Cataloguing my decisions and my purchases and going through my budget and shit

iceland: by far the most expensive trip ever

everything was incredibly expensive, food was rubbish, sights were really nice though

made two overpriced purchases:

things i bought for travel

Aer Travel Pack 2 : 500 bucks or some shit?

It’s a good pack, well-built, and large capacity.

It’s very heavy

somehow i manage to fill up the entire pack ..

Audio-Technica ATH-SQ1TW: small wireless earbuds that fit in a smal cuboid covering case.

Decent battery life (~6 hours from a full charge, 3 charges in the box).

One of the best purchases I made bar none. Really really compact, space and weight saving.

Medium packing cube: Too big,

Osprey small packing cube, neon green:

Osprey tiny packing cube, neon green:

Osprey waterproof packable daypack : Good, even though most of the time I can’t be arsed to actually pack the daypack. Rolls up nicely though.

Uniqlo ultralight down jacket: I’ve always liked Uniqlo products, found this on discount for $49 SGD and got it right away. Light and packs down easy.

UNIQLO Heattech Ultra Warm innerwear

UNIQLO Heattech Ultra Warm leggings

icewear shorts, red

UNIQLO Airism underwear, 4 pairs: Bought this because I was wearing 4 pairs of random knockoff Calvin Klein underwear, which were i) way too big, taking up a lot of space, and ii) cotton, taking forever to dry. The Airism boxer shorts are made up of some synthetic blend and are much much smaller and lighter.

Arteck foldable bluetooth keyboard: Bought this because I realised I was procrastinating a lot on emails and lengthy messages because I don’t like to type on my phone. Bought this oldable bluetooth keyboard, which is small enough to fit in a pocket, so the friction for typing something lengthy is much lower. Just started using it yesterday (May 6th 2022); time will tell if it’s helpful. It’s not the most comfortable to type on because it’s very small; might upgrade to a larger model if I get RSI or something.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail FG, black: The shoes Marc gave me


Random thoughts

2021/12/22 — 2022/01/04: darmstadt 01/04 — 01/28: geneva 02/01 — 02/28: singapore 03/01 — 03/02: glasgow 03/03 — 03/17: iceland 03/17 — 04/01: geneva 04/01 — 04/16: brussels 04/16 — 04/24: london 04/24 — 05/01: croatia (split, then hvar) 05/01 — 05/07: london 05/07 — 05/17: oxford 05/18 — 07/?? : singapore. 07/?? — ?? : oxford again and travel around europe in the summer

Then I got covid from Xena. Lol

It was a good call staying in the hostel, meeting some acquaintances there.

Iceland I didn’t like so much, partly because it’s very expensive, but partly also because I felt quite guilty not being as productive as I wanted to , and there was some friction with Bernard as a result.

Scotland was very beautiful, very peaceful, felt like we were driving round an alien landscape.

Geneva was nice, albeit short, since i got covid, but managed to do some good work there, and cook some good meals

Brussels was really nice — the apartment was super lovely, had a nice big dual monitor set up, nice routine with Celine, lots of cooking, good mix of socials as well with Shehnaz in particular being good vibes, and that’s how I met M

Croatia was super super nice — weather was perfect, there was a bit of friction with marlene at the start but we managed to figure it out in the end

London with Toh was OK, it was really nice to be like “immature” and a bachelor again, without any partners, playing video games together, going clubbing, etc. Also I was quite productive since I had a nice workstation.


ok those are “chronological” thoughts but what about more general thoughts?

some scattered thoughts:

meeting new people is fun and I enjoy it, I am an extrovert

people I’ve met are generally nice, but I suppose we don’t have much in common/hard to cultivate a deep relationship

instagram is good for keeping up a semblance of like “shallow” “high bye” relationships with friends but is also good for scheduling meetups possibly? e.g. I have absolutely nothing in common with lizzie, good to practice my chinese on I suppose. but it’s nice that I reached out to her and we actually met again

traveling can be very exhausting so I think it’s important to pace yourself. but I was quite pleasantly surprised at how productive I could sometimes be, even hopping around regularly from place to place. i think the best way to travel (least disruptive) is to only travel during the weekends.

if you really vibe with a person then I think it’s important to try your best to meet them again. otherwise it’s such a waste

traveling has been good for my self esteem, i know people have called me handsome/attractive, that’s good for the ego, having that healthy sense of self-worth

is like a good vibes la, and i think the fact that I’m attached and older and just more chill, like, going clubbing without any agenda, just going with the flow as much as possible, that wouldn’t have been possible for me few years ago, because focused on pulling, can’t really enjoy myself. here really just focusing on appreciating hot people, enjoying the music, having a good time.


in a weird limbo of having too much stuff and too little stuff at the same time

when in croatia i was forced to bring a bag that would fit under easyjet. so everything of mine had to fit under 20L. it was of course easier because it was summer weather so I didn’t need to bring all my layers.

things I would try to further optimise:

laptop is too big and battery lifie is dreadful. i’ve spoken/written about this in the past but I think that a laptop is not a good form factor for the simple reason that the screen always has to be connected to the keyboard. this makes it bad for the posture, is a pain in cramped spaces (e.g. imagine using a laptop on a plane tray table when the guy in front of you is reclining). also the fact that it’s big means that you can’t put it in a pocket, you don’t have that same spontaneity, you can’t whip it out, sometimes very zhor deng. whereas I’ve tried with the bluetooth keyboard, when I’m waiting for food, I can actually just pull out the keyboard and get a little bit of work done, it’s definitely not ergonomic, but if the phone case comes with some sort of kickstand, that would already be 50% there.

phones are OK but the OS is just not optimised for a bluetooth keyboard, keyboard shortcuts don’t work. and obviously you cannot do any programming, neither can I compile my site, but good enough for just pure writing i guess, which is basically like 80% of my job nowadays, wtf. how??

winter

even though some stuff is overpacked, some stuff i don’t have, like e..g I don’t have any like fancy clothes for formal events, but this was a deliberate choice I made, so that’s OK.

another possibly easy thing to optimise is the very large and heavy boots, those were good in iceland and scotland, quite weather resistant, dont get wet, but they are just so big, so heavy, so hot...

winter gear honestly takes up so much space, all those inner layers and shit, and still, I don’t have things like gloves and hat


May 17, 2022 7:14 AM (BST)

On the bus to Heathrow now. Grandfather passed away, so the trip to Oxford was cut short. It’s sad that I couldn’t spend as much time with Celine as I’d have liked, she cried a lot. Nonetheless, I spent enough time in Oxford , got to see the people I wanted to see (Bassel, Filip, Yifei, Nick, Nicole, Michael), do the things I wanted to do (OXCAR concert and Finalists’ Dinner.

Overall had a great time. As I mentioned multiple times to Celine, I think we came at just the right time. Any later and the people we knew would’ve all left, and we’d be like ghosts.

Booked a 1 month gym membership but ended up only going like, three times, lol...Remember to cancel it May 18, 2022

In the meantime give the PIN to Celine

Spent just over a week in Oxford, I arrived Saturday night from London after a chill day with Toh, left Tuesday (early!!) morning to catch the flight.

OXCAR was really nice, the afterparty did not have any drinks, but , it was still very nice to see everyone again, nice that PP and Martin paired up, Yifei lost weight, looks prettier.

Overall a great time playing frisbee with OUMSSA gang, at least I can throw some good hammers, and I at least can run and stuff, but need to learn more about how to position properly, Isaac and Nick always no how to cut to create opportunities while I’m always just standing there, really bad.

Had such a powerful sense of nostalgia going back to Merton and seeing all the people again. Walking through the quad to the Tolkien table was like, wow. So nostalgic. People I most looked forward to seeing was Dylan and Conor, but was a very nice surprise seeing Stephanie, Ellen, and Grace, and super nice to see Julia as well.

Natalie was surprisingly open about her open relationship with 2 girls 1 guy, “BBC”, hahaha

Actually had such a nice chat with Phoebe , I forgot she does powerlifting, she even asked me about it. She has such a cool job, she’s literally a detective, going around solving cases, interviewing suspects, super cool.

Did a bit of gossipmongering vis-a-vis Rosanna, the other side of the story was that she was very emotionally needy, kept taking energy from Sarah Bennett but not being available when Sarah needed support, something like that

Stephanie is living in a small cottage in a village halfway to Oxford and London, she broke up with her boyfriend Ryan because for three years he lied about his drug issue (which was the smallest thing) and his residency status and his PhD status (apparently he was suspended—which she knew—but he claimed to have a good relationship with his supervisor or something like that—didn’t quite catch the details). She pays like almost nothing in rent (520 quid for a two bedroom cottage) and she shares it with Liam so she pays like 280 quid for her room, which is nothing, wtf.

Sometimes I think of Stephanie as the one that got away — she seems like someone I would get along well with even if there might be frictions with her direct personality.