Philippines

Scooter in Hua Hin - Erik Winther 2014
With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that makes the ASEAN countries consider themselves as one single market by 2015 and Thailand being the prevailing car manufacturer; with Thailand’s ‘first time [car] buyer’-promotion for its people; with the recent termination of Australia’s automotive industry; with low labour costs; and lastly with the fact that Thailand still demand 100% import tax on all vehicles manufactured abroad; there is no doubt why all car manufacturers set up production lines in Thailand, each of them with huge capacity. By 2017, the research company HIS expects ASEAN’s annual demand exceed 3.3 million cars.

Yet despite the collision safety arguments and the possibility to turn on the air conditioning when queuing, status is the only reason for the Thai (and ASEAN) people to replace their numerous, reliable two-wheelers. I mean, few things makes one feel as free as jumping on top of one’s bike and leaving the car queues behind on the way to the beach.

Picture of the 125cc-scooter I rented during a weekend trip to Hua Hin; the capital of retired Swedish seniors.

The Automotive Industry

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We grabbed our luggage at Nairobi’s airport and walked out in the Kenyan night smiling; the gentle and fresh breeze that met us held around 20 degrees.

Picture from Cebu, Philippines.

A comfortable breeze

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I haven’t yet applied for next semester’s full time job, but I’ve been on a few interviews and I’m not worried about finding a good one.
And I find it quite thrilling to have an ocean of directions to choose from for the next step, which will be my first real job ever as well as the first time I haven’t got a long-term idea of what to do the following year.

As in the picture from Coron, Philippines; Endless possibilities.
Things are good. Sweet spot-good.

Possibilities

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KHU main gate at full moon
So, the time has come. After waiving off all the exchange students, one at the time, am I now waiving bye to Korea myself.

This has been a truly amazing year and I am filled with gratefulness to all of you who have shared those experiences with me. The biggest and most important gift of being here is obviously the wealth of perspectives, and the friendships themselves, by spending time with amazing people from allover the world.

A deep, humble and happy thank you to my new friends from
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ghana, Guatemala, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Sweden, Tunisia, UK, USA, Vietnam…and of course everyone from Korea.

You will always have a place in my heart.

Goodbye

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Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
Okay; some lucky (or illegal) trades on the stock market might also create fast profit, but not until you sell the investments again.

Picture from my flight from Kota Kinabalu (KK) on Malaysian Borneo to Manila in the Philippines. I climbed the mount Kinabalu (the peak outside the window that is the highest in the Malay Archipelago) two days before the flight; something I do recommend because of the extraordinary panorama.

Buy richness?

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