As of my regular practice since 2011, I am here writing a few (30, to be precise) things that made my 2013 interesting. Year 2013 had its own ups and downs. But just like 2012, this year too was pretty fine and probably the best year yet. The year had its sad moments and hard decisions. I made many important decisions on my own.
Now time to look into some random things that made me 2013 a unique year. This is mostly an unordered list, except some logical ordering. This is a list of events in the order that appear in my mind at this moment - not in the order of importance.
1. The new year's eve of 2013 itself. That was a colourful new year.
2. Finishing touches of 2013. Year 2013 had a rushing set of events till the last moment. The year is ending in style. Never had a year end vacation like in 2013 before.
3. Multiple plots and locations. I spent the year in Portugal, followed by a summer vacation in Sri Lanka, and back to Europe, but to Sweden. Just returned to Portugal last night. Other short-term locations include Spain, Finland, and Denmark. This made 2013 a year full of travels for me.
I got used to the airports, buying tickets online, trying to connect to the airport wifi, booking hotels and hostels.
4. Cruise to Helsinki - This was my first cruise, from Stockholm to Helsinki using Tallink Silja line (M/S Silja Symphony to Helsinki and M/S Silja Serenade to return, though both are identical cruises and they look the same). The wave was strong as there was a storm. Planned acrobatic activities on the cruise were canceled due to the bad weather during the return trip which was on the Christmas day. Shaking cruise made me a bit uncomfortable - but that was a comfortable sleep with the rhythm, once I got onto the bed. :D
5. Snowy night of the EMDC Winter Event at La Vall de Núria - The snowy night full of ice. I lurved it. That night was just perfect (Photos).
6. Exams and Presentations - All the semester (all 3!) exams were on this year. This made 2013 a year of exams. EMDC required us to do a lot of presentations. Some were fun; some were a bit boring. But we enjoyed them all! I have never done this many presentations in previous years. :D
7. A lovely surprise birthday party by the friends at Bairro Alto. It was the best.
8. Friends and Good byes - I never had to say good bye to many people in my life before. As long as we are in our motherland, the good byes are not that strong. We will meet again someday for sure. But in an international environment, we are not quite sure when we will meet some of our friends again. I made quite a good friends in 2012 to whom I had to bid farewell to (and they to me) in 2013.
Each year brings me its own set of friends. Made some good friends - from China, India, and all over the world in this year.
9. Depressingly dark Stockholm. It was winter, the day time shrank and made Stockholm a city of darkness.
10. Learning some Chinese. I also became addicted to Chinese music and also more into Romanian. Read my top-3 picks of music on Stockholm - Month 4.
11. Nightly walks at Parque das Nações. Also a remarkable night stay in a cold winter outside Centro Comercial Colombo.
12. Fine restaurants in Lisbon and their hospitality - buffets at New Wok Chinese restaurant, friendly waiters of Restaurante Destino of Restauradores, and frequent visits to Restaurante Kathmandu of Arroios.
13. Summer in Stockholm - It was really pleasant with long day time. It was dry and not too hot. Can never forget the beach baths and the forest walks in Farsta.
14. Getting runny nose in Helsinki - That was a mistake assuming the Helsinki weather will be similar to that of Stockholm, based on the temperature predictions. Helsinki was much wet and windy, which made the weather more unpleasant. That was a wet Christmas - not a white Christmas!
15. Street food in the food market of Copenhagen. I have never enjoyed these street food before.
16. Reindeer meat and Glöggi, Scandinavian style. Not to forget the elk meat. I have started to love the Scandinavian dinner.
17. Movies at Campo Pequeno, Centro Comercial Colombo, and Centro Comercial Vasco da gama of Oriente.
18. Playing Chess in Obidos, while enjoying some quality Ginja.
19. Enjoying the Sun at Setubal. The boat was stylish and the Sun was warm. A highlight of the Lisbon Summer trip.
20. Vila Franca de Xira, in Autumn 2013. A village full of cobweb and free internet by the river! God bless you who installed wifi connectivity by the river side, and left it open to public.
21. The last few days in Portugal before leaving to Sri Lanka for the summer vacation. We were keeping ourselves busy by travelling north and south of Portugal. Rio Douro at Porto - The Sun was extremely warm. Matosinhos beach still had freezing cold water. The water was warm in Lagos, and also I enjoyed the cliffs of Lagos. Still there was sadness - I had to leave Portugal in a day or two.
22. Barcelona Carnival (Photos).
23. EMDC Summer Event - The walk in the Fejan island in the darkness was unforgettable.
24. Hostel stay in Madrid and Barcelona. I have never stayed in hostels, even during my school days. To be specific, sharing a room with random strangers (in Barcelona) was new to me.
25. Cooking in Lisboa (Photos). I started cooking during the Easter Vacation in Lisboa. It turned out pretty well, and I continued to cook daily in Stockholm, which saved me a considerable amount of money that I used later for my travels in Europe.
26. Living in a shared room. Luckily my room mate and I had so many common qualities. We sleep late. Noise and light do not disturb our sleep - that means, we were able to work while the other one was sleeping. We shared our food - that encouraged us to do new cooking experiments (Photos of my cooking in Stockholm). Since my room mate was a vegetarian, we decided to cook only vegetarian meals. That made me almost a vegetarian for 4 months - I had vegetarian meals except during the rare occurrence of eating outside with friends. I was still healthy. :D
I have never lived in a shared room before, as I prefer some privacy and a private space. Just like cooking, this too was a new experience and an achievement of 2013.
27. Kindness showed by random strangers in Lisbon and Stockholm. I once asked a route from a stranger in Stockholm - he was unsure himself. He pulled out his smart phone, did a quick search and provided me with a detailed information within a minute. Similarly, another Swedish came all the way to a metro station, while mentioning that he really wish to visit the Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka (also known as Sripada, in Sri Lanka).
28. Interviews. They were interesting.
29. Internet Communications. Living away from home and then from Lisbon, made me use the Internet more to communicate. I wanted to be offline once in a while. However, the distributed nature of my life made my life compulsorily online.
30. Shopping - lots of it. Not only for buying stuff - also to have a window shopping - in Lisbon, Porto, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Malmo.
Thanks for reading my list till the end. If you are really interested, you may also read the blog post on the year 2012 and the year 2011. :D
I wish everyone of you a very happy new year 2014. :)