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• Review of 2011 •

My Review of the Year 2011

During this time, I was still in Kunming (昆明), China, celebrating New Year's Eve with my Thai friends Tik and Mhuey. There was nothing going on there, no firecrackers, nothing special at all, it was just a normal day. Very boring. I also went to get my haircut and was surprised about the (good!) outcome. Between January 7 and 18 my then girlfriend Tik and I went to visit Thailand, we took the bus from Kunming through Laos and visited mainly the north of this beautiful country. I took a lot of pictures and wrote quite a heap about it, seperated into entries about the places we visited, namely: Chiang Khong, Mae Sai, Chiang Mai (including Doi Suthep and the nice zoo), Lampang, Mae Sot (we rode elephants in Lampang!), Kamphaeng Phet (with its amazing "Old Town" and Tik's auntie and granny), the beautiful city of Chonburi with the much less beautiful Pattaya and the island Ko Lan and finally Chachoengsao and the Bangkok (or at least the Suvarnabhumi Airport). Also, at the end of January (namely January 27, for the record) I bought myself a smartphone: an HTC Desire (that's not my picture).

February was quite boring to begin with. Tik was still in Thailand at her parents' place, all others were at home because of the Spring Festival (春节) or the holidays. We also had a little party at our Turkish friend Bartu's place, but more adventurous was the wall-climbing to get back into our dormitory late at night. But on February 10 I celebrated my 26th birthday with friends at a Korean restaurant. And we got a roommate: Hkawn Tang Seng, from the Jingpho minority in Burma.

On March 1 university started again for me, in Kunming. See my schedule here. There were new people at our school and one day it began to snow(!!!) in Kunming. Only a tiny little bit, but you can read about it in the entry, if you know German. We also went swimming with one of our teachers in March, we played badminton, tennis and tabletennis and went to KTV (Karaoke). I wrote about my sport activities in Kunming here.

As you might know by now, April 1 is always celebrated as the birthday of my LiveJournal; next year it's going to become 10 years old, oh my! In one entry I wrote about the English Corner, sports, a meeting of Thai pupils and students, Guys birthday party, the Thai Songkran festival, our visit to the amusement park and how I bought the entire Deep Space Nine series on DVD. Big entry! And between April 18 and 23 I went to the city of Wuhan (武汉) all by myself to visit an Esperanto meeting there, about which you can read here in Esperanto and there in German. I had a nice time at the 24th International Esperanto Congress and I really liked Wuhan.

I got a bit lazy again with writing, so I wrote an entry about what happened in May, in which I spoke about our second trip to the West Mountain (西山), about how Tik and I went to the dentist together, my new shoes and how our teacher taught us how to make the Chinese-style ravioli jiaozi (饺子) [video included!]. In May, Mr. Inaba-san left us, we went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" (5/10 points). On May 27, I took a plane to Guilin (桂林) for a 3-week holiday trip with my parents...

As I said, my parents came to China and we booked a round-trip to visit everything worth seeing in the country (except for Hongkong, Mongolia and Tibet, as I like to say). Unfortunately, my netbook computer somehow didn't like me anymore and refused to let me edit my LiveJournal. So I only managed to write one entry about our visits to Guilin, Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. Not sure if I will someday write about the rest. I sure should! After these towns, we spent some time on a ship on the Yangtse river (actually Changjiang or 长江) visiting Chongqing, Fengdu, the Three Gorges, the goddamn big dam, Yueyang, Wuhan (again!), Jiujiang, Nanjing, Yangzhou, from where we took the bus to Shanghai. We also saw the clay army of the Qin emperor at Xi'an and then spent about three days in the capital of China — Beijing. Then my parents went back home to Germany and I went back "home" to Kunming. June 24 was Tik's birthday. Then began the exam week. During this time we also had quite some problems with the internet in our dormitory.

Still no entries I could link to. So I write some more details in this entry. Luckily I can take my Google Calendar as a reference. After classes ended in July, most of the Thai and Lao students almost immediately returned to their families, so the dormitory got pretty empty. We saw Aeuy, Mhuey and Bo off at the airport, I said bye to Kai and Amila and the nangis and almost everyone else. Many of them I will probably never see again. For Tik's birthday I bought us an amazingly elaborate (not to mention expensive!) photoshooting with the outcome being over 50 beautiful and artistic photos of us in *.jpg and book format. Even though I had more and more doubts, I still hoped for a future of our relationship. In July, we also had to go to the hospital a few times because of Tik's knee. Try to avoid Chinese hospitals, is my advice for you. You won't like them. The inside of my keyboard is more sterile than this place! Between July 24 and 31, Tik and I went on a holiday trip to Shangri-la (香格里拉) and Lijiang (丽江), both extremyl beautiful cities. Eric took us around in Shangri-la, because he's from that town; it's like a small version of Lhasa. In Lijiang we spent about 5 days, but on the bus trip from Shangri-la to Lijiang I had an epileptic seizure and had to stay in hospital for a few ours (nothing serious, though). Poor Tik.

I had another week or so in August. My last week in China, it was partly nice, partly stressful and I came to realize a few things. As planned before, I left Kunming on August 8, staying 9 hours at the airport in Inchoen, South Korea, again (which was nice!) and then flying to Frankfurt, were my parents picked me up. Even though I knew I will miss Kunming and Tik very much, I was rather happy to go back to my real home. Not so much because of homesickness, but moreso because I started getting sick of the life there, a little. So from August 9 on, Germany had me back. :) The adventures I had at the airport are worth telling too: in short, I had about 17 kg of dictionaries with me and would have to have payed more than 800 € (not yuan!) altogether for the stuff I had too much. So I threw out some unnecessary clothes, stuff and worthless rubbish, checked in my bag with only 1 kg too much (no need to pay for that!), dressed in about 3 sweaters and two jackets and heaved my 14 kg backpack and my 11 kg sports bag onto the plain hoping that no one would complain. And no one did, yay! :D
I saw some of my friends again soon: Melanie and René in their new home, and more old friends which I had neglected while in China, I went to the Language Nite again – were we Esperanto speakers of Leipzig now meet every Tuesday! By the way, my friend Nicole, whom I knew from our Mahjongg evening last year, took my suggestion seriously and has replaced the hole I left in Kunming: she went there (albeit to another university) for a year and even met up with Tik a few times. Tik found it funny that there are small Germans, too! Also Birgit went abroad, to Italy for half a year. When her grandfather, an Indologist, had to go to a nursing home for the elderly, I was invited to choose whatever books I wanted. I came home with 24 new dictionaries alone (one of them Pali-Singhalese!) and dozens of other books about Asian and Indo-European languages. Later in August, I met with Tiên, with Bernard Comrie, we grilled in Helen's garden, because Helen went to Finland for half a year and that's it.

In September I found someone to exchange my remaining Chinese yuan to euro with, and that person gave me a few books on Thai and Mongolian, as well as Thai and Mongolian music and a blue Mongolian deel (дээл, [teːɬ]) for free! Why Mongolian? Because I decided to write my magister's thesis about the differences between the two Mongolian writing systems. I had chosen Bernard Comrie and Klaus Koppe to be my supervisors. At the September 10, Alex, Lisa and I went to Bad Lausick to present Esperanto on a family fair (or something like that), without much success. Not many were interested. Then there was Melanie's, (the other) Lisa's and René's birthday party. I went to the Thai language course at the VHS, but I quitted as it was much too slow and I didn't learn very much, although it was the second semester(!). I had learned about 800 words in Thai up to that time. Also, Alina visited me in Leipzig, we went to the Leipzig Zoo. Sebastian and Julia left Leipzig and went to Bochum/Essen/Nijmegen. In September I also signed up for my final exams in Chinese (February/March 2012!) and Linguistics (September 2012!). I helped Laura and her boyfriend Markus to move and saw their new cat and we had a Mahjongg evening at the local Confucius institute, which was really nice. Should go there more often.
The only (and so far last) entry I wrote in September as well, about one of the Language Nites were we talked about science-fiction quite a lot! Mind that the entry is written in Esperanto.

Actually on September 30, Lisa, Alex, Clarissa, someone from Dresden and I went to the KEKSO in Soest, a small Esperanto meeting for beginners and young people. It was really nice, and I gave language lessons for the rather advanced speakers – SCIURO!!! Where was I? Lisa didn't like the KEKSO so much, because we spoke more German than Esperanto there. I should take her to a *real* internation Esperanto meeting, someday. Lisa and I also revived the old tradition of us going to eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant, the Xi Gui Yuan (熙桂园) together at least once a week. On October 10 we introduced the new freshmen, or rather, we introduced university life and linguistics to them. Nice people. Then, university started, but I haven't put my schedule online (I gotta solve my netbook's LJ login problem!). I also found two new Chinese language partners — one is a girl from Guiyang, named Guo Junyu (郭俊余), who is quite young but speaks rather good German and is really good in explaining Chinese grammar and character history. She also knows more about German history and literature than I do, despite turning out to be 17. She took me to see the Schiller-Haus in Leipzig, I didn't even know we had one! Also funny: she used to live at Alida's mother's place. Weird world. My other language partner is from Taiwan, 24 and studies music (learning to play the recorder!), she also composes music herself. Her name is Chen Wen-Ying (陳雯英) and I usually meet with her. Contrary to the time before I was in China, I want to speak Chinese only now and have to remind myself that also they want to practice German. ^^
Anyway, university started. Gotta write a bit more when (if!) I ever get down to writing my schedule. I also started to take advanced Chinese classes at the Confucius institute and I went to the language partner party there, which was FULL of people. So far I have failed to find a language partner for Thai.
Between October 28 and 30 there was the so-called Aktivula Renkontiĝo in Dresden, another Esperanto meeting.

I decided to go to the 10th qepHom in Saarbrücken, the biggest Klingon meeting in the world, so far. Even Marc Okrand was there. And I met pne for the first time. I actually spoke Klingon there, a bit. It was really nice and I'm considering going there again, next year, but who knows? I also attended the 51st StuTS in Göttingen, which was great, too, and I gave a presentation about Klingon grammar there. This was my 12th StuTS and thus quite a celebrety there, one evening. I also visited Uta and her dog Solo in their new home. I spoke with Mr. Clart about the topics of my oral exam in Chinese, in which I will be tested about the history of the Chinese language, the Qin dynasty and something else I haven't decided yet, maybe the Dai minority or the Zhuang or something. Now I'm spending some time at the library reading about this stuff. Also, I decided to change the topic of my magister's thesis in Linguistics: I won't be writing about Mongolian phonology and its writing systems anymore, but about loanwords in Tsez. I already spoke with Bernard and with Martin Haspelmath who agreed to be my other supervisor. That's a topic better suited for me, I guess.
And a sad thing: After more than one year, I broke up with Tik. I saw no other way. I eventually realized it won't get any better and that I didn't want to plan my future to be like this. I feel terrible for having to hurt her like this. :(

Luise's birthday party on December 2 was cool, and even cooler was our institute's Christmas party, for which we rehearsed and then staged the extended version of Wejnachten bei der Sprachfamilie. At the FSR-Wichteln I got a book with swearwords and expletives in 114 languages, hehe. There was another party at Tina's place and the last Language Nite in this year. I met Susanne G. (see back in those days) again, who is back in Germany now (yay!). And then all of a sudden Christmas came — I got a camping mat/sleeping pad, some money and chocolate from my parents. There was no snow, though, the temperatures outside are like 4 to 7 degrees on average. Too bad. Yesterday I went to see Sebastian and Julia, who came back to Leipzig over the holidays, and Reuters came to visit us (i.e., my parents) for a week. Haven't seen them in 10 years either! It also was my niece Linda's 2nd birthday yesterday. She is so cute and already speaks like a 3-year-old or even better. Amazing.
Tomorrow is the last day of 2011 and because I decided not to go to the JES (Junulara E-Semajno) in Gdańsk, Poland, I have to figure out again, how to spend New Year outside of Esperantujo. Luckily Uta, Stephan, Tiên and their friends Stella, Aysel (she speaks Azeri!) and Susi are happy to invite me. We're going to celebrate, eat Raclette and chat over at Uta's place and going to clink glasses at Tiên's home with her parents. And I'm looking forward to it! ^^

~ The End ~

Read past years' reviews from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, if you like.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
schöner Eintrag und alles Gute für 2012.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
Du hattest mich auf die Idee gebracht, auf ein Esperanto-Treffen zu gehen - hast du eine Empfehlung? (Vielleicht hast du auch meinen LiveJournal-Eintrag gesehen.)

Die meisten, die ich gesehen habe, scheinen sich entweder an Jugendliche (KEKSO, ...) oder aber an erfahrene Anwender zu wenden (lauter prelegoj und so) - so etwas für nicht-mehr-Jugendliche Anfänger (vermutlich mit Kursen und Möglichkeit zum Üben, ohne gleich mit der vollen Wucht eines "sprech ich schon seit 45 Jahren" konfrontiert zu werden) scheint recht dünn gesät.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )