Since 2015 is creeping towards its end, it’s probably a good and appropriate time to try to summarise what’s been going on the last 12, somewhat crazy months.
Also #1, for the first time ever, I’m going to launch a new, super-prestigious award; the annual Banana Awards.
Also #2, I wanted to have a “z” in “summarizing”, but WordPress insisted on going all UK English on me and spell it “summarising”, so I had no other choice than to admit defeat, assume a fetal position, wobble back and forth, and let WordPress decide who’s boss.
Personally, it’s been a great year, filled with personal development and new experiences; the vast majority of them being positive. For that, I’m thankful, grateful and appreciative. I’ve been completing my first full year working abroad, which is a new experience in its own. The only other time I’ve been away for a significant period of time was when I was studying in Guangzhou, China for a semester in 2011. Being away from family and close friends is, naturally, not preferable. However, I’ve always been very keen on living (and working) abroad, ever since I was in my teens. And I firmly believe that people should always dare to try things they’d like to try, dream to try, or wish to try, rather than not try those things, and then regret them later – for life. Let’s look no further than to Inception for an appropriate quote:
“Do you want to become an old man,
filled with regret,
waiting to die alone?”
Looking back at 2015 with global goggles, it’s certainly been a total shit year. The devastating refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe caused by the assholes called ISIS, and the now iconic and heartbreaking picture of drowned three-year-old Aylan, sadly stand out when looking back at 2015.
Then, some pinheads thought that not enough shit had hit the fan, so the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut also had to occur, just to make sure that no human will feel safe for a while. Of course there are countless other tragic incidents, not getting as much attention in the media as they probably should, that are traumatising mankind, scarring us forever, always reminding us that sometimes our world is a crappy one. Boko Haram. Je Suis Charlie. The increase in support for right-wing political parties across Europe. Donald Trump running for president. Donald Trump’s hair. Scary, crappy, depressing stuff.
But, let’s end this year with a positive post.
A post where I introduce and launch the Banana Awards for the first time ever. This is a big deal. A game-changer. You know how people refer to the Oscar’s as The Oscar’s, and the Emmy’s as The Emmy’s? I’m hoping that the Banana Awards is going to become The Banana’s in the future. Plain and simple. Like, “Hey, did you hear that Sriracha won a Banana this year at The Banana’s in the Best Fucking Thing Ever category?”.
I haven’t got around to make a trophy just yet, but I imagine it will look a little something like these two happy bananas:
But first, some general, random notes about the Banana Awards 2015:
Even though some of the recipients of this very prestigious award may have been around, invented or released prior to 2015, what really counts is that I discovered these things this year. Also, they don’t necessarily have to be the absolute best per se, but they must have made an impact on me, or meant something to me, this year. So now that we’ve got that established, let’s get on with it:
The Banana Awards 2015: Best Song
Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars
I know I’m a little late to the party, because this song was released way back in May 2014, but since I’m a complete pro in avoiding music played on the radio, I hadn’t really heard this phenomenal song until June 2015. You know how sometimes you’ve heard a song on the radio like a thousand times, and it’s kind of meh, but once you really listen to it, it blows your mind. This song was like that for me. Instant favourite.
Even the video is awesome.
Honorable mention / Runner-up:
Tez Cadey – Seve
I heard this song when I was on my first-ever business trip to Saigon in Vietnam while sitting by the street in a corner-café enjoying a delicious cup of Vietnamese coffee. It was very exciting to be on a business trip for the first time, to a country I’ve never been to before. This song kind of symbolises that whole experience for me. It’s also pretty cool that Tez Cadey starred one of my tweets once, and made me feel pretty starstrucked for a few moments.
The Banana Awards 2015: Best Movie
Since I’m not sure if I watched Interstellar in 2014 or 2015, I’m eliminating it from this competition. So the choice is ridiculously easy and the award for best movie of 2015 has to go to the epic Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Not only was it a fresh and superb sequel to the kind-of-but-not-totally disappointing prequel trilogy released some 11-16 years ago, it was also sort of a homage to the original trilogy from the 70’s and 80’s, the movies my dad had me watch when I was very young. Thanks, dad!
The Banana Awards 2015: Best Actor/Actress
More specifically, for his portrayal of Don Draper on Mad Men.
The Banana Awards 2015: Most Annoying Thing
This less prestigious award goes to internet links that don’t open in new tabs. It’d even be acceptable if they then opened in a new window, but more often than not, that’s not the case. This sickness has caused my hairline to recede at least 0,2cm.
The Banana Awards 2015: Biggest Douchebag
Me and the girlfriend went to Koh Samet, Thailand for a few days over Christmas and had a really great time. We can highly recommend going there. We rented one of those motorcycles (mopeds) that are everywhere, and just kind of cruised around, exploring the island. We stopped outside a restaurant, and sat down at a table. It was one of these hole-in-the-wall places, so we pretty much sat outside and inside at the same time, with a clear view of our parked motorbike a few meters away.
After a while, my girlfriend asks me, “isn’t that our bike that guy is sitting on?”.
I walked over to ask him to remove himself and take a seat elsewhere, explaining that I don’t want him to sit on it since he might knock it over by accident, thus leaving me with a hefty fee when I return it to the hotel. Not only did he agree to leave and sit elsewhere only after maybe 20 seconds of unnecessary, energy-draining, buzz-killing argument, as soon as I had returned to our table, he chose to go back and have a seat on my bike. Again, more angrily, I asked him to get the fuck away and to respect that it was my bike and not his (like he didn’t know that). He did eventually leave the bike alone, but only after he cursed to me in Thai. I managed to understand at least one phrase; “go home, #€%&@ foreigner”.
Such a nice guy.
The Banana Awards 2015: Biggest Scare
The disturbingly large snake I saw in the middle of the road when riding my motorbike late one night in Koh Samet, by myself, in the dark, surrounded by jungle on both sides. The only light I had was from the bike’s own lights, and the occasional, sporadic street lights every 150 meters or so. Needless to say, I freaked out but managed to avoid it, screaming pathetically, but very passionately, “AAAAARRRGGHHH!!!!” as I was riding past it.
Honorable Mention / Runner-up:
Later that same night, at 2.15am, we were woken up by a frantic and incredibly panicked 23-year-old Swedish girl, pounding massively on our hotel room door. It was like a scene from a horror movie when one of the characters is closely chased by the killer.
The words we woke up to were: “HELP! HELP ME!! I NEED HELP!!!”
Impulsively, being in Thailand, we thought arguably one of the scariest thoughts one could think:
But luckily, it was “only” a very drunk girl who couldn’t find her friends or her hotel. We thought maybe she’d been raped or hurt, but that didn’t seem to be the case after some interrogative questions. She might’ve been drugged, though. Not sure. We managed to find her hotel room after 30-45 minutes, and made sure she walked inside and stayed there. No real harm done. But the scariest part was definitely the millisecond tsunami thought.
The Banana Awards 2015: Most Hurtful Comment
This award goes to the girlfriend. Lately, I’ve been cutting my hair really short. Like 3mm. It’s really nice in this climate, and I don’t look like a complete dickhead in that hairstyle. I mentioned that I wanted to let it grow back out to my normal hairstyle, but she felt like she needed to explain to me why I shouldn’t. Here’s what she said, word for word:
“You know those white, ugly-ass, ripped jeans some people wear? The people who wear them think they look good, but in reality, they are hideous. Your old hairstyle was kind of like that.”
The Banana Awards 2015: Most Random Comment
“Would you hold my jar of jam?”
– From the girlfriend to me at the mall, out of nowhere, when she reaches down into her handbag.
The Banana Awards 2015: Best Food
Besides that Thai food is, ironically, kinda tastier in Sweden, this authentic Thai dish is award-worthily tasty. And now it’s been given a Banana at the Banana’s. It doesn’t get any bigger than this. It’s come to my attention that the very humble Pad Ka-Prao has prepared a speech:
“Wow. Just… wow. I never thought that a simple dish like me would ever win something this prestigious and honourable, which a Banana Award clearly is. This is something I could never even dream of. I mean, I’m just stir-fried minced pork with basil leaves. Sure, I’m delicious with some chopped garlic and chilis, and it certainly doesn’t hurt if you splash some fish sauce on me while you’re at it, but come on, this is huge. Thank you!”.
Strangely, it seems like Pad Ka-Prao is the only one who’s prepared a speech.
The Banana Awards 2015: Best Blog
I know I’ve been referring to this blog a few times throughout my posts, but I have to say that the content in the posts on that site really floats my boat. Wait But Why manages to write posts about mind-boggling shit and presents said shit in a very digestible manner, with stick figures, diagrams and funny drawings.
The Banana Awards 2015: Largest Achievements
Two space-related winners:
- SpaceX manages to land a reusable rocket back on Earth after putting things into orbit in space, which means that they have reduced the cost of space travel significantly.
- NASA finds water on Mars. No further comments.
These are very exciting times.
Happy New Year!