Three days or so ago, Tynan published a short post in the Community section:
"Check out the tutorial at http://dotsies.org
I did the whole thing and can read in it now. I love the idea of fully converting my computer over to it for higher information density,and so that no one understands what I'm reading or writing. [...]"
"What is this 'Dotsies'?", you might ask - just as I did.
This seems like the perfect place to talk a little about the latest hype in open technology that is the Raspberry Pi: It's minimalist, it's technology, it's super cost-efficient. I'm not a sales person by the way. I'm just genuinely intrigued by this idea.
And the idea is that for $25 you can get a credit-card sized computer (without a hull) operating on a Linux system with 256MB RAM and as much storage as the SD-card you give it. It's meant for schools to teach programming, but there are lot's of people getting one and building cool stuff with it. Just look around on youtube.
It even automatically starts an apache web server on boot. You can use it as a super minimalist web server - and it seems like it was made for evented programming like node.js as it supports a single execution thread very well. Also it has a lot of I/O pins that you could use for example to remote control all kinds of machinery with it.
(Image: Not the actual situation. But comparable.)
I open up the text editor on my laptop in a moment when I can find back to consciousness. A friendly Thai woman is at my feet. I'm sitting on the side of a tourist shop street and just ordered a one hour foot massage. Even they offer free wifi, so I decided to have a go at it and treat myself while writing something for this new blog of mine. I grin as I realize that this is actually the first post I write in present tense that actually happens to me in the moment I write it.
Typing is going slowly as I keep ... stopping ... and drinking in the moments of sweet relaxation as she kneads out every tension I have in the soles of my feet. And there is plenty of it, yesterday I spent almost the whole day walking around big temples and I barely even saw a fraction of what this city holds. I bet you could point to a random spot on a map of Bangkok and would probably touch at least one buddhistic temple. And they're all worth seeing. One more beautiful than the next.
Yes I could get used to this way of life. After all I'm currently prospecting the possibility of working remotely for a tech company. Having a nice foot massage while I type my code? Yes, please!
Hey, I'm Konstantin from Berlin, Germany. I just left my home town for a (hopefuly) longer trip around the world. Since a few people requested that I write regular updates about my travels, I made this blog. However I probably won't just use it for travel updates. I might write about other things as well, like programming (I'm a web developer by profession), or anything else that interests me.
Now, I'll be writing this blog in English as I want anyone I meet to potentially be able to read it. Just let me get a few words out to my German folks first...
Tja, ein Blog ... wie von ein paar von euch angefragt. Ich werde hier meine Reisen dokumentieren; jedoch auf Englisch. Die meisten von euch sprechen ja auch englisch, zumindest in Grundzügen. Und ich bin mir sicher, dass ihr alle zumindest grundlegend verstehen werdet was ich so schreibe. Vielleicht sei das auch ein guter Anlass, euer Englisch etwas aufzubessern, liebe Familie? Wenn ihr ein Wort nicht kennt, geht auf dict.cc und gebt es dort ein.
Bei Rückfragen schreibt auch gern in die Kommentare. Ich antworte auch auf Deutsch!
"Minimalistic travel isn't about sacrificing things or bargaining with yourself for square centimeters of your luggage. It's more of a philosophy." That's the thought running around in the back of my mind as I stand in my living room looking down on my backpack.
It's a small one, just 22 liters of packing space. I say small, but some minimalists would probably still find that excessive. I packed underwear, four shirts, a pair of shorts, and my swimming shorts. The space I have in my backpack is about half-full, which I didn't quite expect. Hesitating for a moment I decide not to go with the half-empty view; something has to go. I already cut down the amount of socks I'll bring to three and I'm not even sure if I need that many. After all, I'm flying to Bangkok in a few hours! I expect that the moment I get out of the airplane I'll feel like I have to cut myself a hole through that thick layer of smog and humid warmth.
Who needs four freaking shirts? At least my main one is made from a special odor and sweat resistant wool that can potentially be worn for days without getting stinky. I decide to throw out two of my shirts. If I need some, I can always buy them there for a fraction of the cost you'd pay in boring old Germany.
“THIS AIRPORT IS A SILENT AIRPORT ...”, an obnoxious voice roars through the vast halls of Doha airport for what seems to be the hundredth time and continues to tell me to look for updates on flight statuses on display boards. Granted, I've been here for almost 14 hours now and they only keep repeating that message along with a few other public service announcements every 15 minutes or so, but the irony is not lost on me.
Airport waiting time isn't quite as dull as I had expected. With all of the advantages the technological age brings with it, one can be just about as comfortable as any other day in a random office. If you look around a bit you can find seats next to wall sockets (unfortunately also next to the speakers that broadcast the various announcements), the air conditioning is acceptable, and in the far back you can even find a small relaxation area.
Actually I only had a stay of nine hours scheduled but ten minutes after they started boarding passengers an airport clerk came out to address the crowd and tell us that “Passengers flying to Bangkok can take seats again. The flight will go at around 6:20”. What follows is a moment silence, accompanied by blank stares by the waiting passengers. In unison the stares sweep to a nearby clock, then to each other, and then back to the clerk. It's barely past one o'clock.
Jan 14th - 27th:
(Image: One of the first things I saw when I got out of the train from the airport. Protest site: Victory Monument, 6 a.m.)
So, here is my problem: When I started traveling around Thailand I was very busy with … well … doing the things a tourist would do. Experiencing the city. Finding a new guesthouse every night. Socializing with a few people.
But looming in the background would always be this blog thing. I wanted to write one, wanted to share the things I experienced. So I began occasionally making little notes of things I wanted to publish later on. These were mere scribbles or things I promised myself I would remember to write down “when I get around to it”. Thoughts on how utterly ridiculous the protest is displayed in western media. Fragments of conversation about the fascinating details I was told about the great king of Thailand. My experiences eating insects from a Chinese street vendor. Rants about the Thai taxi and tuk-tuk mafia.
And so notes and scribbles kept piling up, while getting around to editing all those into a publishable format came further and further out of reach. I say enough! Screw all of that. I'll just summarize so that at least SOMETHING ever gets on here.
Jan 25th - 26th:
(Image: My team during the jam. Chose an image with mostly obscured faces. Haven't asked the guys in the image if I can use this. Hope you don't mind.)
While I was staying in Bangkok and got ready to leave, I got spontaneously invited to take part in the Global Game Jam. It's a competition in which hundreds of teams try to develop a game in just two days. My team created the following little gem: http://globalgamejam.org/2014/games/reflection
To say I contributed to this game might be a bit ... exaggerated. It was my first time coding with Unity (our development platform). I did make some things for the game but almost none of them were implemented in the end. Mostly because the time ran out (at least that's what I tell myself).If you wanna play it, you can do so for free. Just click this link:
Thursday, Jan 30th:
(Image: Ao Manao beach. A beatiful piece of land.)
Well, this beach is more of what I had in mind when coming here. I'm at Ao Manao, a strip of beach close to the small city Amphoe Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan. It's located within a military base but it's the main place that locals come to when they want to go to a beach. I can see why, it's an idyllic beach with a good view of the surrounding islands and lots of trees that provide shade. There are only few tourists interspersing the many groups of Thais that are sitting around the beach.
This is way better than what I had before. Yesterday I came here from Hua Hin, a city approx. 200 kilometers south of Bangkok. It was a major tourist spot. The beach was crammed full with westerners and Thais trying to sell them everything from ice cream to shirts and horseback rides. Something I can't recommend to any traveler, and just about all backpackers I talked to about it agreed.
Anyway, I find myself a relaxing place to lay down at the beach and have a bit of shuteye. To get here I rented a scooter, my first one here in Thailand. I guess this place is pretty good to learn to deal with the left-hand traffic. This is basically because Thais don't seem to have any set traffic rules apart from “You should mostly drive on the left hand-side and pass right if not inconvenient”.
Thursday, Jan 30th (cont.):
(Image: Going all the way up there ...)
Wat Thammikaram, they call it the monkey temple. Rightfully so; I haven't even finished climbing two thirds of the countless steps to the top of the mountain when I see the first gang of monkeys relaxing by the side of the walkway.
I eye them with suspicion. Multiple travelers I met had warned me to bring as few things as possible or else it would surely be stolen by the free running macaque apes in the temple. So I have basically nothing on me, just a bit of money and my scooter keys crammed tightly in my back pocket. My cellphone along with everything else is still at the foot of the mountain in my rented scooter (which is why I can't provide photos from further up). I don't even have my glasses on as I they were always the main subject of those warnings.
However, these monkeys don't mind me one bit. So I just keep on climbing. At least they didn't look like they were eying me for valuables... In fact they were pretty much ignoring me completely. I watch another traveler walk by, dressed in full gear. Camera around her neck, glasses, the whole deal. I feel a bit stupid now.