I’m no Tim Ferris…

…but at the point of writing this I am deep into 72 hours of being really healthy.

Shanghai can be a bit stressful. There is honking cars, subpar driving everywhere (one should know that my primary means of transportation is a bicycle) – so I have to deal with scooters, bikes and sometimes cars coming my way sleep-driving (that is what I like to call it) towards me, honking, people turning in black Audis without signalling and of course (making use of) not their right of way. It’s the negatives that still don’t outweigh, at least for me, being outside, waking up on the bike ride to work, getting to know the city and my way around it, the exercise, the being in touch with ‘nature’ and the not being too comfortable (really it’s just odd to take taxis or uber everywhere – I probably wouldn’t do it anywhere else, so why choose this as the place to get used to it).

It’s 3 days of not touching alcohol so far.

Yesterday I got my haircut from my two fat guys in Zhabei and they know me  not only as the only foreigner that goes there, they know me as the only person that comes in there with a beer. It’s similar with the vape shop I frequent. Beer is awesome. Beer tastes great, makes you a real German, a man and is refreshing and usually low in alcohol here. It also gives you a bit of a belly when indulging on a daily basis. I am no beer snob, I don’t care. I go for the Suntory (and the beer ratings are through the roof!), it’s 5 RMB for a 500ml can (a slightly better variant) or 3.6 RMB or so for 600 or 660ml bottle (the one wit the ratings). It’s beer, it’s refreshing and tastes okay when cold and if you drink it fast. There is no surprises. You get what you pay for and it tastes like 50 cent a small beer step above water. So if you like okay beer then we can be friends (also if you like beer in general).

China makes a lot of foreigners drink. Sometimes it seems like there is not much more to do, because the fun police closes popular bar streets (not that I care too much, but that street is completely dead now). When I was still working in the insurance sector things where worse, the drink after work seemed needed just to calm down and detach from the sales, the meetings, the phone calls and the pressure. It can get excessive.

A Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after a holiday that I am smashing my goals with my Fitbit.

I got the Charge HR and it’s my second fitness tracker after the quickly destroyed UP24 (by Jawbone) that had a cute app. It’s motivating. It auto-detects my bike rides to and from work as well as the boxing workout we did yesterday and other sports (but swimming – it’s not fully waterproof). The app looks cool and it functions for 5 days on a charge which is roughly 5 times more than the much more expensive Apple Watch. I still wear a watch even though the Fitbit shows the time as well.

Step by step I am trying to go to a 80 kilo physique with small habit changes. When I returned to China in 2011 I was also biking, making green shakes in the morning (chocolate whey protein, a banana, a apple, spinach and peanut butter) and moderate exercise. I was at that and want to get back there. One of my friends and coworkers goes all Keto and it’s working like a charm – it’s motivating. It also helps to work in a healthy, friendly and fun environment. Gonna give myself this week and then keep it up moderately while drinking socially on the weekends and on special occasions.

In addition I am currently reading ‘Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales’ by the great Penn Jilette and it’s great fun. Highly recommend it.

There is tons of ways to be healthy and it begins in your head and it’s always habit changing for permanent results. Drinking isn’t the only activity but an okay one, like the Suntory – so have a good beer or a glass of wine once in a while.

What I really wanted to say is: have a beer, enjoy your life and work and find a way. I also just wanted to write again and share something from my life and just write. So that was me doing the worst Tim Ferris expression as a non-scientific brain fart without a proofread to my blog. Living on the edge!

I get it! You vape.

Just wanting to share this here:

Not only is H3H3 my favorite youtuber (I never had that before), he is also super funny and 95% of the time on point! There is so much good material and I always look forward to another giggle. Until very recently I didn’t even know that people made tons of money with Youtube and live off of that. Good stuff, guess kids now want to be youtubers instead of astronauts or firemen.

There is hardly a day where Ethan and Hila don’t make me at least smile a bit and man, am I thankful for that and happy that they make a living.

So the above video makes fun of vaping? I don’t think it does – it’s hilarious and if you can’t laugh about something you do then I feel terribly sorry for you. I know people from minorities that find jokes about said minority incredibly funny. People get triggered way to easily. It’s pathetic, get over yourself and live a little.

But that is beside the point. I started vaping one time like 3 years ago or so with two cigarette like sticks in basically an iPhone (that charges them) with terrible battery life and not a great amount of vapor. It was fun for the novelty of two weeks, then one of them disappeared inside my jacket and back to smoking it was.

In November 2015 I visited the Shanghai Vape store and got myself a vaporizer and stopped smoking within a 2 week window. For me it was the most effective way to replace the smoking habit and apart from weekends somewhere else, where I didn’t bring the vape it has been effective and during those times cigarettes were not as important anymore. IF you don’t know what vaping is and want to have it explained to you as if you were 5 years old, then this blog post does that better than I would do.

So yeah, it’s been almost a year, 5 devices later and that habit is still there and I (with 5 thumbs on each hand most of the time) came to build my own coils and wick them. It smells nice and it’s another hobby now, but it’s also a fun and helpful community (with a minuscule amount of people that get triggered easily).

So I hope I got a word out about vaping and some youtube stuff. I have been to Thailand and Taiwan (where I also watched Suicide Squad) as well as Baopals taking off massively, so there are some ideas that have to be put in writing soon, but this explains my neglect of the blog 😉

Re-burn

Changing jobs recently and generally having a lot of changes, some things become clear.

‘Life is what you make of it.’

I came back from Thailand, the land of smiles, the land where I might or might not belong, but it was rejuvenating. Leaving China for a bit always gives you some kind of perspective and deserved breather from the chaos, the chaos I most of the time deal with, even love, but it’s needed and sometimes the chaos becomes too much.

Never have I been to Taiwan, but that is the next short trip on the list and it excites me. What excites me even more is the new work, a little advertisement ahead:

I work for Baopals, with some really good friends of mine. Baopals is Taobao and Tmall for foreigners (in China for now), it makes your life easier here and you can access the largest online marketplace in the world, with over 800 million products in English. But that is not the point.

You know how people often tell you, that the grass is not greener somewhere else? It’s a lie, the grass can be greener, especially coming from financial service companies and insurance, when you hear that a bit. They are never that cool, let’s say: rarely. If there is a ‘real fun’ work environment in those industries let me know at some point. And I don’t mean, we have a foosball table or ping pong table, that no one plays, because we are too busy working and judge you for it if you dare to play during your 9 to 6…

It’s the best thing if you stand behind something, solidly, 100% and work with friends. It breathes the life back into you. In the last few days, I got more tanned, I socialize more, I read more, I have more activities and am undoubtedly healthier than before.

Not bashing the place you work at, but there are callings out there that want you to listen and hear them. I caught up with old friends and joined a company that made my life here better, that makes the life of other foreigners in China easier and it feels like being reborn, like waking up from a state of walking through fog and that fog has lifted. Everything is HD.

Haha, that sounds so preaching, but that is not my intention. Check Baopals out if you live in China!

But what I want to say is listen to your heart and your stomach (don’t know if that is a German thing only) but come one, it’s your second brain and it gives you helpful signals.

Let me conclude this with something I feel strongly about and listen to this guy, who is one of my idols since Bullshit! – that show really changed me and made me question things and so should you, question this article if you want, but listen to your heart, stomach and your brain and love, we all need it.

The Upside Down and Other Magical Experiences

Let’s talk some magic here and how I started experimenting . What’s going on in the upside down.

So right of the bat, you can tell that I have been watching Stranger Things – and wow, it is brilliant. If you are an eighties kid and love the old Stephen Spielberg movies and want to see child actors doing their best (honorable mentions here: Fresh Off The Boat, Modern Family) and have a potpourri of Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter and the body horror of David Cronenberg (not too much of it). It plays out, as I heard best in a podcast (sorry don’t remember the name), as a adventure movie like the Goonies for the kids in the show, a slasher movie for the teenagers and a mystery movie (or Outer Limits-X-Files) for the adults. It works magnificently.

Without giving away too much, they talk about the upside down – a different dimension and where the Nerdist in the first link talks about it in a specific way, I saw that more, especially given Eleven’s experiments as Out of Body Experiences/Astral Projection (Science has yet to figure that out completely).

When I was 16 I moved out of my parents house and got my first apartment and went to school from there. With that distance from childhood friends and family, I developed a strong interest in Paranormal Stuff (everyone does at some point, no?), Philosophy (I read Sophie’s World man!), Self-Reflection, Masturbation and Lucid Dreaming, as well as Out of Body Experiences and Astral Projection. I basically was the kid from Little Miss Sunshine!

I was a bit more active though, I went to train in boxing and frequented hardcore and metal concerts. Living alone I delved into books at night. Reading is just the best and I wish I would read as much as back then and I am working on that. That made me the kid in literature classes that always gave the speech about how reading is beneficial in soooooo many ways, even if it is the back of a shampoo bottle when you are sitting on the throne.

Skipping mediation and other ‘hippie stuff’:

Love that dude!

I went straight for the cool stuff: getting out of my body and exploring other worlds…

Robert Monroe caught my attention first and I read things on the internet, while my desk neighbor was trying to find the ‘download all’ button on Audiogalaxy in school.

I tried the Body Scan to relax myself and then tried to head straight for the 3rd person view on myself. Needless to say, most of the time I fell asleep and continued for maybe a year with basically no results, apart from a couple of Lucid Dreams (here is how-to) and one night coming home from a hardcore concert, in bruises, tired, in terrible need for rest and sleep – I tried it and came to a state where my mind was awake and my body asleep, a ringing started in my ear, a bright light showed up and I felt euphoric, maybe too euphoric and I woke up to just fall asleep, but I remember it to this day. It’s magical!

Maybe I should get back to that, but given that my meditation practice suffered a bit (I however kept my morning yoga-wake up routine – during the week), I won’t have all the time, but it’s fun. Try something, learn something new and experiment with binaural beats (because that is magical too).

Have a great week and bring back the magic!

Marvel versus DC

I am a fan of both. Really! What a time to be alive.

This deserves kind of a lead in and I am not talking about the comics, but maybe let’s do that for a moment:

I grew up for 6 years in the German Democratic Republic – meaning the part of Germany where you had to stand in line for Bananas. I could write more about that, but leave it to people that know people from there. I came in contact with comics at around 10 years old, I had friends from ‘the city’ aka Chemnitz. Naturally they had contact, they had comics. First comic I ever held was an Avengers comic book in German ‘Die Richer’ (don’t know why they translated the names back in the day). Shortly thereafter through my ‘city friends’ X-Men and later on the book bus (a mobile library that parked every Wednesday at the train museum in my 1200 soul village) provided me with access to more: Maus, Batman , Mask, Transformers and more…

I was 14 when Superman lost his powers and came back in blue and with a different power set and bought the Justice League number 1. Shortly after Lobo and then nothing for the longest time, until I got a grasp of the English language and saved enough money to buy the Batman Essentials (Hush, Year One, The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum, The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween) and in addition Watchmen and V for Vendetta.

So I am not biased. I love both, movie-wise DC-TV (especially The Flash) tucks a bit more on my heartstrings but the Netflix Marvel shows blow everything out of the water – so here we go:

My favorite stand alone Batman movie to this day is Batman Returns – I watch it roughly once a year around Christmas and I wouldn’t skip a scene or would change a thing about it. I am linking to Rotten Tomatoes here for a reason. This movie has favorable reviews there with 80% from critics and 75% something from the regular folk.

Suicide Squad which will most likely not show in China is already being panned by critics there and the early ‘critic reviews’ also panned Batman v Superman into the ground. I cannot wrap my head around that.

If someone tells me that he or she is not impressed with Batman Returns, I can understand that. It’s a bit silly, there is this fake snow, the Burton city and elements, it’s very fantastical and I can see that this is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Meanwhile the Nolan Batman movies I find to be overrated. My favorite was (of course) The Dark Knight but with every additional watch I find myself skipping more and more scenes. The trilogy still works for me and I enjoy it as the else world story it is, but let’s be honest here – the fight scenes (apart from Bane taking Batman apart) suck. Yes, they suck. I could take this Batman down.

Let’s go down the rabbit hole. I love, love, love The Winter Soldier and Civil War, I do like Guardians of the Galaxy (and wish it would be more popular than Star Wars) and I thoroughly enjoyed Deadpool. Batman v Superman, especially the Ultimate Cut does not deserve the hat it got. It’s a great movie and that one Batman scene (you know which one) is better than any action scene a live action Batman has ever been in.

A good friend of mine pointed me to this video:

I like the Nerdwriter dude, butI disagree strongly here. The cinema cut was disappointing and it felt odd. Weirdly put together. Great scenes, great moments, monumental pictures, but it felt like every word uttered served the plot and moved it forward. Giving the butchered cut it felt weird. It was not good, it had amazing scenes, but all that was made void with the Ultimate Cut.

Watch this:

I like the Everything Great crew even better, especially with Zach Snyder movies. His movies are bombastic, without being shallow and hollow like the Michael Bay 8 out of 10 times.

It’s hard to put the finger on the criticism by critics. The movie is slowly paced and lacks a lot of the humor that the Marvel movies are famous for, but speaking of the Ultimate Cut here, it is so much better than half of the Marvel movies and it clocks in at a Civil War level. It’s not as good as Winter Soldier, as I have seen that on plan again without sound and sat through the hole thing. The music, the scenes coming alive from the books I read and the costumes and tone. They got it right and I am glad it is not a Marvel movie copy. I am glad it is ‘darker’, I am glad it is a different approach and I still think that Zach Snyder is the man (apart from some of the stuff he spurts out). I think he is just not the best guy to market his movies, he can come off as a bit of a meathead, but I do think he has the heart in the right place and produces the best visuals when it comes to comic book movies.

In years from now I am sure I will have watched Snyder movies a couple of more times without skipping compared to the average Marvel Studios movie (I haven’t given Age of Ultron a second watch).

Let me predict that those ‘controversial’ Snyder movies will hold up better over time.

Again I love all kinds of comics but here is my count (estimates – this is totally my way of battling this out):

Batman (1989): 5 times

Batman Returns (1992): 20 times

The Dark Knight (2008): 8 times (involving more and more skipping)

Man of Steel (2013): 10 times

Batman v. Superman (2016): 4 times


Iron Man 2 (2010): 3 times

The Avengers (2012): 3 times

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): 7 times

Deadpool (2016): 3 times

Captain America: Civil War (2016): 2 times

DC: 47 versus Marvel: 18

I was never a big Superman fan (that might also be why I enjoyed the Blue Superman), but after the latest movies I dig the character and you know know that I started of with Marvel. So far the DC Movies hold up better for me but quantity output is just so much higher in the Marvel camp, I just don’t think it will hold up that well.

I love both and am thrilled to be alive to see all these movies and hope that both companies succeed making movies in quality and quantity but I’d wish for more leeway on the DC side from critics. Let’s just look at music: I can’t remember a single theme, score or musical moment in any of the Marvel movies (apart from Songs in Deadpool, Iron Man and Blade) but not scores but I pretty much remember The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman by the music tracks and scores alone.

 

Ohrwurm of the week 30/2016

Being a year older than yesterday. This song encapsulate everything I love about music, hardcore and the people I hold dear! Listen, rock, give your best!

A Ghost Inside suffered from a terrible car crash, they are still recovering but will never be broken. The drummer lost a leg, but they don’t give up, neither should you. Listen! Be unbreakable!

You know where it is at? Zhabei, man!

This is a good one!

Look I get it, if you have been to Shanghai and you want to know where it is at and you got the cute little Lonely Planet recommendation list, then you have seen it. Zhabei is not even in those 9 top picks…

You know why? Zhabei is now part of JingAn and you know that, because you live here and you have been to that freshly renovated golden temple. You never really cared about Zhabei, because it is the real hidden gem.

I was born in it, raised in it. You merely adopted Zhabei, JingAn pffffffff…

Nothing to see there? Move on? Come on!

This is the WikiVoyage page. It’s laughable, it says there is not much there – there is.

Word on the street is that Zhabei suffered from poor decision making and needed the aid of the richer JingAn. This is where I live now. Can’t see why that happened.

I lived in Zhabei for roughly three years. The motto of the district is: ‘Zhabei the place to be’. You need to become a bit local, you need some local friends, I’d say two. You’ll get rid of one eventually because he borrows 10 RMB every time you are about to go home, because he didn’t bring his wallet and want’s to buy a beer and some smokes. He does that every time you hang out. He also invites you over when he is at ‘parties’ and once you arrive turns out the friends have all left an it’s only him, maybe another friend. This happens a lot. He might also introduce you to other friends, because you are now the token foreign friend and you will eventually realize that you are the way back to his friends, that all know how he is, you will figure that out. Oh! He also might invite you for dinner and then forgets his wallet. Cut him loose at some point.

On the plus side you get to know other friends and you get shown cool places – like the Zhabei gym.

The Zhabei gym is in walking distance from Line 8 ZhongXing Road. Find it yourself, you are a Shanghai insider and no one gets to know Zhabei with a Lonely Planet. Walk around. Have a beer on the way, explore!

Inside the Zhabei gym they host a Chinese TV show, don’t ask me which one that is, we climbed once from the muscle gym through to where the show is filmed and my friends decided to walk out with the crowd, I was on the way, then noticed that I don’t look like I brought a ticket to that and climbed back into the muscle gym, it gave my friends a good laugh, because after explaining what happened they agreed that I would have been suspicious. This is how involved you have to get with the Zhabei crowd that they completely forget you are a foreigner. Beat that!

Behind the Zhabei gym there is a dorm and some study rooms for Chinese Powerlifter kids. Cool kids. There is also the muscle gym I mentioned before it is run by a former bodybuilder, he is old now, but pictures on the wall show his former fame. His friends come by and smoke and talk loud, they mostly sit on the bench press bench. Not as cool as the kids. There are also waiters and other funny folk ‘working out’ there. The dress code is jeans, shirt is optional, but collared shirt preferred for the freedom of movement. Hard to one up the guy on the butterfly machine with the roller-skates, he had red jeans and a collared shirt.

Cornering the gym is a lamb leg restaurant. Massive lamb legs! They are cheap and feed one big person and come with optional side dishes. They can also feed a birthday party – I tried and highly recommend it. You are in Zhabei now – not at the bund!

Half a beer away in ZhongXing road is my favorite Chinese spa. They will ask you for your passport, but you are not spending the night, so you might want to explain that every time you go, until they know you. It’s gender separated and it came with a body rub from a dude with a hot, kinda hard towel. They lift your package and some point and rub your whole body – like every corner. It’s an experience and also not included in most tour guides. Also in there: a Sauna, showers, a hot room to play that Chinese chess game, two pools with jet streams, shaving equipment (it’s dull), toothbrushes and shampoo. You can then dry yourself up, weigh yourself, clean your ears and heard up to the third floor where they have the mixed sex chill section with a little tea place, some recliners with TVs, Ashtrays and a small shop where you would need to get a cold beer. This is the best beer you will have that day! Guaranteed!

My tattoo guy is in Zhabei as well, he speaks a little bit of English and is an all around cool dude. You can hang out at his shop, get a tattoo and marvel at people getting a tiny rose or a name on their hands for a first tattoo. His shop is close to Line 1 Nanchang or North Zhongshan Road – it’s about the same distance. That is 2 beers from the Zhabei gym.

You will be special and know a part of the city only a few people know. Recently I was doing a beer walk with a dear friend of mine and we walked from JingAn to Putou then to Zhabei and back to JingAn. Zhabei is, to this day, the liveliest part of the city and it’s raw, it’s unpolished, it has cool Ayi’s in the Family Marts, Buddies and Lawsons you can get to know that are happy to comment on your visits and even let safe you a Cent or two if you don’t have the right small change. This is how magical Zhabei is. A little bit of tier 88 in a tier 1 city. Zhabei – the place to be!

 

On traveling

So here is the thing about traveling and me: I don’t wike it.

Really, I don’t really like it. Growing up in Eastern Germany and pretty poor, I sometimes heard: ‘You know what, why travel to other countries when spot X in Germany just a couple of 100 kilometers or less can be so nice.’. I never really listened nor believed that. I still don’t really do, but here is the thing:

I fall in love with places and a holiday sometimes isn’t enough. May that be a week or 2 or maybe a couple of weeks. I like to be an stay in places and get used to them and build new routines.

There are all those memes that flood your and my Facebook how traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. But what if you can stay in that place, what of you can make it work there and what happens when every day feels like that kind of traveling. This is what I try to do. Get used to the place, hack it, make it work for you and feel as comfortable and at home as you possibly can.

It’s like in MMA or on BJJ when you learn to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations ) not that those living situations can be as uncomfortable than getting mounted by Brock Lesnar, like Mark Hunt experienced in UFC 200. By the way Brock Lesnar looks fitter an faster now and found myself in a bit of awe when he just rips legs away for double leg takedowns.

Anyway, you can make it work. If you are in a small rural environment or in the suburban sprawl and you feel okay, you can make days feel like a holiday and develop yourself without the need to get away for 2 weeks in a year just to forget about your worn in life.

Play the game so the environment favors you or try to make that environment favor you, because if I can do that you can and you don’t always have to follow the status quo – question it. Question everything. Even this!

The age of (super) heroes

This year there is a lot of dying going on. The 27 club did not get any new members unless you are familiar with Viola Beach (which I am not).

David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Lemmy Kilmister, Bud Spencer (Carlos Pedersoli) and Alan Rickman are no more – may they rest in peace. You might think that this seems to be a particularly bad year in terms of idols dying. It’s not, we are biased and the celebrity culture just went into full swing in the 50’s, so we feel like the world is crumbling.

This is might sound like a really negative way to lead into an article, but nothing lasts forever, the world keeps on turning and for me and many other super hero fans this must (or should be) the greatest time to be alive.

It is the year where arguably the biggest DC super heroes were seen together on the silver screen. It’s a time where a super hero movie would function even without costumes as a marvelous movie and by that I’d like to take Captain America: Civil War as an example. It is a time where there are hours upon hours of super heroes on TV (and I watch/have watched them all).

Growing up having weekend sleep overs at grandma’s and getting up at 6am to watch X-Men with the best cartoon intro ever (only topped by the Japanese versions intro), Hulk, Spider-Man and his friends.

Now in China I just had the pleasure to finish the Ultimate Cut of Batman v. Superman. Let’s just say that they had that in the  DVD-shop here.

Yes, it’s still not a masterpiece but it makes a good movie and a great set up for the Justice League and all there is to come. The extra 30 minutes add in the best way possible, I found myself on Superman’s side a lot more and even Lex’s plan made more sense. In a addition to that there is a bit more blood, some arm’s more are cut off or broken but I am sure that this would have made for a better experience the first time around.

I am excited for the DC movie universe and can’t wait for the next few movies.

Civil War was great: touching, funny, every single character had a good arc, a couple of wow-moments and was all around probably my second favorite Marvel movie to this day. Number One: The Winter Soldier. I count Deadpool as FOX and that one would win over there.

In comparison to Civil War the Justice League set up wins in the music department and has Batman. Batman trumps every other hero. And Zack Snyder is really not that bad, I would say he is great. That boy has the visuals down to a T and man, can he direct a Batman fight scene! (The Rescue) No one before him was able to show that in live action.

I frequently watch the ‘Everything wrong with …’ youtube channel and found out that they also feature a more positive version, they take movie where people are on the fence and explain why it actually is good. And you should definitely give the one about Suckerpunch a try and after watching that please try to argue again that Zack Snyder can’t do interesting stories. Yes, he talks funny, he comes off as a bit of a douche, says ‘like’ a lot, like Justin Bieber (you know I do like that boy too) and needs a hand with the general story, but I find he is one of the strongest visual directors out there.

 

If you ask me about the TV-shows that is tougher. Arrow is on a downward slope starting from season 3 onwards and probably not worth watching unless you are a hardcore fan. The Flash is really, really strong and is genuinely funny and the scenes between Barry and his two dads are nothing short of amazing – they really pull my heartstrings. Legends of Tomorrow is good fun, but skippable if you ask me. Supergirl is surprisingly good and fun. Agents of Shield I stopped watching but it might have gotten better (opinions?). Constantine was fun until it got cancelled, but a bit all over the place and with weak spots that showed (the actor was not one of them). Daredevil is the best superhero TV show, Jessica Jones was very, very strong. The latest addition is Preacher and hot damn is that fun – especially the first two episodes (it has also been officially renewed for season 2). Hope I didn’t forget something…

And you know what? Doom is back and Quake and Fallout is in full swing. What a time to be alive!

Relaunching this blog and myself

It’s been 5 years in China by now, a bit more actually. It’s been a weight that was fluctuating for the longest time. It’s been constant food from restaurants for lunch and a loss of adventure. It’s been a loss of healthy habits and getting comfortable with something stable that I should have known it’s not.

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. -Benjamin Franklin

And finished I am not!

Here is to a new beginning. Picking up a habit that I had – for 2 years constantly and then for like 6 months out of China again. I blog. I blog about change and I blog about me. And you know what? I blog for myself. For myself to remember what happened to smile and smirk about the adventures that happen and happened. To have a constant memory and to maybe make you smile and in the constant flux of youtube stars – I want to be the one that writes. That writes old school – like on a blog in the early 2000s.

Here is how to do that and why it is good for you. It’s also not my first language – so it helps even more.

Sitting here and writing this I already feel great. I feel like words are springing out of my head and make space for happiness.

I have started meditating and am still looking for the right app or setting to keep this going. It’s great! Try it at the right time. When that is you ask me? I have no idea. I tried and dropped it so many times, but what helped me the most to at least semi constantly keep this going is to keep it short. 10 minute meditations are a thing and how doesn’t have 10 minutes. 10 years ago I was trying (without any knowledge about meditation at all) to jump right into binaural (more on binaural stuf on this website that looks like from late 90s geocities) mediations that go on for 45 minutes to an hour and keep that going, while learning to lucid dream and experience myself out of my own body. I fell asleep a lot and have not achieved a lot.

I stopped smoking and got a ‘mouth fedora’ how some people call them – a vaporizer. Two to be precise. It has been 8 months with only a handful of days where I fell back into the old habit. Shout out here to my friends at Shanghai vape especially Sean and more on vaping in Shanghai here.

I started reading again due to a Kindle and the German amazon store and I get books for free or heavily discounted via Bookbub and so can you.

I have moved and have a cute garden on the balcony that now features small tomatoes, mint, basil and thyme an I do a mix of a morning exercise that is a botched version of my MMA trainer‘s warm up and some DDP yoga.

There is even more change on the horizon and the most recent one is to have picked up writing and blogging again, but I’ll keep that for the next time.

Let me end this with something that is inked onto my skin:

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi