Looking back at 2020

Earlier posts: Lookback at 2019


2020 was an extraordinary experience shared by the 7+ billion organisms we call humans. It was an year of many firsts for me personally so just thought I’ll focus on those as I think back on the last few months, most of which went by in a daze.

1. My first time in a city where public infra works!

We moved to Berlin in early Jan. It’s the 4th city Aditi and I have lived in over the last 5 years and it’s probably the one I’ve loved most. The omnipresent greenery/lakes, the cozy cafés and a bureaucracy that mostly works are the most enjoyable bits of Berlin. There’s history seeping through every corner but everytime I immerse myself in it, I get depressed so well, I haven’t 🤷

Berlin

Yet another “see” (Schlachtensee), waterfall in the middle of town (Viktoriapark) and one of my favorite Berlin Pizzeria (Sale é Pepe)

2. My first ‘falling’ snow

I’ve been chasing snowfalls all my life to always find dirty, fallen snow. ALWAYS. Happened to beat that this year and got so ridiculously happy that I just sat in the balcony for 30 minutes while it fell. Work calls and everything in the middle of the day be damned.

Snow

Happiness

3. My first time being ‘above average’ fit

The WFH situation through most of last 9 months ensured that I needed a ritual to finish my day. As I’d gotten back into running late last year, I made it a habit to run 5 days a week. I realized I’ve moved up an entire quartile of cardio fitness over the last 12 months and plan to move up another quartile next year. Let’s see how successful I can get with that plan.

V02 max graph

V02 max trend over the last year and the reading yesterday

4. Our first time making food thrice a day

I realize it’s from a position of incredible privilege that I say this but in my 34 years of life, I never had to cook for myself. I could always cook great food but didn’t realize I’d enjoy doing it so much as a daily chore. The fact that I was working for HelloFresh and solving this problem for millions of consumers like myself daily was a cherry on top.

food

Just some mouth watering visuals

5. My first audiobook

I got hooked onto podcasts last year and Amit Varma’s seen and the unseen used to run advertisements for this audiobook platform named StoryTel. I took their subscription and listened to 4-5 books. I liked their Netflix like biz model where everything was free once you took the subscription but the limited choice on offer was frustrating so switched to Audible. The experience here is pretty good. I wish the sync with Apple watch app was a bit better but can’t really complain. My top 5 book recos (including physical books) for this year:

  1. Three body problem trilogy: Cixin Liu (technically, 3 books but all kinds of 🥰)
  2. Why we sleep: Matthew Walker (incredibly useful book. Made subtle changes to my lifestyle basis this and each morning is better)
  3. Masala lab: Krish Ashok (my latest read. Super useful meta abstraction of principles involved in cooking. It’s freaky how similar some abstractions are to what I wrote here earlier this year
  4. Raag Darbari: Shrilal Shukl (This book is 24K gold sarcasm! I highly recommend the text in the original Hindi. I can’t say if the translations will hold up)
  5. How To: Randall Munroe (Let’s just say he one upped “what if” if it was humanely possible)

6. Our first 5 years of being married!

Kinda cheated here but Adi and I celebrated our 5th anniversary a couple of days ago. Damn, time just flew by! 5 years sounds like a lot but never felt like it.

5

Our engagement!

7. Our first Christmas tree

Adi treats our home very much like a nursery and she brought home a live potted Christmas tree last week and is busy making decorations for it as I type this. It looks heavenly!

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Here’s hoping that your year had as many firsts and you had as much fun as we did.

Ravdeep


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