Tag Archives: reflection

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

A post shared by ‘Pong (@apostrophepong) on

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.

2016 Wrap up: Life as a Migrant Bird

Sunrise in Abu Dhabi
Watching the sunrise at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the transit to Washington DC

Looking back in 2016, I have spent time around six months each in Washington DC and Bangkok, going back and forth. Things I have learnt from it were life as a migrant bird seemed to be the pattern now and these physical traveling weren’t as intense as the inner journey I’ve had.


Continuing from August 2015, I was in DC until March. Those eight months shook my mental state into identity crisis and self-doubts. The biggest one would be why I keep running into an uncertainty like that again and again. That created a quest for me to try to comprehend it.

At the same time, work-wise, I was pleased to see the last video I produced at the last job in Bangkok in 2015 was finally published. It was another video I pushed through, using live action to convey messages of a report on Thailand’s education system.

Continue reading 2016 Wrap up: Life as a Migrant Bird

Eight Months in DC on Instagram

In the early days in Washington DC, when people asked me “What do you think about DC?” I rolled my eyes and sighed because it was just too soon to tell plus the stress of the relocation. Now, with eight months of my job contract is over and I’m about to leave the city, I can look back and see what I can come up with. Photo is the usual visual diary to document I find in everyday life and Instagram is the usual channel for sharing it.

Here are some of the things I find in eight months living in Washington DC.

Beers…craft beers

Continue reading Eight Months in DC on Instagram

2015 Wrap up: Big Turn and Calibration

Self-portrait on 19th Street Northwest
On 19th Street Northwest, DC

The year has been huge transition for me. The moving from Thailand and to the US was a physical hectic but it didn’t compare to the mental shift I’m having right now. It is exhausting but life is like working out. No pain, no gain.

In the end of 2014 wrap up, I did hint about some ambitious goals. A new overseas job was one of them. It was a bold decision to relocate from one continent to another, to give up the safety nets I had in Bangkok, and to take an insecure pathway in Washington DC. But it’s time to shake things up in my life up, again. Continue reading 2015 Wrap up: Big Turn and Calibration

Thank You, Bangkok

Mirror, mirrow
Mirror, mirror tell me…

Dear Bangkok,

I just want to let you know how fantastic you are and how much I love you even though I am about to leave you, again. I have to say that the years back in the city have given me much more than I asked from you.

Four and a half years ago I came back to you to retreat myself from the whole roller coaster ride in Sydney. I needed a rest, well, kind of a fresh start. You not only gave me back the strength and the sense of security but also inspired me as if this experience in the city was a new one for me.

Being away for almost a decade refreshed my views to the city, which has grown a lot. As I have both eyes of a foreigner and a local, I have discovered so many cool things about you.

Bangkok, you accommodate so many walks of life. I really enjoy people you from around the world you host: expats, migrant workers, tourists, and locals. You are such a sincere hypocrite in this realm of organised chaos. And I fucking love it!

There are for many amazing stories about you to tell the world and I haven’t done a justice for you. I still have photo series and blog posts about you that I want to share them but they haven’t seen the light. And I owe you that, big time.

Now, I am moving on for a new job in Washington DC and entering a phase of uncertainty again. And you know what? I couldn’t do it without you.

I cannot say thank you enough for embracing this old Bangkokian back into your arms and letting me fly out from the nest again to take on the world. I’m gonna make you proud.

And thank everyone who make Bangkok one of the most fascinating cities in the world. That includes my family, old friends, new friends, colleagues, fellow drinkers in the pubs, regular shops and street vendors in the neighbourhood, and even strangers that I got chances to have a look at some glimpse of your lives.

Bangkok, you are beautiful, amazing, and awesome. One last thing I’d like to ask from you is to wish me luck for another new adventure. Again, big thanks to you.