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A review of the 2018

I think it is the first review of the past year I ever wrote, but it might become a good tradition 😊
So, below I list some highlights from the outgoing year. Let’s start from a funny pic of my cat :3

Winter 2018

I bought a new phone on January 4 and this time it was Android. It is my first Android phone, before that I used Apple. Everything is fine and I even fell more comfortable with some features iPhones don’t have. However, I think Apple makes more secure phones and I miss iPhone’s camera quality. I broke its screen somewhen in summer when I was helping my friend to move house. No photos here. 📱

Usually, I don’t like cold weather, snow and so forth, but this year I tried mountain skis and then snowboarding. Now I like winter and mountains. We spent our vacation at Sochi’s Rosa Khutor ski resort in April, participating at Quicksilver New Star Camp festival, which was fantastic.

In Spring, I participated in my first hackathon. We were developing an application in a team of 5 people for almost 24 hours without sleep! Our application was intended to track parking places on a car park and display which place is taken and which one is free on a mobile phone. On the back-end side, we used Tensor Flow to analyse a video stream from a camera, Java and PostgreSQL to handle and store the data. On the front-end side, we used React, GraphQL and PWA to fetch and display the data on a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, a Vietnamese cafe opened in my hometown. We often visit it with friends and have some good food there.

I visited many beautiful places and events.

We spent a great time in Konstantinovo near Ryazan (actually it wasn’t so great because of a ton of mosquitoes!)

We went rafting for 3 days!

We visited a sober party of free travellers and hitchhikers. It was cool to listen to people who crossed the whole Russia on suburb trains, lived in different countries for months, travelled to Africa and Sri Lanka, not just to stay in a 3, 4 or 5 stars hotels, but to live among other people from those countries. I walked away with a conclusion: if you have to walk for several hours, please, wear some comfy shoes next time!

We had a great summer party with our colleagues. We played different games, swam in a river and chilled.

In August we had our second vacation. Our friends came to visit us in Ryazan. Yes, my haircut definitely proves that I’m on vacation. 😁

Suddenly we decided to go to the seaside by car in a few days. We packed our luggage and covered about 3000 km in the next ten days. We stayed in campings, it was my first experience living at the sea in a tent. A good experience!

Are you still reading? Wow. You should know that I am already tired writing this post 😃. I think my year was really cool! So, this was the summer.
In autumn we also had two interesting trips and new experiences. We visited Yaroslavl, a beautiful city where my grandmother lived before getting married.
It was my first time staying in a hostel. It wasn’t very comfortable because of small children crying. 🙄
I’ve already written about Yaroslavl here.

About 13 years ago (omg really), I played an MMORPG called Lineage II. One of my friends invited us to visit a festival dedicated to this game. One of my favourite music bands who play power metal 🤘🏻were there.

In October, we spent a night in nature, built a banya, had a steam bath, swam in the Oka river, walked to a “drunk forrest” and had a lot of fun (we even had problems with the police, but eventually everything was fine).

To continue the topic about PC games, I visited a Dota 2 tournament in Moscow. I play it occasionally, but I’m not a professional. It was interesting to see how the teams were smashing each other to get a prize.

Huh, that’s it about traveling in 2018. I didn’t know I visited so many places! 😃

In 2018 I became modern and bought a wearable device. It’s the Xiaomi Amazfit Bip smart watch. Now I count my steps and measure the deep sleep phase. What’s the most amazing about it – I can set up a countdown timer right on my hand when I boil eggs! 🐣

I also started doing yoga and running. However, I prefer running outside and when it’s warm, so I plan to continue running in Spring 2019. Yoga is fine anytime!

I played as many tabletop games as I never played before. I think the number is more than 10!

We met really nice guys and we still keep in touch – Kostya, Dima, Anya and Nastya. They visited us in Ryazan and created a funny local meme about one of the cafes we visited. 💇🏻

I held a snake! I’m afraid of them. Actually, I can’t say it was a try to overcome one of my phobias, as it was not poisonous and dangerous. It was really cute and friendly. Meet the corn snake:

A few words about my plans that didn’t have a chance to be brought to life.

I haven’t tried hitchhiking
I haven’t had a several-days-long ride on a bicycle
I haven’t run my own pet project (but sometimes I commit there 🙂)

I hope to turn these into reality next year.

Happy New Year! 🎉🎄
2018 was very good, wasn’t it?
I wish you all the best in 2019!

Azure Window collapses in Malta

Three days ago a natural arch called Azure Window collapsed in Gozo, Malta. This arch was included on Malta’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was used as background in some well-known movies such as the Game of Thrones and the Count of Monte-Cristo. It was also a famous place for tourists, so thousands of photos were taken there.

Game of Thrones - Azure Window Malta

I also have a pic standing in front of it ☺️

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your country to live or study abroad?

airplaneThese days many people go abroad to study or even to live. In this essay I’ll share some thoughts about living in a foreign country. Moving abroad is a life-changing decision and you have to think through all possible details. Of course it heavily depends on the country where you live and the country where you’re going to move, but here I’m talking about moving to a better place to live.

Of course, when you see pictures and videos of a country of your dream, you see many advantages. For instance, people are more polite and the life on the whole is much better. You see those vibrant cities and peaceful villages, surrounded by amazing green valleys. And when you eventually get there, you understand that it’s really right up your street… Until the “honeymoon” ends.

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Go vegetarian: bullshit or healthy lifestyle?

Yesterday I was given a homework to write an essay on a subject “Go vegetarian: bullshit or healthy lifestyle”. So, here are some thoughts:

Go vegetarian: bullshit or healthy lifestyle

There are many people in the world who don’t eat meat. Those are vegetarians. Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat and meat by-products. They have different reasons to do it: while some people suppose that it’s healthier, others think that it’s unethically and violently to grow and then kill animals. As I know, all things can have its own prons and cons, and vegeterianism is not an exception. In this essay I’ll try to shortly describe the main advantages and disadvantages of this idea.

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