Category Archives: Personal

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:

A Week in Russia and How I Learned about an INFP Mind

It was only a week we were in Russia but there were quite some thoughts in head about the trip. Those three nights in Murmansk and other three in Moscow didn’t just turned out to be a fantastic getaway but also I got to learn something inside my head.

Selfie on Tverskaya Street

For the start, the trip was different from my previous ones. It was the first time in years I travelled as a group. On top of that, it was in places we could say they were completely foreign, especially, the language. And at the end, I made a costly mistake that taught me a valuable lesson. Those incidents, somehow, triggered the thoughts of how my brain worked as an INFP that I’d convinced myself for the past years. Continue reading A Week in Russia and How I Learned about an INFP Mind

2017 Wrap up: Significant Times and Gratitude

2017 has been an interesting one. Even though I spent most of it in Washington DC for eight months all up, it was fortunate enough for me to be there with friends elsewhere for their significant life events. And I am so grateful for that. In chronological order, there were cancer, marriage, death, and monkhood.

In December 2016 when in Bangkok, one of my best friends got a breast cancer and had an operation just before New Year. She was released from the hospital on New Year’s Eve. We gathered at her place to support her. How melancholy to start the year! Fortunately, she’s got a strong will. And eventually, she beat it.

February to June, I was in DC and needed to hop out of the country within 90 days. Another good timing in April when a friend, whom I worked with closely during the years in Bangkok, was getting married in UK. It was a perfect occasion for me to be her wedding guest. Actually, it was my very first time to attend a Christian ceremony. Also, it gave me some snippets of London after that too.

Got a break Bangkok in July and August. The last two weeks of that break was a real blow. My best friend suddenly got a stroke and passed away. His death got me think a lot about life. I always think about life but that reminded how to live your life worthwhile.

Back to work in DC in September to November. And I took a detour to visit a long lost cousin in Los Angeles before another break in Bangkok in December and January. Good news, another close friend was getting ordained to become a monk for three weeks. In Thai culture, this counts as one of the most honourable merits for a son to do for his parents. That was actually a pleasant way to end the year.

Wearing saffron rope #buddhist #Bangkok #temple

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These events overshadowed what I original planned and thought about 2017. Since the bold decision to work in DC in 2015 (which got me the hindsight about the journeys that made me), I have been embracing my life to be back and forth in DC and Bangkok in 2016. The plan for 2017 was to get back on track on other aspects, especially on the hypertension issue.

I’d like to do something about my drinking habits. I’d say alcohol control has been better than the previous years in DC. However, Bangkok is still a challenge to be disciplined. But, at least, I could pinpoint where the temptations are. On top of that, I’m back on meds that was deliberately ignored when I first moved to DC and keeping monitoring blood pressure.

Workwise, here were some notable ones:

While back-and-forth life of mind sounds exciting to able to change the scenes constantly throughout the year, I just can’t help thinking about settling in one place in the future. In the end, we have to do it at some point but I guess I would keep pushing it while I could.

2017 was full of significant times of my close friends. It was mixed with sickness, joy, loss, and gratitude. Yes, gratitude, that I should be feeling about it. It also made me prepare for the years to come.

LA Trip: Family Reconnected

I’m back in Bangkok as usual for this time of the year. But there’s a detour to Los Angeles for a few days before heading to Thailand. The main reason is to visit a long lost cousin and his family. Reconnecting with them is something I have to digest more than it was anticipated. And this blog post should be something that I need to articulate it.

I remember they were the only relatives from my mother’s side my in childhood’s loop. Over 30 years ago, they left for the States and we lost touch since. So, apart from step dad’s extended family, growing up, it was a huge gap not connected to any of my own large families. Neither from mom’s side nor dad’s (the tie with him was cut off since the divorce.) That gets me excited to meet them.

A quick note on how we found each other. With the power of social media, my cousin was able to track my brother down on Facebook. It started from there. And I’ve got a luxury to physically be in just across the continent, not the planet.

A short time I get to spend with them includes. The first evening in LA, my cousin, with his wife, and I catch up at a Thai place called Palms Thai Restaurant. They drive me around Thai Town, which I plan to explore it on the next day.

The day after the following day, we—the couple with their son and his wife and I—had a yum cha lunch in Monterey. We get back to my nephew’s apartment in Art District. My nephew (with small age gap, I prefer him to call me brother) and I do a pub crawl in the area. I find that we have similar tastes and even some good core values. Our conversation over good craft beers in local breweries is very enjoyable. We finish the evening in Little Tokyo. The rest of the family joins us there for dinner at a place that my cousin-in-law is long-time regular.

The day with the long lost extended family is so overwhelming that I need to wind down in a bar by myself. And the plan to get somewhere, like Venice Beach, on the next day is scrapped. I spend most of the day being a veg in the room until my cousin and his wife pick me up for dinner at a famous Thai boat noodles. And that is it, mission accomplished.

I can’t help thinking about when I travel to Nong Kai to catch up my father in 2014. That one got me to the mindset to get on with my life. But this reconnection shines some glimpse about family. Frankly, that doesn’t come easily for me. I’d say it is one of those missing puzzles in life. In the End, we can’t reverse how we grow up. Certainly, we could pick up some pieces together to understand it. This one is definitely a real reconnection.

Being INFP: Finally Found

Why am I doing this to myself? Why do I have to move around, unlike most people who seek stability, when there were chances to settle down? What frame of mind that makes me choose this life path? Those questions have been buggering me for a long time. Last year, when I dug deep into Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), it has become clearer to me as an INFP.

The self-revelation exploded while I was at Sigor Rós concert in Detroit. That strange moment gave me the senses of clarity, purpose, and relieve. I could be able to get INFP personality traits to answer those questions about ‘how’ my brain works.

INFP is one of 16 personality types widely used to indicate psychological preferences. It stands for Introvert, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception. The meanings of each character are not the same as dictionary definitions. In the nutshell: INFPs are idealists driven by own core values and desire to exercise their creativity. No wonder why I’ve got a job as a multimedia producer for an international organisation that promotes ending poverty.

What I find it makes sense that how I often make such dramatic choices around arts. I could trace this alignment as far back as at least in the teen when I had the very first decision to make about going forward in high school. I might have to recall those educational paths in another time for a full story.

Then about sticking to my core values. This is what the clarity of my purpose about. There’s a fantasy world I want to make it possible. And I think I’m on that direction because it’s also been how I make choose life path. Oh boy, big goals ahead.

On the other hand, this MBTI tool is spot on about some issues INFPs need for self-improvement. I actually looking to work on those, especially I want to break those barriers to get to those ambitions.

Now, know-yourself bit is almost done. There are still hard bits to go on. Life!!!