all that jazz

james' blog about scala and all that jazz

New friends

Well, I'm now on my tour, and so finally have people to hang out with and talk to.

I spent most of yesterday wandering around the malls. I'm amazed at how American these malls are, more American than Australia. One particular one I went into, nearly all the food stalls were American fast food chains. I was very surprised to see a Sizzler, I didn't think Thai's would be interested in that, but obviously they are. And yes, the Sizzler did serve the nice toast.

At about 4:00 I met my new room mate, Jason. He's an American, but he's been studying at Macquarie Uni this semester.... so he lives about 15 minutes walk from where I work. There's only one other person on the tour, Jennifer, she's a Canadian, and like me, this is her first time overseas. Apparently a further 12 people will be joining us in Chang Mai for 6 days I think, and the n it will be back to just us again. It's nice having such a small group, because we get more attention from our guide, and it's more easy going because we only have to get 3 people to agree on what to do, rather than 15.

Both Jason and Jen only arrived in Bangkok less than a day before the tour started. So, having been there 3 days, I got to play guide last night. I took them to the Khao San Road by tuk tuk, where I tried a banana pancake made on a cart on the street. We also had a drink at one of the bars. It then started raining, so we decided to catch a taxi home. The taxi driver didn't speak any english at all, and couldn't work out where our hotel was from the map we gave him. He ended up dropping us off undercover at a shopping centre, by which time it was absolutely pouring with rain.

When it rains in Bangkok, it really rains. Some streets were 10cm deep with water. We were about 20 minutes walk from the hotel, I managed to get us within sight of it, through shopping centres and undercover walkways, but there was no way to get all the way undercover. So, we ran through the rain, and got totally drenched, arrived at the hotel all laughing and dripping wet. We then called it a night.

Today it was up early to catch a bus to Kanchanaburi. Kanchanaburi is a town about 2 hours by bus west of Bangkok. It sits on the River Kwai, and is famous for its World War 2 cemetry and Death Rail Museum. This afternoon we will visit those places and also the bridge over the River Kwai built by the POWs. Our guesthouse is fantastic, floating on the river where it's very cool, quiet and peaceful. Overall, Kanchanaburi is much more laid back than Bangkok, and much cleaner. It's a nice change from the city, though that's not say that Bangkok wasn't a great city :)

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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.