appears in order. Then it freezes at the point that forms the spiral. Once the whole shape is apparent, it starts to dissolve from the first looped animation.

Music: signal by  Simon Mathewson, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.