January 2, 2015

Review 2014

2014 has passed, this is the perfect season to write a personal review post. This one is organized in the perspective of family, relationship, friends work and self development.


At the end of 2014 I took some day off and came back to China to visit my mom and dad. Probably 3 years since our last met.

As always my mom prepared everything for me: new clothes and coat, cloves, shoes(-20 degree in my hometown), good foods, money for me to use here… She kept all the gifts in the perfect shape I gave her before, always seek to connect, always support me… Amazingly I really can’t find any flaws from her as a mother, she’s perfect.

My dad is the same, so unique in his own way… I’m not a good talker just like him, we don’t talk that much, and don’t feel the urge to, which made me really relaxed, felt home. Sometimes I take the initiative and tell him my life in Tokyo, and after my talk he either suddenly leaves without a comment or change the subject completely to something he wants to talk about… And we’re totally fine about spending the time separately even though we’re in the same room, he checks his computer while I write blog, just like the old days.

Strangely for one moment I dreamed about, what if, what if they didn’t get divorced, how would it look like now? What if I look at the left there’s my mom, and turn right there’s dad? I know it’s 200% impossible already, but this is the first time for the last 10+ years I imagined such scene and I kinda want to say, “please don’t wake me up”.


I remember early 2014 we were sitting at the dining table in our brand new house, having afternoon tea and cakes, enjoying the beautiful view from 27th floor and sharing stories to each other. That was such a peaceful picture in my memory, I wish I could freeze the time forever, I thought after all these years we finally managed to get the harmony moment, but we didn’t.

After that our relationship hit the bottom, it was the darkest time for me. I suffered a lot from distrust, every couple have fights and may even say some harsh words too, but nothing hurt more than distrust. I felt my character, loyalty and integrity was doubted, it made me feel all the things I had been fighting for was nothing, worthless. I started to ask the wrong questions. “Why me? Why shit things always happen to me? Why I can’t have a peaceful day? I’m not a perfect boyfriend but also not a bad guy shouldn’t I deserve a little better? Why I did nothing but is treated like I was cheating on her? It’s so unfair why?”

Question shifts focus. Asking the wrong questions could only drive you crazy, making all possible negative impacts, so stop. Pain is a powerful tool, if you can make good use of it. There’s a technique introduced in the book “Awaken the Giant Within”, saying if you want to quit your bad habit, you should link massive pain to that. In my case this trust issue was such a huge pain for me I don’t want to experience it anymore, ever. So I tweaked the questions like this:

“What’s the root cause? Am I misbehaved? Or lack of communication makes me appear suspicious? Is it related to our past issue? Is it her issue? Is it fixable? What could I do now on my side? What are my choices?”

Immediately my focus shifted to the present, and helped me made a big decision then. I’ll leave all that pain to 2014, 2015 I will have a better, brighter life.


I like to hang out with friends, but not doing good job at inviting them. Always reluctant to send the message. 8:00 AM, maybe they’re on the train. 10:00 AM they must be working. 12:00 AM they’re probably having lunch with colleagues. 6:00 PM, hmm maybe working hard to get things done. 8:00 PM maybe they’re enjoying dinner with family/friends. 10:00 PM maybe too late… I’m such a genius to find no good time to contact during a whole day lol!

And even though I’ve been living in Tokyo for 7 years, I still don’t get the distance with Japanese friends(not those have experience abroad). I consider some are good friends, but not sure how they feel about me, the distance is still there. Don’t get me wrong they’re good people, polite and kind, but that also confused me about where we are, and how to develop it to the next level.

On the contrary, I’m glad the “gaijin” group get together regularly. BBQ, Chicago Pizza, fireworks, Bounenkai. The psychological guard is low, people are more open, more casual, easier to talk to.

Also appreciate my friends in China. Every time I come back, they all manage to come no matter how busy they’re, give me the welcome party and farewell party within 1 week, I’m flattered. I’ve known each other for over 10 years, I’ve seen them from slim to fat hah, from a boy to a father, yet we still drink like a teenage, talk in the same way, as if time never passed us.


One big challenge was building Cooksnaps widget which is integrated to food blogs with fancy features like user login, browse and like cooksnaps, leave comments, auto post to facebook wall, admin tools to manage visibilities, etc. I did heavy javascript project before but this time is different. It’s a 3rd party javascript widget running on the food bloggers blog, the code is part of a rails project. Challenging but fun! Third-Party Javascript, this book written by Disqus engineers helped a lot!

Another big project is Cookpad global, it’s like a database-less rails app, we’re using API to transfer all the data we needed. At first we were using a gem called Her to let the model have ActiveRecord like interface, but due to performance problems and lack of maintenance we shifted to spyke.

Oh and almost forgot that I switched to VIM from Sublime Text, felt like long long time ago :) The transition phase didn’t take long, I used janus for a quick bootstrap then tweaked the parts one by one everyday. Love it so much.


Some achievements on personal development:

The Number of 2015

2015 = 1024 + 512 + 256 + 128 + 64 + 16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1. Such a beautiful number isn’t it!? Happy new year~!

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.