all that jazz

james' blog about scala and all that jazz

Day 2

Well, today was kinda a laid back day. I could have gone and visited lots of temples or seen the sights, but the thing is, the thing I'm really here for is to see other cultures. Temples and touristy stuff like that is only a skewed skim on the culture, I'd much prefer to sit on a park bench in the middle of the city and just watch how people live. Which is pretty close to what I've been doing.

So, last night, I found a quaint little cafe with a live musician singing and playing guitar. I ate some Thai food and had some beer, just relaxed. Then I wondered up and down Khao San Road for a bit it's very exciting place. Then I caught a taxi back to the hotel and got an early night.

This morning, after sleeping in, I checked out of my hotel. I should say, to start off I stayed at the Bangkok City Inn. It's quite a reasonable hotel, $30/night for nice comfy rooms that have pretty much everything you would expect from a 3 to 3 1/2 star motel in Australia. And it includes breakfast. I stayed there because that's what my tour group booked for me for my first night. Much easier to get them to book something for me rather than have to find a place at midnight when it's my first time overseas. I then stayed there last night because I didn't want to have to be forced to find a hotel yesterday, and I didn't have time to go and find another one before the checkout time. Besides, I had no idea what to expect from my first day in Bangkok. Well, I didn't need to do that, because when I got to the Khao San Road I found plenty of nice places to stay.

So, this morning I checked out of my hotel. I went and sat, of all places, in a McDonalds. It was really hot today and I needed a long cold drink. At McDonalds in Thailand, they have pork burgers. They also have a greater variety of chicken burgers. Something interesting that they seem to have is home delivery. At least, the staff were wearing badges that said "McDelivery". They also had in the maccas tables that had ipods and headphones, so that you could sit down and listen to music while you ate.

Actually, a note on fast food. KFC seems to be huge in Bangkok, there are more KFC's than any other fast food chain. At least that's what I've seen. Some food courts you go to have a system where you get a card from a desk, and you can put money on that card. You then use that card to pay for your food, I think the idea being that they don't have to worry about money and change at the food serving places, they just have to swipe a card, making it faster and more efficient.

After that I took the sky rail and then ferry to Khao San Road. I love doing that, the sky rail is such a great way to see Bangkok, and so is the ferry. Once at the Khao San Road, I checked into one of the "classier" hotels that they have there, it cost $15/night. The room is very basic, it has air conditioning, hot shower, tv, but not much else. And, that price includes breakfast. But, seeing as I'm only sleeping in there, I don't think I'm missing out on anything. This hotel has a swimming pool on its roof, with a bar next to the pool. Pity its raining right now :( That's why I'm writing this very long blog post, hopefully by the time I'm finished it'll have stopped raining.

I went back to the tailor for fitting this evening. I tried to bargain the price down, but having already paid the deposit, well, there's not much I could do. Though, it's not so bad. Over the past 8 years or so, I don't think I've made one bad major purchase.... that is to say, every time I've spent over $500, I've always got exactly what I needed at the cheapest price possible. I guess I just took my Australian attitude to buying things to this place, after all, I know a good bargain when I see one, right? Which is exactly what they wanted me to do..... So one mistake in 8 years is not too bad :) And like I said, it's still heaps cheaper than I would pay in Australia. And, having looked at some of the other tailor places, this one appears to be much nicer, very professional. Hopefully the quality of the product matches the appearance.

I then tried to catch the sky rail and ferry back to the Khao San Road. Skyrail, easy, this time I was travelling in peak hour, which was lots of fun, in the hustle and bustle of Bangkoks peak hour. Got to see lots of people travelling home. However, I missed the last ferry. Pity I didn't work that out till after I'd been waiting for about 45 minutes. So.... I thought I'd have another go at tuk tuks. It was quite a long way to go by tuk tuk, I got a good price, I think, well, I think I offended the guy with my first offer, and got half way in between his first offer and mine. And, peak hour was over. So more travelling down the wrong side of the road, dodging between cars.... the driver did have to slam on the breaks and screech to a stop at one point.... but it's all fun.

So now I'm at the hotel in the internet cafe.... Haven't had dinner yet, I think I might go and do that, hopefully I can find somewhere inside while it's still pouring.

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Hi! My name is James Roper, and I am a software developer with a particular interest in open source development and trying new things. I program in Scala, Java, PHP, Python and Javascript, and I work for Lightbend as a developer on Lagom. I also have a full life outside the world of IT, am a passionate Christian, enjoy playing a variety of musical instruments and sports, and currently I live in Canberra.

I also have a another blog called Roped In about when my wife and I lived in Berlin for a year to help a church reconnect with its city.