1st January, 2008

Dearest diary,

If this first joyous day is indicative of those to come, I fancy the next twelve months shall be most agreeable.

I started the New Year with an activity most cordial and satisfactory, that I yet blush to recount here.

[Camp beds rock! And squeak.]

There followed a most invigorating stroll through the snow, with the ensuing hunger sated by a traditional German breakfast.

[Käse mit Brot, Käse mit Schinken, Käse mit Ei oder Käse mit Käse.]

The afternoon was spent in the pleasant confines of a spa, admiring the healthy German form from behind a small sundowner.

[Naked mixed saunas rock much harder than camp beds.]

Finally my day drew to a close with a hearty repast of Klopse and Kartoffeln, and plenty of Glühwein to ward off the cold.

But, dear diary, I digress. To the important matter at hand!

In the year of our Lord twenty hundred and eight, I resolve to:

Learn to read Mandarin
It became very apparent while I was out in Shanghai that being able to read Mandarin would be invaluable if I were living in China, as many of the languages spoken there use the same hanzi. For example, in Mandarin you say yi, in Cantonese yat and in Hokkienese tsit, but all three words have the same character “—“ or “one”.

So basically, written Chinese is like a secret spy cipher, and that’s cool. Trouble is, it’s complicated. My aim is to be able to read a newspaper by next New Year, but that is going to mean learning about three hanzi a day, and I’m already four days behind.

Go to more live music
I love love love rocking out in a crazy mosh pit, but never seem to do it any more, and never know what’s on and where. Plus I’m rubbish at getting into new music, so I need you all to take me along to stuff whenever you go to cool gigs. Thanks!!

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