Posts categorized under ‘Daily life’

Unblock sites on your computer and mobile

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Here in China more and more content is made unavailable in result of the Great Firewall of China which have been perfected during the last 10 years of its use. The latest news report that GMail now is blocked, but also other big services like HSBC were blocked as recently as in November 2014. There are many techniques to get past the Chinese firewall as well as any other similar blockades, but the easiest way is to use a professional VPN. Not only does a VPN allow you to unblock websites, but it also encrypt your Internet communication making it virtually impossible to listen in to. This is especially a good solution if you are using a lot of open WIFIs like the ones you find in cafes or airports. Without a VPN any computer talented person can easily listen in on all of your Internet use and see which websites you are using, get your passwords and much more.

The VPN which I have tested and that works fine in China is Private Internet Access which cost only $3 per month for a professional and safe solution that you should consider using even if you are not in China but are worried about Internet security. You can even use one single license on up to 5 computers and mobiles, which makes the price even more incredible.  Follow this link for more information.

Another useful thing is that after installing a VPN you can choose which country it should look like you are browsing the Internet from. This allows you to access locally protected media, for example news channels or video sites which are only available from certain countries.

Here is a list of some of the biggest online services blocked in China at writing moment:


Malaysian food

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

While walking Johor Bahru today I found myself in the middle of nowhere and starting to get hungry. The only place nearby was a franchise restaurant and although it would not be my first choice of lunch place in a new country, I decided to go anyway. Great decision!

The people working in the restaurant were incredibly friendly and helpful, and one girl start to write down food I should try while in Malaysia. She disappears for a while and I realize she started to ask all her workmates for more examples of Malaysian food. Later on she comes back to my table and starts a long explanation about every single dish on the huge list she wrote down for me.

So, here is her Malaysian food list, with markings showing which country it originally came from. The Malaysian daily cuisine comes from several countries, matching the most common nationalities living here. These are Malay, Indian and Chinese (M / I / C on the food list).

Malaysian food:

Durian cendol (best in Malaka)
ArsKacang (ABC)
Pulut – M
Kuih lopes – M
Puteri mandi – M
Kuih lopis – M
Karipap – M
Kuih serunding – M
Kuih sambal – M
Nasi lemak
Roti canai
Laksa Johor
Curry mee – C
Mee soto – M
Lontong – M
Char kuey Teow – C
Tav fu (hot plate) – C
Briyani – I
Tosai – I
Chappati – I
Mee rebus – M
Nasi dagang – M
Har fun – C
Fried lotus – C
Fried rice – C

Malaysian drinks:

Teh tarik – M / I

Malaysian food

Malaysian food (people)

Go Explore!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

This is a challenge for YOU to go to explore your own home city or a nearby place! This is how you do it:

Take a random bus or train, best is if it’s an unknown line for you. This works with any type of transportation that you don’t control yourself, even hitch hiking. Step of at any place you dont recognize and walk around. Explore.

It can be any place, in the nature or in the city. A place that visually looks like nothing, to get positively surprised, or a place that visually intrigues you. If you try this several times, mix it up.


Go Explore!

Be happy for the things you already have

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

A lot of times we wish we were somewhere else, did something different or had things we do not have. What we easily forget is to be happy about what we have right NOW, at THIS exact moment.

For example some of the small things we miss when we are traveling, most people take for granted in their “normal” lives. This can be as simple as taking a hot shower, free tap water, electricity, not having 100s of itching mosquito bites, having a warm apartment in the winter, a wardrobe with more than 10 pieces of clothes, a laundry machine, health, missing friends and family etc.

This goes both ways. When you are traveling and miss the things above, be thankful for what you ARE having at the moment. You are out of your daily habits, building experience, meeting new people, doing things you can not do at home and having different weather.

Wherever you are, if it rains today, remember that hot day in the past when the only thing you wished for was rain. Take pauses now and then to think about what you have and be thankful for it!

Guatemala shower giving electrical shocks

Electric shower in Guatemala, giving electric shocks instead of warm water


Monday, September 3rd, 2012

What is normal? Things that seem strange or “not normal” for us one day can be part of our “normal” life in our future. What is seen as normal is based on our geographical location, culture, background and which people we surround ourselves with.

An everyday pattern takes up to 2 weeks to get into our system, to become automatic, or “normal”. For me nowadays, normality is taking a cold shower with geckos, then walking barefoot in swimming shorts to my work. Having electricity only between 2pm and 6am and no lock on the door.

Normality is what you make it. You can customize your normality, in big steps or in small, to make it perfect for you. At least what is perfect at this moment, because that will change with time. For me personally I like to switch out normality a few times per year. For most people changes like this happen by itself, but you can also accelerate how often it happens, and steer its direction.

A lot of people worry about doing things that seems not normal because of what other people will think about them. But the same things can be what makes you unique, and these things are anyway already normality for at least some other people on this big planet. So do exactly what you feel like, as long as it does not hurt anybody else!

Every time you change your normality you grow.

Normality - what is "Normal"?

Moving towards a goal

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

One important thing for me in life is to continue to learn and grow personally, either through theoretical and spiritual interests or through physical sports or hobbies. Some goals might seem to big to accomplish and therefore people never try to reach them. But if you just take small steps every day towards them, they will come to you sooner or later. And in the meanwhile you are growing, especially while doing things that makes you uncomfortable.

One great example of slowly reaching a giant goal can be seen in the short movie “The Man Who Planted Trees” from 1987 which I like to recommend to people, as I am also now recommending to YOU.

Of course nobody is telling you that you can have only ONE goal. Have as many as possible! Some with short distance and some with greater distance to be reached.

How to find your dream job

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Before you can start searching for or creating your dream job, you need to understand WHAT your dream job IS. For me personally a dream job includes the freedom that comes along with working for yourself, as well as not being fixated to one location. But how to find out which job to choose?

A dream job should be a job that you are passionate about, that keep you awake in the nights fantasizing about the work you will be doing the next day and get you jumping up from the bed in the morning with a smile; well, jumping up at least. Ok this passion will probably not last forever, but then you already know how to find your next dream job and can just change your path again.

Let’s get started! To find your dream job, start with answering these questions one by one:

  • What gives me meaning? What provides me with a sense of purpose?
  • What gives me pleasure? What do I enjoy doing?
  • What are my strengths? What am I good at?

Finished? Now is the time to start thinking about how they can be combined. For example if you ENJOY meeting travelers and feel a PURPOSE of helping the local community while your STRENGTHS are socializing and getting people together, then one dream job for you could be to start a hostel where a part of the income goes back to projects in the community.

One great advantage with starting your own company is that you can usually do it step by step parallel to your current every day job. When business start coming in, go down to half time on your regular job and finally quit it when you feel ready. So if you are tired of your job, what is your excuse not to start building your new dream life NOW? It might take some effort in the beginning, but think of how big the reward is!

How to find your dream job (scuba diving in Egypt)

Kouris Dam, Cyprus

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Kouris Dam is the largest of the 180 Cyprus dams. Dams here on Cyprus are very important for the people living here, not only because they need them to survive but they are also a recreational place to visit. A few days ago the Kouris Dam, the largest of the 180 Cyprus dams, overflowed for the second time in it’s 24 year old history. Kouris Dam has a height of 110 meters, a surface area of 3.6 km3 and a capacity of 115 MCM (115 000 km3), which is about 35% of the total capacity of all the dams on Cyprus together.

For scuba diving enthusiasts Kouris Dam also has a submerged church that is possible to dive into when the water level is high enough.

To see a list of all the dams in Cyprus, current water level of each dam and more statistics, visit this link

Or for more information about when and how each dam were build, visit this link

As you can see on the first link, this year the inflow of water is already the highest since the last 10 years with a record high peak in January 2012.

Kouris dam

Kouris dam bridge

Kouris dam exit

Kouris dam toys, alcohol and icecream

Kouris dam statistics

APOEL Nicosia vs Real Madrid

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

I am no football fan but this has to be written anyway. Here on Cyprus people are crazy for football and tonight’s match has been on the discussion for a long time; the match between the giant Real Madrid and Nicosia’s APOEL.

Nicosia already had a match against Real Madrid in 1969, but then in Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium. This time the match is on Cypriot land with a maximum of 12 000 spectators in the stadium comparing to Santiago Bernabeu’s maximum of 125 000.

Riots after football matches are common here on Cyprus, as everywhere else, so let’s see what tonight’s match will result in.

Facebook addiction – why is Facebook addictive?

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Facebook addictionMore and more people understand that they have a Facebook addiction (FAD). But do you know WHY Facebook is so addictive?

Facebook is built almost entirely on a reward system, the same system most of the successful games like Battlefield and World on Warcraft are built on. Our body’s reward system gets active when we anticipate something, and when the anticipation is rewarded dopamine is released into our brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and well-being, which is the same reward system that strong drugs are tapping into. The less time that goes from the anticipation to the dopamine effect the more addictive the drug is. In games we get the reward by getting better weapons, higher “status” or points and moving on to new levels. In Facebook the reward comes within a short time from posting any content on the web site, as soon as somebody else comments back or “likes” it. The addiction is taken to an even higher level as there can have been a lot of feedback or events also while you were logged out, something we haven’t seen in computer games before.

When people get addicted to any drug they get used to the dosage and after a while they need to raise the dosage, which means that people want even more rewards (feedback) after a period of using Facebook. The only way to get this is to collect more Facebook friends and to post more content, or more extreme content, to get the same dopamine amount as the addiction require.

So what do you do if you find yourself in a Facebook addiction?

  • Set limits – Set up a schedule for how long time you can use Facebook per day or per week. If possible, also put Facebook free days in the schedule.
  • Find a substitute – Because your body are used to a high dosage of reward you need to find a substitute that will give you the same feeling of reward. This can be a new hobby, working out, doing a sport or creating art.
  • Decide positive and negative actions – Decide what will happen if you use Facebook more then your schedule allow. For example, give away 5 euro to a homeless person every time it happens. The same if you manage to hold the schedule, give yourself a monthly reward (no, the reward cannot be one extra hour on Facebook)

Good luck!