home of the madduck/ blog/
Singing: One Day in Bangkok

After a few amazingly efficient days at home, working on netconf (but not getting to where I wanted) and preparing the presentation I deliver on Thursday at LCA 2008, and tying up other loose ends, I found myself in front of a television set Friday morning to witness the beginning of Federer's defeat in the Australian Open half finals. Unfortunately, I had to leave at the start of the third set and no-one in the airport knew of the game, so I had to call a friend from the plane to get the final result: 7:5, 6:3, 7:6, Djokovic won.

I like Federer, and enjoy the Swiss fandom from everywhere, but his tennis wasn't up to his normal level, a true shame. Djokovic has been my favourite for about a year now, so I am excited by the result, but it would have been better to see a bit more of a battle between the two. I trust he'll win on Sunday and cross my fingers! It kind of bites to arrive in Melbourne on the day of the finals, knowing that I would have had a chance to get a ticket and could have travelled a day earlier. Oh well…

So I am sitting here in a crap Bangkok Internet cafe, finishing off my presentations. In addition to the netconf talk, I am also talking twice at the Debian Miniconf on Monday: first, the "State of the Debian project address", which I agreed to do very short notice but knew that I could count on my colleagues to help (don't read the thread before the talk…); second, I also have a slot to talk about version control systems and Debian packaging, a topic that has been on my mind for almost three years now, resulting in elaborate workflows and many discussions. It's also becoming more and more of a hot topic for the entire project.

I am tired. We landed at 5:30 and I was shattered, not having been able to shut an eye throughout the ten hours of flight. Fortunately, they let me into the lounge in the arrival area, where I crashed in one of their slumber rooms and got close to four hours of sleep, successfully ignoring the chatter from outside — why did Thai Airways lay out their lounge in such a way that the slumber rooms are right next to the staff rooms with the squeaky doors? One thing about living in Asia, where space is scarce, is that people here never seem to mind about noise and sleep through anything. So I did too. I took a shower, ate some breakfast and headed into the city.

I was impressed by the new Bangkok airport "Suvarnabhumi", which definitely is a step up from the old, horrific one. However, I tend to doubt their claim that they could scale from the current 45 million passengers per year to 110 million. The walkways are too narrow, there are way too few toilets around, and immigration is painfully slow despite the large number of open alleys.

Now in downtown Bangkok, I am biding my time. I have been here a few times before and have a number of routine stops, such as visiting the retail manager of the Jim Thompson Company, a loveable lady who speaks fluent English and is very fun to talk to. I met her during my last trip to Southeast Asia, but have since not been in touch.

I now plan to head to a massage place, where they deliver merciless (and thus excellent) Thai massages, and then on to some market or Chinatown for food. I've been training myself on chili ("Thai chocolate") consumption for this moment: to walk up to a food stall, order a curry, and answer "Thai hot" when they ask for the degree of spicyness, given that I'm a foreigner.

At midnight, my plane leaves for Melbourne to arrive on Sunday afternoon. I have little clue as to what awaits me. I've been to quite a number of conferences, but always perceived LCA to be somewhat special. I am definitely looking forward!