whee :) I’m in las palmas now, at GCDS, and continuing that great tradition of wandering the intarwebs while presentations are being presentated ;)
madrid was nice, but very very hot. I went to toledo on thursday and did the tourist thing… and forgot to bring my camera, of course. but the importnat thing is I remembred to bring a *lot* of water. :)
friday I was off to the airport yet again… I ran into one of the other gsoc students there, which was nice :) so we spent the flight hacking and talking about our projects n’stuff. our hotels were far apart, though. I got off the bus at st catalina park, walked down to the beach and quickly found brisamar canteras. my room has two beds, a couch (that someone is going to have to sleep on for the week), and a little tiny kitchen. sadly the wifi is only in the lobby. :(
eventually I wandered down the beach to register. the conference building was quite easy to find, and we got free towels :) but I found out there won’t be any free food or catering or anything. we have to fend for ourselves, three times a day. I’d not actually eaten anything but a slice of quiche that day, so I was very hungry… I found some other gcds people at a bar, but their menu was divided into meat and fish, and a lot of places were closed (dinnertime seems to start at 8:30pm in spain). I didn’t feel like walking around reading menus, so I went to carrefour and bought bread, cheese, pasta n’stuff. thank god I have a kitchen in my room; having looked at a few more menus later that evening, I realised I’m probably going to be using it a lot. :P I’m not sure why they bothered asking us about dietary restrictions… they haven’t *done* anything with the information.
anyways, there were far more people at my hotel when I got back there. yay :) it’s great to see familiar faces. after hanging out with people for a while I went and cooked myself dinner… the kitchen is missing a few things, though. there’s no bowls, dish soap or sponge, and the only knife is a bread knife… but I managed :) I’ve probably put on a bit of weight from all the yummy cheese in berlin anyways so I can survive with less for a few days ;)
[edit: I eventually found the wiki page of restaurants, which lists some veggie options. and tonight went out for dinner in a group with some other vegetarians. yay food :) and ice cream :) ]
after dinner I headed out to the party. lots more people there. I’ll probably be overwhelmed by the number of people by tomorrow. but for now it’s still fun. I got a kubuntu nightgown (the only shirt size was L :P ) and free beer, and more beer… I think it was 1am when I left, and then one of my roommates showed up as I was getting ready for bed. so getting up this morning was hard :P
the weather here is nice; the wind makes it a lot cooler than madrid and oslo. :) and of course there’s a beach! yay beach.
the sugar guy is talking about kids solving their own problems right now; writing a dictionary when they discovered that sugar didn’t have one for their language. that’s an important thing, empowering people to solve their own problems. reminds me of something I was thinking last night…
travelling on my own is a wonderful feeling. I don’t mean just hopping on a plane, meeting people on the other side for a conference, then going back to the airport with them and going home. I mean actually being out on my own, having to find my own way from place to place – meeting people, but not doing everything with them, not being dependent on them to get around or know where to go. when I did my little trip around china last year I was even more free, staying in hostels – shanghai was the first city I was in where I really didn’t know a single person.
it’s stressful at times, but that independence gives me a feeling of strength. if something’s broken I get it fixed; if the food sucks I find other food. I solve my own problems. :)
…although solving the food problem will get old pretty fast, so I’ll be happy to go home in a week and have someone else take care of that for a bit. ;) and as nice as it is to get lots of hugs from all my friends… well… yeah. it’s nice to be here; it’ll be nice to be home, too. :)