New Year 2008

On my first flight of the year, KA831, with my notebook whipped out. Admittedly not many people are travelling during the new year, at least not from or to Shanghai. I get the whole of the left side of row 33 to myself, my original seat 33K has one of those broken recliner stopper, and when I lean back it reclines. Switched to 33H but the table is a little screwed up such that when I'm typing on this damned Dell notebook it rocks side to side depending on where the keys are. So fine... 33H for sleeping, 33K for typing. The usual question we all get getting into the new year is "what is your resolution". Personal problems not included, this is what I think I'm going to do in 2008. First of all, I need a haircut.

Will want to spend some time travelling. Not something I get to do too often. I get to be in Taiwan and Japan quite often, so at least Japan I'd like to visit Kyoto and maybe somewhere off the beaten track. The centre of Taiwan would be a good choice too. Already have Germany some time around August to drink beer. But Istanbul is another place I'd like to be quite soon, or shall I say Constantinople? Medieval history has always been interesting. Time to do some research and not depend too much on Lonely Planet guides. In my recent trip to Xian, most tourists have a Lonely Planet book in tow. Anyways, its too think for my liking. Another thing that I might explore is an expedition. There's companies like Mt Sobek Travel that do 1-2 week long tailored expedition, much less hotels and tour buses, but more old school expedition. Costs a lot more, but we'll see if its really much better. Saharan salt mines....

On the photo front, soon I'll have 1 point and shoot digital, 1 DSLR, 2 Film SLR, and 2 rangefinders. Enough excuse to go travelling with all these equipment. I might beef up the lens front a little. Looking at a 50mm summicron for the Leica M-system, maybe a collapsible Elmar for portability. Nothing like Leica optics and the ability to put 2 Leica M bodies into a small bag that would barely fit a DSLR. If the D2Xs price on the used market gets below 100,000 Yen I will get it too for my landscape digital camera. The D2H is fine for a lot of applications, but not to take sweeping vista. D2Xs will require a 12-24 to cover the wide angle. No D300 or D3 for me, having the latest and greatest don't guarantee good photo. If I need low light performance, its going to be Neopan 1600 with 35mm f1.2 NOKTON. So 1 lens for M, maybe 1 DSLR and DX lens to go with it.

I've not been spending too much time going for a run nor cycling for 2 weeks. Stopped running when I had that almost-flu period a couple of weeks back. Then I was in Xian climbing Huashan. So will get back to running at least 5km by end 2008. Not realistic to do the usual 20km anymore, at least not with a target event and 3-4 months training. Looks like its easier on the mind when running along the Seine compared to running on the poluted streets of Shanghai. I will need to get back to cycling too, used to cover 100km without a problem, I can barely go 50km now. Time to put on my 2004 Team USPS winter coat when cycling!

Other than that, there's nothing else I can think of now. You know how everytime you look out of a airplane window, and seeing all these little cities down there, wondering if anyone is really looking up at you. Everytime that happens, I feel like jumping out (with parachute of course), and landing where they are and say "ni hao". Everything looks very nice up here. Bet it sucks down there anyway. Ok, time to move to 33H to get some nap.