Two major awesome things happened to me this year: I got an awesome job, and I got an awesome girlfriend. Unsurprisingly I still find other things to complain about.
In the beginning of this year I landed a very high-tech job at a software development company doing enterprise Java stuff. Their techniques, design patterns and best practices were of the highest quality I've ever seen or even read about, and the codebase I worked with was pretty much perfect. It was the most boring job I ever had. I quit after one month.
After a couple of months of private projects, traveling and CV polishing I found my current job: a Python developer at Potato London. I love this job because it is everything that the other job was not. In my current job I am working to build up something from scratch; there is no such thing as a perfect codebase on my current project, but we're improving bit by bit while under heavy pressure to release our work in time. The sense of urgency, the feeling of code ownership and the fact that we're making massive improvements to a less-than-perfect system is what gives me great work satisfaction. Little info blurb: the project I am working is called Get Your Business Online by Google. There's a Get X Business Online for a massive amount of countries. Here's the British one.
So work-wise I am sat[urated,isfied]. Socially I can't complain either; found a girlfriend, had a wonderful trip to the Seychelles with her in the summer and I see her almost every day. And I've decided that's all I'm going to say on that topic on this blog. Privacy must be preserved, after all.
There's one thing that's been creeping up on me while I am living here in London, and that's this: London is not Japan. This is a very duh statement, I realize, so I must explain. I find myself being annoyed by so many tiny things while living here that I never had a problem with back in Japan. Little things like always having warm water, a shower not breaking, trains running on time, being able to buy food wherever, whenever I want to. On a more surprising note, I found Tokyo to be less busy than London. People gather in higher concentration at certain areas in Tokyo, leaving other areas only mildly busy, whereas in London everywhere is fucking busy. Especially in the weekend, you can't go out anywhere. You have to get out to the countryside to get rid of all the people but in order to get there you have to endure hours of traffic jams. This city is fundamentally broken.
Call me spoiled if you will, but I don't think I am. From my point of view as a person being able to live in either of the cities, there is absolutely no reason why I would choose London. I realize that I have been idolizing Japan after I've left it, but I haven't forgotten the things I didn't like about Japan. Whenever I think about that, the first thing that comes to mind is that Japan has no grass. You can't find a free patch of grass to sit on anywhere in the country. How shit is that? I grew up with grass (har har) and I do miss it when I'm in Japan. Another thing I didn't like about Japan is how every little piece of land has its designated purpose and is actively used by someone. You won't soon find a park that isn't used, or a massive parking lot to a place that nobody goes to. Every bit of land must be used, there's simply not enough to go around. But I still prefer that to the UK.
I haven't mentioned Holland here yet, and I'm not going to speak about Holland a lot. A thought that I was toying around with for a while finally crystallized in my mind this year: I really hate Holland. I just seem to have lost all the desire to live and be part of Holland. Actually, it's not just Holland, it's Europe in general. I just have an irrational dislike for it. I can't explain why. All I can say is that Japan is ok, and what little time I spent in the US made me think the US is ok too. It's just Europe that isn't. Maybe I just want to be far away from my origins. Or maybe it's because all Europeans are assholes. Who knows.
My thoughts on Europe (and Holland in particular) are something I never really spilled in great detail on this blog, although my close friends already know how I feel about it. Considering that this is my personal blog I guess it's time to formalize my thoughts. And that leads to the question: where to go next? If I really dislike Europe then why am I still here? Well, like I said before, there are two things here that I really like: my job and my girlfriend. And I'm making it my goal to get at least one of them to go with me :D. I want to do a lot of traveling next year: visiting my buddy Brian in Africa, perhaps revisiting Japan if the flights are cheap. But finally I want to settle down somewhere in America, north or south. When I came back from the Seychelles last summer I decided that I don't want to live for a long time in any single country; I want to experience new countries and new cultures. The United States may sound like the default option for most English-speaking people, but it sounds fun to me. Especially Silicon Valley because crazy things happen there. That would be a great place to be for a while. And after that (or before) there's plenty of interesting places in South America to be a software developer too. I could spend 6 to 9 months in each country and then move on. How cool is that?
I will not be in Europe in the future. And that's a good thing! Let's live a little. :)