'All go players are family'

I've mentioned this in my last post, but I recently got to enjoy the great thing that is playing go in person. This week I went to the meeting again, and it was great fun. There were even more people this time, as most of the members were in Japan last week.
I also got a bit more of a general introduction, and it turns out that all the regular members have a dan rank (the strongest being around 6 dan I think), aside from one person who is around 1 kyu. And lucky me, they said they are happy to play with me and teach me.

Now I live pretty far outside of the city, which means that I am travelling about 1 hour by public transport because public transport over here sucks. I really don't mind though, because it's still a lot better than sitting at home on my own.
When I told them this, they immediately started discussing something in Chinese (or well, a mix of Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Malay) and then told me that from now on I can call two people to give me a ride. Everyone has a car and they said there were some people living nearby who don't mind making a little detour. Super nice.
After we finished playing we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and one guy had an iPad with tsumego. He kept choosing really hard ones, and then showed them to the strongest player for him to solve. After a while they turned to me and gave me some quite easy ones. Only I am horrible at tsumego. But who am I not to even try. After solving one, he showed me the next one. If I didn't solve it I would have to pay for dinner for everyone, which was quite a good motivator. I did solve it, and the next one too. In the end dinner was paid for me. Once again, super nice.
At the end of the evening I got a lift back, and when I thanked him, for well, everything, he said something that touched me a bit.

'All go players are family.'

This might sound super cheesy, but I'm in a foreign country on my own. I don't really know anybody very well and my family is on the other side of the world. Even though this is my own choice, and I am definitely not regretting it, I have felt a little lonely the past few weeks. So this made me feel a little emotional (in a good way). I mean, I have met these people once or twice, and they're so amazingly nice.

TLDR; I am going to get strong, Malaysians are awesome, go players are even more awesome and I'm emotional.

Sorry for the boring post but:

Also, apparently they have put my rank on +/- 3 kyu for now. Which, in relation to my last post, doesn't really make sense. Maybe they're wrong, or I play a lot worse on the internet. Whichever it is, it can't be bad thing :).


The ultimate way to get stronger

As you may have noticed, it happened again.
While I was busy moving half-way across the world, I kind of forgot about go.
It's a shame, but I am back, and stronger than ever! Quite literally, but I'll get back on that.

I have mentioned this before, but I am an internet player. I learned how to play on the internet, and I have always played on the internet. But I saw my relocation as a way to change that.
So, I looked online for places where people play go in Malaysia. And that was a lot harder than I expected. In the end I managed to find something, and with nothing to lose, I decided to check it out.

I had some trouble finding the place, and then almost turned around because I am socially incapable, but the Japanese men that were playing were super friendly. I played 3 handicap games (as black, obviously. Also something I had never done before), and even won one! Afterwards they took me to a Japanese restaurant with great food.
All in all, it was a great experience, and I'll be going again next week for sure. Probably there will be more people playing then as well.

This was also the first time I have played again (aside from 1 or 2 stray games) in a few months. So after I got back home I was still in the playing mood and decided to try my luck on KGS.
Now, when I stopped playing my account was around 10kyu (weak me :D), and because I stopped playing, it was '6k?' now. Of course I knew that I was weaker than that, but I just started playing.
Guess what? My rank now got solid at 7k, and I'm not losing drastically against other 7k's.
Of course, I am still weak, but this is just weird, and it's not the first time.

Whenever I stop playing for a while, I always seem to jump a few ranks after I start again. Even though I did nothing with go in between.
Maybe it's because my view on the game changes or something. It makes me wonder how strong/weak I would be if I kept playing and studying without breaks? I should be a lot stronger I think, but maybe I would have stagnated somewhere?

Anyway, here is my tip if you want to get stronger:
Do absolutely nothing

That must be the worst advise ever. 

Time for me to get back to work!