Sharing Valentines love with at least 20 people

When the new year started last month, newspapers all over the world had their annual reports looking back at the year we left behind, and in a similar fashion, I intended to do so as well. But then, life intervened and it was all post-poned till another time. Now, with Valentines Day upon us tomorrow/today, a day to share love and affection to those around us, I thought this would be my Valentines Gift to at least some special people I would like to thank. 

This is one way for me to show at least some kind of appreciation to people who have supported and helped me throughout the past year, day after day. Naturally, there could be quite a few more on this list, perhaps as many as 250 people, but even though it was really hard, I tried sticking to the limit of just 20 people. 

As in life, I do fully understand we do not have time to connect with absolutely everybody, but as a close Vietnamese friend of mine more than once said, if you don’t have time to say hello once in a while, you care probably not worth saving. Some people have gone far in ensuring they ignore me, and to be honest, these people mean nothing to me, nor do I really care anymore. Below are however my personal reflections on some people who I would really like to say thank you very much to.

These are some people I would love to extend my most sincere thank you to, for all support, encouragement and assistance. The list below is written in totally random order, even though I would like to express my special gratitude to so many more. 

  1. My entire shift on my ship. Naturally, after having spent almost half of the year with these truly amazing people, and to have such a great crew with me, is more important than words can describe. These people are all sharing the first place, they are all hard working people making the best of each day with whatever is given to them. Without them, my job would be just anther job. With such a small crew, we share almost everthing within our shift periods.  This first thank you goes to each and every one of them: for holding up with me, for doing as I command, and for keeping spirits high on long and very tiresome days at work. 
  2. PT Mike... this is one person I truly admire very much, and which have remained a good friend ever since he was my personal trainer at California Fitness in Bangkok. I have had a few chances to meet and spend dinner time with this wonderful guy in the past year, and the memory of that short time still gives a lot of pleasure in my heart. He is delightfully funny, very metropolitian and immensly smart, and an inspiration for me to become a better person.
  3. Lady C. I know I can always trust Lady C to be there to encourage and support me, and she is one of the few that actually always will recognizes my efforts on my blog, through my photography and other writings. She helps me understand my compositions and really opens my perspectives with her indepth insights and reflections.  
  4. Lady E. I’m surrounded by a handful amazing Ladies, and this is definately one of them. Even though we have not communicated as much as I had wanted in the year past, for various reasons, I'm always confident that she is just a call or text away, which by the way, is something I truly appreciate. She is scuh a wonderful person, with a true southern charm, always smiling and supportive. She is one of those Ladies on our planet, that when given lemons, she probably makes the most awesome Maritinis out of their juice. I know that if I need her, she will always be there for me, as well as I will always be there for her. She is a true friend that I some day hope to be able to repay my gratitude to. It's like an ever-growing debt that I might have a hard time paying back. 
  5. Panee. My friend and former colleague from working at Plus Property, and one of the most charming, and lovely Thai girls I have ever met In my whole life.  Spiritually young in mind, happy in heart and always smiling. A wonderful person that I'm so fortunate to having met a couple of times this past summer. I will forever adore her hospitality and smile, and I will never forget all the laughs and assistance she gave me when Bangkok was my home and Plus Property was my company. 
  6. TP. This most genuine guy is one of the best Thai people I know: always truly enjoyable to be friend with, and a selfelss, smart, and hard working person. He's got some wonderfully great ideas and is, I believe, doing well in his own business ventures. He is hilariously funny, very knowledgeable and I'm honored to having him as a friend for nearly 10+ years now. Every time I go to Thailand, this is "the one" person I love hanging out with, and have to spend time with. During two trips this past year to his home-province, he not only opened his schedule to be my private guide but also took days off work in order to be able to show me one of the most increadible and memorable temples I have visited in Thailand. That day was so great: overcome with fear climbing steep rock-walls far above the dense vegetation below (remember, I have an intense fear of height that makes me shiver when wearing too thick socks!)
  7. Captain Chakri: Even though this person most definately never uses Internet and will never read my English language bLOG, this is a person I very much would like to add to the list of wonderful encounters in 2015. He is the Captain of a Chao Phraya river boat and by a coincidence, we got to talking during my recent trips to Bangkok. He let me come along for his work for nearly a full day, he thought me so much about the river of kings, he showed me his job, let me handle his river boat, and he even intruduced me to his family living in a tiny shelter off the banks of a side river. This meeting truly made an impression on me like I have never felt before. He graciously accepted me to join him, and to become his apprentice. I really wish that there was some way that I could repay his generousity by showing him my own ship here in Norway some day.  
  8. BS, Khun OH: This is not only the best friend you can ever find, but after nearly 17 years, he is so much more. I would like to extrend a most sincere thank you for putting up with me and all my strange "quirks". A world without you would be such a lonely place. 
  9. Suwanna: This is a true Thai darling: we have been the best of friends for a very long time, perhaps some 15-16-17 years, and she is not only beautiful in mind, she is also a truly a beautiful lady. Having comforted me in though days, and made me smile in happier days. She has a wonderful personality and is perhaps one of the most beautiful people you can dream of meeting.  
  10. Naritchai: This is a Thai friend I simply love with the full force of my heart. Each moment spent with him, is a delight, as he goes well above and beyond his abiities to make sure I have an enjoyable time. Taking me out to local places, showing me his town during all hours of the day, and for showing me local life, despite it being a usual work week. His generousity and hospitality, his humor and smile, is such a powerful boost to my moral and spirit. His laughter sticks to my mind and makes me smile on the drkest days. May his friendship be forever. This is one person I would sacrifice my life for, if need be. 
  11. Joakim: A Norwegian with great talent in photography, and with his passion for oceangoing high speed crafts, I hope and pray that someone will recognize his talents fully and let him find his way in life. This guy has thought me some truly salty northern-Norwegian local words and is never further away than a phone call or instant message. 
  12. Mark G: With his generous stepping up to assist me in handling all the programming issues and maintenance issues on CaptainsVoyage Forum, he also probably saved the forum from going under a while back. I was stuck in so many different ways, and with limited training on how to handle such complex programming, he was there and spent so much time on helping me sorting the issues out. I know it will always be hard for me to repay his kindness as an Administrator, but I hope and pray that he will be rewarded handsomely for all his time and efforts. Without him, CaptainsVoyage Forum would most likely not have been running today. 
  13. Captain J.: I had only heard rumors that he was going to be the captain of one of my flights to Thailand this year, and when it was confirmed, I was ecstatic. He went far above and beyond his duty to ensure my flight was enjoyed to the fullest: his kindness and professionalism still sits with me as one of the highlights of the year. He works in a very creative environment and the pride he takes in his job is someting I don’t see in Norway any longer. Smooth as silk is not only the longest slogan for Thai Airway, it is also the only way he always handles any kind of aircraft under his command. 
  14. My father and step mother: Naturally, there must be a place on the list for them as well. My father is one of the coolest and funniest persons I know, and he is always there when I really need him. I see so much of myself in him, and I mean not only by the exterior looks. He is, together with my step-mother, some of the very few family members I have any contact with. I don't have much family-contact here in Norway to be honest, but I do have a great, big family back in Thailand which I have a lot more contact with. Anyhow, it's my father I really have everything to say thank you for. Without his efforts, there would indeed be no me in this world. I love him and my step-mother to pieces and I treasure them higher than any other being on this entire planet. 
  15. JOSE, the Sunday Club Financial Officer: One of the most memorable experiences of the summer happened when his cruiseship came to town, and he took some time off to visit me. This Safety Officer is an old friend and aquaintance of mine from the years ago working on the big blue lady: the SS Norway. We shared so many laughs together back in the 90's and this guy has ever since remained a very close friend till this day. For the past couple of summers, he has graciously invited me on board his cruiseship for a walk and talk, and this year, when the ship came to town, it was my turn to bring him home to my place for coffee, ice cream and a long talk about our past experiences. We looked through photographs, photo albums and shared a lot of memories from the SS Norway and people we both have sailed with. It was one of those awesome and memorable moments: perfect weather, so much to talk about and yet so little time. I hope that we can continue the talk next time he comes to town! 
  16. PT Noi: You are indeed very nice, loveable and tremendously fun guy to hang out with, even though our paths seldomly cross. After all these years, thank you very much for everything you have done and for everything you have been for me, I wish you all possible happiness and love in the world. A genuine and nice guy like you will always be a treasure to call a friend. See you next time in Bangkok, I hope! 
  17. Pang Tru-village: It is very important for me to also not forget those wonderful friends at Pang Tru village in Kanchanaburi, for letting me enjoy some great moments with them this past summer and for keeping in touch regularly. They forced me to ride a waterscooter for the first time in my life: I have been sailing a lot of different boats and ships in my life, but riding a waterscooter for the first time, was perhaps the most scariest of them all. We went out to a disco and got happy drunk together: it was so much fun to dance, drink and just have a great time out at the disco. Even the afterparty after the disco was truly a moment to remember. All these people makes me feel so welcome and makes me wish I was just a simple country boy living in a small village in the midst of green rice fields in a tropical climate. From the bottom of my heart, I always miss them all, and hope that their friendship will never fade. 
  18. Albert: An avid gadget-geek lik me, I know I can always ask him for assistance when there is something I don't understand. He also has a wonderful sense of humor that makes me really laugh out loud. He is my go-to-guy for technical issues in the remote-controlled drone-world, and I have for this, bothered him with a lot of silly questions. Each time, he takes time to guide me on the right path and for that, I'm thankful. 
  19. The Saphan Taksin pier- boat man: Sadly, I don't remember this guy's name, but he made such a lasting impression on me during a few hectic weeks in Bangkok. The first time I met this 22 year old, homeless boy, was during my stay at the Chatrium Riverside Hotel. He works as a pier-boat man living exclusively of handouts and tips from travellers using the pier. He has no living parents, no proper home, and he has just a few sets of clothes. His tragic life story moved me to tears and his memory doesn't seem to fade. I went to see him several times each day, to show him that some people do care. In return, he opened himself and told me all about his troubeled life. I got to experience how walking in his shoes feels, and that not everybody is born with a gold-plated spoon in their mouth, or golden hairs in their …  yeah, you know what I mean. Next time when I return to Thailand, this is one of the persons I will be going to look for as quickly as I can. I don't have an adress, I don’t remember a name, and I don't have any idea of how to get in touch with him, but I hope and pray each day that he is getting along OK.  
  20. Grindøya: This person is a long standing member of CaptainsVoyage Forum, and a person I have nothing but outmost admiration and respect for. He takes some awe-inspiring photographs from his own city in the Paris of North. He gives me the stimulation I sometimes need to try excel in my own photography. His very kind recent comments and feedback on one of my long threads also really hit home and made a positive impression on me that lasted for several weeks. It goes to show, that it doesn’t take a lot to make someone happy. All you need is a little love and support, and it makes a world in difference. 



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