- Quakes, snakes & not enough breaks -

21st October '18

Day 6

I don't expect people to feel too much sympathy for me for having to eat in nice, healthy restaurants for every meal, but now that the novelty's worn-off, it's honestly a bit of a pain.

And on this day, the first since writing the last blog, the stuff at school was revision of the fundamentals that we'd already been over, which I found to be challenging, but not so much that it wasn't enjoyable.

The most stressful moments of my day were when I got lunch, I wanted to make sure that I was back at the school in a timely manner.

Being one of the last remaining holdouts without a scooter, that means walking to whatever restaurant I'm going to, so it always has to be a fairly quick lunch. And on paying the bill, it took them about ten minutes to bring me my change, each one of which my irritation and blood pressure grew and grew. To the point that I just stood up in anger and was marching to the counter when a waitress coming the other way motioned my change at me.

Foregoing a tip, I just snatched it out of her hand angrily and stormed out of there.

I guess I can't go to that restaurant again for a while.

Then at dinner, I went to a pizza restaurant/bar. And seeing as I was on my own, I sat at a counter at the side of the restaurant so as to not take-up a whole table.

Just as I was finishing eating though, a man two chairs down from me, with just an empty one in between, lit up a cigarette in this almost wall-less room.

It didn't matter to me that it was about as well ventilated as being outside. If you know me, you know that I detest being around cigarette smoke. In fact my general opinion of smokers is that I wish that they'd hurry up and kill themselves already, so the rest of us can breathe clean air in peace.

I find it very hard to respect a person who will wilfully and uncaringly poison those around them, and not give it a second thought.

I keep these thoughts to myself outside of this blog, but the wind just so happened to be blowing in my direction, so I wanted to get out of there asap.

Just getting the attention of a waitress took a while. Then she brought the bill, but disappeared again, and it took me a while to get anyone else's attention just to pay. Then it was several more minutes before they brought me my change, by which point I was again so angry that I quickly snatched it, foregoing a tip, and marched out of there too, having been forced to spend several minutes in the vicinity of the cancerous human next to me.

I guess that I can't go back there for a while either.

On a day when I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the coding that I'd done, these were my two biggest stressors.

To say that I was missing my kitchen would be an understatement.

Sure, the food here is great. But I hate having to rely on the whims of other people for every single meal that I eat.

Day 7

This day was also revision of the "essential" things that we need to know, where students had a choice of continuing to revise the essentials, or of learning some things that were described to us as 'nice to have in your toolbox, but not essential.'

I decided that it would be more important to have a firm grasp of the key fundamentals, so opted for the revision work, only to have finished all of it, which was supposed to take the entire day, in an hour.

After being a bit touch-and-go over the first week, by this moment I had completely reassured myself that... hey man, you've got this.

I then moved onto the more advanced optional things, and almost finished them before the day's end as well.

I had taken a completely different approach to coding this week, as indicated by finding thirty minutes to meditate before going to the school on both days so far.

Instead of trying to work as hard as possible, through the struggles of the first week, I learnt the value of sometimes just stepping away from your computer for fifteen minutes, looking out to sea or perhaps closing your eyes and just paying attention to the sounds around you, and just giving your brain a break.

Not only is it more pleasant and healthy to be relaxed, but you're just so much better at coding; at holding thoughts and problem solving, than when you're stressed.

It was a new approach, and it was paying dividends immediately.

Day 8

It was hard for me to tell if I was doing well this week because they were making it intentionally easy (perhaps to offset for having a six-day week), or because my new approach was paying-off. But I was on this day able to just... just finish all of the challenges for the day, which was more than most people managed.

I would still place myself as fairly middle-of-the-road as far as the ability of the people at this bootcamp go.

I'm light years behind the best people, whom have extensive experience working with computers, but I'm certainly getting it more than those who're struggling.

But so far I hadn't really felt one moment of stress at the bootcamp itself, on any day this week.

Having to eat in restaurants? Sure. But no stress from coding.

I was meditating every morning thanks to the rooster getting me up in time. I was taking breaks whenever I felt my thoughts become too clouded. And it was really working well.

Not only was I able to complete the work to at least the average standard of my peers, but I was enjoying it.

I was starting to get better at eating as well.

Canggu is by far... by far, the most vegan-friendly place that I've ever been.

One thing that I've noticed here that I've never seen before, is that almost every restaurant offers the option of vegan cheese. So you can go into a pizza restaurant for example, as we'd done the night before to celebrate the 30th birthday of the guy who's managing the bootcamp this term, and they offer vegan mozzarella.

On this day, having grown tired of the places at which I'd been eating regularly, I went to new restaurants for both of my meals.

The first was a sandwich shop a couple of minutes from the school, and that was great. I've been there on most days since.

They offered vegan cheese and vegan mayo. And being a sandwich shop, instead of having to go through the usual palaver of sitting down, waiting for someone to bring over a menu, waiting for them to take your order, waiting for the bill once you've finished eating, waiting for your change... you just paid at the counter and five minutes later there was a sandwich and smoothie in front of you.

I was finished and out of there in 15-20 minutes. Gone were the stresses of trying to rush through a lunch in order to make it back to the school in a timely manner.

Then for dinner I went to another new restaurant, that had a vegan pesto pasta dish, made with coconut feta.

Almost all other restaurants I've been to offer vegan cheese in some capacity, and I don't know where they're getting it from, because it's not like vegan cheese is an easy thing to find.

In my experience, I'm yet to ever find a supermarket stocking it (in any country). You always have to go to specialised health food shops.

So I imagine that there's one person making and selling it in Bali, and making an absolute fortune.

I've also noticed that this is the first place that I've ever been, that doesn't have plastic straws.

At every restaurant it's either reusable glass or metal straws, or cardboard straws.

It's like Canggu has been created as this tiny corner of the world, where people are just happy all the time, and they live ethically and eat well.

Day 9

I went to bed as normal, but work-up a little before 3am.

Umm... why's the room shaking?

In a daze of semi-consciousness, I had a feeling that I'd just been in an earthquake, but I couldn't quite be sure.

A part of me thought... should I see if there are any tsunami warnings?

But before I knew it, it was 7am and I'd fallen asleep again.

Turns out there was an earthquake at the red dot on this map (I'm the blue dot).

It had killed three people in North Bali. And on getting to the school the next day, people's experiences seemed to vary.

One guy swore that he'd felt it continually for thirty seconds. Another for ten seconds. Someone else slept right through it.

Personally I only noticed it for a couple of seconds before it stopped, and wasn't entirely sure that it was an earthquake. But I survived.

The contrast to how this week at the bootcamp was shaping-up, compared to the last one, was somewhat stark, in that by the Thursday of last week I'd been feeling entirely stressed and overwhelmed.

That was perhaps a product of the attitude that I brought to this bootcamp with me, of working as hard as possible for these two months.

I had since realised that, although perhaps admirable, that just wasn't the way to get the most from this course. The most important thing was to approach it in a sound state of mind, well-rested and relaxed.

And this attitude of meditating everyday, and taking breaks when I needed them, was just working so much better for me.

Just like the day before, I was able to complete all of the challenges for the day; the first time since getting here that I'd been able to do so on consecutive days.

This was also the day of the weekly yoga class, so that helped my mind even more.

And the fact that I was able to complete the challenges, but more importantly, to do so without really feeling an ounce of stress, showed me that this new approach was really working.

In fact, apart from having to eat in nice restaurants back on Monday, I hadn't felt any moments of stress from anything this week, so it was going really well.

I wasn't entirely sure how much I was learning, and how much things were sinking in; I felt like other people had a better understanding of what was going on than I did. But I was just trusting the process. Trusting that by being able to complete the daily challenges each day, the knowledge I needed was in my brain somewhere.

Contrary to what I was expecting, at this moment I felt I was navigating this bootcamp both beneficially and healthily.

Learning, but doing so of sound mind.

Day 10

If you think back a few months, a big reason that I'm on this bootcamp is that I read an article written by a guy who went from zero knowledge to working as a programmer, thanks to attending Le Wagon Barcelona.

I was already trying to teach myself Swift by then, and was already looking for an excuse to leave my deteriorating job. But up to that point, I hadn't really been considering bootcamps as an option, and this article was what made me really change course.

It's rather long, and I can't expect anyone to read the whole thing, so here's a quote:

"For the whole first week, I remember feeling quite confident about the course content. After all those hundreds of hours on freeCodeCamp, the difficulty level of the daily coding challenges seemed a bit low.

Although Ruby was still pretty new to me, the basics seemed to be pretty much the same as with Javascript and Python. Listening to lectures and doing exercises to learn about variables, arrays, hashes, basic functions, and iterations felt quite repetitive. So I got cocky, and wondered if I’d actually get anything out of this bootcamp thing. However, not even a week later, all that would change. I went from feeling like the top of the class to actually struggling to keep up.

Before I knew it, we were moving on from the basics to object-oriented programming, MVC architectures, and databases, and there were plenty of days when I felt I hadn’t even understood the concepts of the day before, and was already expected to move on to the next topic."

Up until this day, I'd been feeling pretty confident about how things were going.

I was keeping up, mostly understanding what was being taught, and able to satisfactorily complete the daily challenges.

I wouldn't go quite so far as to say I was becoming cocky, as the guy who wrote this article put it. But I was pretty chuffed with how it was going. I was able to keep up with the course, while keeping my mind in a good place.

This day, day 10, was that same moment for me, when I was just... what the fuck?

If you remember back to the last blog, I wasn't too thrilled with the attitude of the person that I'd worked with on the first day.

He seemed to value speed over understanding, and just wasn't a very good partner to have.

I'm not sure how they were selecting your buddy each day, because this was only day 10 and there were eighteen other people on this course. For whatever reason though, I was now working with the same partner as on the first day, who I don't think has been an especially good team player with anyone.

Before getting onto the challenges each day, there's a lecture, and that was hard enough to follow. A lot of people were looking and feeling lost.

And when it finished, my buddy just came up to me and said "I think I'm going to try flying solo today" (meaning that he wanted to work alone). "Just ask me if you need anything."

I didn't take this personally. Like I said, he hasn't been a good team player with anyone, and on this day there was a huge step-up in the difficulty of what we were doing.

I think he just felt panicked and wanted to shut-off and figure everything out for himself.

Fair enough, but it didn't serve me too well.

This was one day when I think that it really could have been beneficial to talk things through, and have another person there to help fill-in the gaps in your understanding.

Instead though... I've got this guy.

Great.

And working alone, this was the day when all my confidence from the previous four days, just got completely shattered, and I was all 'Holy fuck I'm in over my head.'

I wasn't alone. Most people were struggling, just as I was, and it was also expected today.

As they told us, this was the first day where every teacher and TA had been working, because they knew how many people would need help. Which I think almost everyone did. A lot.

And they are excellent, the teachers here. Very patient when you don't understand something, always taking the time to help you.

It probably took me a total of an hour of one-on-one help, to really feel like I understood what we were doing today. But understanding it, and being able to write the code for it are very different things. And this day was just rough.

Long spells of 30 minutes... maybe an hour, when the content of my computer screen just didn't change.

I was staring at the screen endlessly, trying to comprehend exactly what was happening, what it all meant, and what I could do to make it all work.

It wasn't until very late in the day that it started to make some sense to me.

But this day, this was my moment of... oh fuck.

If you continue reading the article, this guy talks about how he then came to realise that the ten hours per day in the classroom weren't enough, and that he'd spend "a few extra hours each night" going over things.

I honestly don't understand how. Those ten hours are hard enough, but... well it worked for him.

The outcome that he got, getting a job, is part of what attracted me to doing a bootcamp, so I can't completely disregard his approach. Although if I can avoid working late into the night I certainly will.

But this was the day that you could say, everything came crashing back down to earth.

The students here have quite an array of competence.

As I've already said, there are a couple of people who are way ahead of everyone else, a couple who are falling behind, and a majority who're all in and around the same ability, and I'm somewhere in that majority.

At times I think that I'm slightly ahead of the others in it, at times I feel like I'm falling behind. But one thing I continually wonder, is that all the teachers and teaching assistants here are Le Wagon graduates.

Most of them took the course within the last twelve months.

And yet their understanding of what we're doing is so complete, that I wonder if they were average students like I am. Or if they only pick the absolute cream of the crop to come back and teach.

What I mean, is that I'm trying to use them as a marker to gage my own potential. And on this day, at the end we went over what we'd been doing in pairs (individually), as a whole class on the projector.

What I'd been struggling with, and stressing with, and completely confused about for the six hours prior, we went over on the projector.

And the teacher, starting with a completely blank screen and no notes or aids, was able to recreate and complete the entire project from scratch, whilst explaining and eliciting from people what he was doing, in what felt like just a few minutes.

And as I looked at that, I was like... I mean, it felt night and day. Like this guy has been doing this his entire life. Yet it wasn't too long ago that he was in the same seat that I'm in now. A student of this bootcamp.

And I just started to wonder if I have to potential to have the understanding that all the teachers here do. Or were they the absolute cream of the crop of their batches, and I'm light years behind?

Day 11

I woke-up really of the feeling that... ok, this is crunch time.

It was pretty clear that over the course of this bootcamp, it's going to get incredibly hard. And over that time, some people are going to sink, and some are going to swim. And now's the time to decide which group I want to be a part of.

Yesterday had been a new low for me. A time when I felt more lost than at any other time this course. So today in my mind, marked the start of my redemption. The time to start doing the things that other people aren't doing. Putting in time learning, while others are out surfing or drinking or whatever they're doing.

I have one goal for these eight weeks. One focus. And that is to learn as much about coding as possible.

Yesterday had been my moment to realise that the hours in the classroom just aren't enough.

If you're failing to grasp something, you can either sit around feeling sorry for yourself, or you can put in the work to do something about it.

And after a night to think it all over, and a morning meditation that felt more like an internal pep talk, I set forth with a new attitude where if I have to spend twenty-four hours per day working to make sure I'm keeping pace, then that's what I'll do.

Regardless of this attitude, everything went better today anyway.

My only other focus outside of coding is keeping a positive state of mind.

I don't have outside interests like surfing and partying. I am focussed just on this.

And getting a proper night's sleep and really thinking things through in the morning, meant I returned to the school calm but determined. When I'd left the night before I'd felt dejected.

But my full night's sleep had worked wonders in allowing my brain to make sense of all the gobbledygook from the day before. And today, things just clicked.

Where as yesterday, everything I tried just returned an error, today everything I tried just worked.

Being the second day of a two-day project, I again had the same buddy. Which meant I was again working alone. But today it didn't matter so much, because today... I got it.

And although I shouldn't, I took some satisfaction in seeing that he didn't.

On this six-day week, it was pre-planned that the school would have a buffet lunch from the hotel to save time so that we (including staff) could get out a little earlier and have part of a day-off.

That ultimately meant finishing a little after 4pm.

I felt pretty exhausted, and my plan was to go home, take a nap to recover, wake-up and code a bit more, then sleep properly.

Two of the teachers who're staying in a shared Airbnb villa had invited everyone over though. And although I initially felt too exhausted, at the same time, I'm trying not to be entirely reclusive.

I like my independence, sure. But I should really see my peers outside of the bootcamp from time to time. I've neglected to the last few times they've been out, so I decided to go.

And it was quite nice to just hangout with people.

Everyone else was drinking, although I was still at a point of thinking that just wouldn't be ideal for my brain to recover, so I again decided against it, and I was, I think, the first person to leave, but... well who cares? It was quite a nice evening.

I'm doing my best not to use other people as an example of how I should study and how I should behave.

Every single person is here with different motivations, personalities, and goals.

Some have jobs to go back to, for example, and this is just some extra training for them. Others are much younger, and presumably have parents who're footing the bill.

And when you're young, you've got time to make mistakes.

There's one guy, and I've only heard this second-hand, so whether it's accurate or not I'm not sure. But as the story goes, he bought $10,000 worth of Bitcoin when they were worth 50¢ each. Then their value rocketed to almost $20,000 each and he made millions of dollars.

If that's true, then I imagine this bootcamp is more of a hobby for him. No big loss if he fails and has to go back to his millions.

I think to be honest, I have more riding on this bootcamp than most other people.

Not only do I not have a pot of money to fall back on, but the consequence of failure to me, is to go back into teaching English and to potentially spend the next thirty years doing something that I really don't want to do.

So despite being human nature to use your peers as examples for your own actions, it would be foolish of me to do so.

I've got to navigate my own way though this. And for me, that means putting in the time when others aren't.

If anything, the closest thing that I have to a mentor is the guy who wrote the article that got me here in the first place, because he is now, where I want to be. And at this point during his course he "had to put in the next gear. 10 hours a day in the classroom wouldn’t cut it for me. I made it a routine to put in a few extra hours each night, and spend most of the weekends repeating the trickiest stuff from the past week. It sucked a bit to not be able to enjoy Barcelona as much as I had the first few weeks, but the fact that I’d invested all my savings into the bootcamp was a big motivation."

Sunday

I'd dreamed of a good night's sleep. Unfortunately the guy in the room next to me had other ideas.

He'd brought a girl back to the room with him, and in trying to impress her they were sitting outside drinking, talking pretty loudly, and playing music.

I didn't want to cock-block the guy, and I try to be as passive and non-confrontational as I can be so let this go for a couple of hours. I mean, how long can it take him to get laid?

I even tried playing white noise on my phone to drown-out the noise that they were making right outside my door.

It didn't really work, and getting close to 2am, I finally had enough and had to ask them to quieten down.

They were very apologetic and I eventually got to sleep, but it didn't stop me from waking up as early as I would have done on any other day; a little after 6am.

Well that was a nice four hours sleep, I guess I'll get up.

Having done no exercise since leaving Bangkok, save for the weekly yoga classes, I was determined to get up and go for a run on the beach this morning.

I'd never run on a beach before, so wasn't really sure how to do it.

Do you wear trainers? Do you run barefoot?

It was all a mystery to me.

I opted to wear my flip-flops to the beach, and once I was there, I took them off and carried them, running barefoot and... man, I really enjoyed it.

I didn't set myself a target, but common sense told me that running on sand would be much harder than running on harder surfaces, so I was just expecting to go a kilometre or two before tiring and having to turn back.

In actuality I got almost 6.5km before doing that, which my running map would later show me was more than halfway back to the airport. And if you remember the last blog, that was an hour's drive away.

More a reflection on how bad traffic is in Bali than on how far I ran, but still.

And having run more than 6km along the beach, I then had to turn back and run more than 6km in the other direction. And so before 9am, I'd already run almost 13km.

It was a good start to the day.

It also tired me out enough that after breakfast, I was able to catch-up on a couple of the missed hours of sleep from the night before.

The school's WhatsApp group was filled with people organising things to do with each other on this day-off, but I was interested in none of it.

I instead got out my laptop and spent 2-3 hours coding, determined to add some extra functionality to the program that we'd been working on for the couple of days prior.

I didn't do too much; I still wanted to have some time on this day to clear my head of code, because I was at the point now, that code was all I was seeing anytime that I closed my eyes.

I've had the same thing with video games before, where you have absolute focus on something for such a sustained period of time, that visions of it; presumably your brain trying to make sense of what it is you've been doing, just run through your mind endlessly.

Various scenarios and problems to solve now rule your subconscious.

The Tetris Effect with lines of code.

Seeing as I was now at this point, I only did 2-3 hours of coding. Just enough to make sure that I understood the program that we'd been working on and was able to fix any bugs.

The breakfast burger that I'd had at my usual vegan fast food joint had been woefully insufficient for replenishing the 1,100 calories the I'd burned while running, so in dire need of nutrition, I wandered to another vegan restaurant, a little under a mile walk away, only to find one of the teachers from the bootcamp sitting there, so I joined him and we talked for a while.

It's often nice to speak to people away from anyone else, to actually have some idea what they're thinking. And I was glad to find-out that he was aware of and planning to exorcise some things that had been annoying me too.

One which I'd kept silent about but that had been driving me up the wall, was that a couple of students have got into the habit of coming to the hotel just in time for class to start, then ordering food from the hotel restaurant, and having it delivered to their desk during the lecture.

It's made worse that, perhaps in an attempt to garner attention, they're always sat at the very front of the class.

I would have gone absolutely ape-shit if any of my students had ever tried to pull anything like that when I was teaching, but it's a much more passive atmosphere here, with teachers who want to be liked, and so far they've just let it slide.

But it's infuriatingly distracting when you're trying to learn, when not only is there a waiter wandering through the classroom bringing someone food, but you then have the clanking of metal cutlery on crockery for the next ten minutes as this person's eating.

It makes it very hard to focus on what's being taught but... well I'm not the teacher here, so it's really not my place to say anything. Only to say that if it was my classroom, things would have been handled a lot differently.

I was glad to hear that he planned on doing something about it, even though that something turned-out to only be a rather sheepish message sent to everyone on WhatsApp.

We also talked about coding, and plans for the future, and I mentioned that a big part of me ending up here was the article that I referenced earlier in this blog.

Having previously taught at Le Wagon Barcelona, this teacher asked me who the author was, and it turns out that he was one of the teachers to the guy who wrote this article. He knew exactly who he was the moment I uttered his first name, so it's a bit of a coincidence that despite doing the bootcamp in different corners of the world, me and the guy who wrote the article that got me here, have one of the same teachers.

I got a curry at this restaurant, and it was very nice. Although it was late enough now that I wouldn't be eating again today, and I still felt undernourished from my run this morning.

Do you ever have a meal in one restaurant, then leave and walk straight into another restaurant to have your next meal?

No? Only me?

Ok then.

I got a pizza immediately after my curry to finally satiate my post-run appetite, and probably undo any good that I did by running in the first place but...

Well, what're you gonna do?

Day 12

The good thing about only sleeping for four hours before going on a 13km run on the beach in the morning sun on an empty stomach and dehydrated, is that you're going to have a great night's sleep the next night. So I woke-up feeling amazing.

Unfortunately my day would only get worse from there.

It was just a day where I started happy, but little things ground away at me until I just felt thoroughly pissed off.

Probably the biggest of these, was that we started another two-day project today.

And for the one a couple of days ago, I got paired with perhaps the worst person in the bootcamp to get paired with.

Well guess what?

If he was the worst, then on this occasion I got paired with the second worst.

It's a guy who, to be honest, I don't really know why he's here.

I'm not sure what he does, but he knows way, way too much about computers and about programming to be doing a course for beginners.

He only seems to be at the school for 50% of the time that we're learning, choosing instead to skip class to go to the beach or the gym or anywhere else that he goes.

On some topics he knows more than the teachers do, and for him most of the challenges that everyone else stresses and struggles through, just seem rudimentary.

He's also a bit of a prima donna.

Doesn't drink beer because of the gluten or something. Has to drink margaritas instead. Is always too cold or too hot.

So after the morning lecture, I went and sat with him, seeing as he was my partner for the next two days. Only for about two minutes later, him to move to a different table, because it was underneath the air conditioner and he was feeling too hot. Or that's what he said anyway.

In truth I think he wanted to just have a table to himself, because I haven't seen him sit with anyone else for the whole course. And he clearly wanted to work alone, because what could I offer him? He knows more than me.

So he moved to the table in front, put on his headphones and said "just poke me if you need anything."

It was just... the whole point of this buddy system, is that you have someone to work through these problems with, to talk things through with, to figure things out with.

Not only do you have two minds working together on one problem, so if you're overlooking one minute detail, then your partner likely isn't. But just fleshing-out and talking about the things that we're doing is a great way to learn and understand what's happening.

And for the second two-day project in a row, I'd been paired with someone who just wanted to work alone, leaving me staring at my computer screen with no one to figure things out with.

I'd mostly had great partners through this course. But for what would now become four consecutive days, it was just very frustrating to be doing these big projects, basically alone, when that's not how they're designed to be done, and that's not really how you learn.

And it annoyed me enough that through this entire morning session, I just couldn't really think or focus on programming.

I prepared for this. In my pre-bootcamp blogs I talked about overcoming the deficiencies of my peers, because I knew that there was an inevitability of this kind of thing.

So over lunch, I gathered myself and had a far more productive afternoon.

What really rubbed salt into the wound, was at about 5pm, after about six hours of frustration and grinding, I finally got my program working well. And my buddy, who'd been missing for half of the day and had had his headphones on for the rest of it, asked me to send him a copy of the files I'd been working on, because he hadn't been able to get them to work.

I couldn't exactly say no, go fuck yourself, however much I wanted to. But it was just... what the fuck?

I don't care if I get paired with the worst person at this bootcamp in terms of ability. I just want to be with someone who wants to work together, who I can actually talk things through with.

I've been standing at the front of classrooms watching students learn for the last six years. I know what it takes to learn. And I just felt that for these two projects, I'd been robbed of my opportunity to do that as well I could have done, because of the people I'd been paired with.

I came prepared for this though, so just work through it, and hopefully my luck will improve for subsequent projects.

I probably would have done anyway, but my unproductive morning dictated that I came home and did about another three hours of coding right up until bedtime.

Day 13

This day went a little better than the one prior.

Something that I've noticed throughout this bootcamp, is that if you have a bad day, the one that follows usually goes a lot better.

For some reason the code that you write just works better. I guess because over the course of the night, your brain's had the time to process everything from the day before and you just understand things that much better.

In theory I still had the same buddy today, although in practice, I didn't even see him.

I think he might have been there at the beginning of the day, but we didn't collude once.

And that worked fine for me, because like I said, today things just worked a lot better.

The lines of code that I wrote just worked, so it was a good day, even if at times it felt endless.

The problem with things flowing so well, is that you don't want to stop. And then it gets to the end of the day and your brain's been engaged nearly constantly for ten hours, and you're just brain-dead.

It's good for learning, I'm sure. But it's not good for feeling good.

I did take out my laptop to try and code some more before going to bed, but my brain was having none of it. It was just telling me... don't do this to me. Let me rest.

Day 14

On paper, this day should have been a lot better.

Before even going to the school I checked who my buddy for the day was. And after a four-day exodus, I was finally paired with someone who, like me, actually wants to work with others.

It's perhaps a flaw of this school that they try and force all of the people here to work in pairs. Because seeing as a number of students here are very reluctant to do so, even if you want to work with a partner, you find that half the time you're stuck with someone who doesn't.

They should maybe separate everyone into two different groups.

Who wants to work with a partner today? Who doesn't?

It was an ominous start to the day, as walking down the grassy driveway from my guesthouse, I was unaware that I was less than a metre away from a rather large snake until I saw it darting-off in the other direction.

It was black, and about a metre and a half to two metres long.

We have been warned to be very careful of snakes here. They won't bite you unprovoked, but if you inadvertently stand on one it might.

And then you've apparently got to try and snap a picture of it before it slithers away, because then you can show it to the staff at the hospital so they know what anti-venom to use.

So that was my close call for the morning.

And this day started quite well. I got along well with my buddy, a guy from India.

But I'd done by now, what I always try not to do, and really got stuck into a set routine.

My days have become pretty much the same, and as I often talk about, when you do the same things everyday, and you expect the same things everyday, that's when your world starts to feel rather small, and insignificant things start to bother you.

That's kind of where I was.

There are a lot of things that my classmates are doing that are just annoying me right now.

And it's not entirely unjustified, because they simply shouldn't be doing them.

Regularly showing up to class two minutes late, for example.

If you're two minutes late everyday, then it's a pretty simple fix.

You get up two minutes earlier.

But... it's something that I've never really understood. The innate desire of some people to use every second that's available to them, and in cases like this, some that aren't.

Like at university, I never really understood the desire of almost everybody to leave finishing their assignments until the last minute.

You have an entire semester to do them in. Sometimes an entire year. What's the deal with wanting to be as rushed as possible at the end?

I'd often hand my assignments in a week or two before the deadline, just to get them out of the way, to not be rushed to finish them, and to not have to worry about them.

For everyone else though, they'd leave them until the very last minute, and I've never understood it. Why would you welcome that stress into your life?

But my point is that there seems to be an innate tendency for some people to just push things back until the very last minute, for example the people, plural, that insist on coming to the bootcamp everyday either right at nine o'clock, and often some minutes after.

I always try and get there fifteen minutes early to get myself set-up, but instead the lecture will be delayed for some minutes everyday, by people coming in late, faffing around, getting a coffee, plugging their machines in, fiddling with the air conditioners.

And that's another one that's annoying me actually.

There are plenty of seats in this school. There are only nineteen students, and it's a pretty big room.

Yet some people, every single day, will sit in the same seat below the air conditioner, and almost immediately turn it off because they're too cold because it's blowing on them.

Just move somewhere else you retard.

Like I said, I don't think it's unreasonable to find things like that annoying, but what is it that I've said endlessly in previous blogs?

Immaturity is being bothered by the things in the world you cannot change, maturity is accepting what cannot be changed and making the best of it.

I'm accepting of the fact that if you put me in a room with the same nineteen people for ten hours per day, no matter who the people are and what we're doing, some things that they do are going to get annoying.

I'm accepting of that, but I wasn't really in such a good place mentally today, to be able to ignore it.

I'd got stuck in the same routine everyday, and was kind of in need of a break from this school and from these people.

Luckily we had a two-day weekend coming up. And although there was a school-organised trip on the Saturday, I'd declined to go.

I'd regretted going on the one a couple of Saturdays ago because so much of this day-off was spent sat in a minibus in traffic, and when there are so many people, you have very little say in doing what it is that you actually want to do.

At least that trip was free though. The one upcoming on this weekend was rather expensive because it involved chartering a boat for the day to go swimming with manta-rays or manatees or something like that. I didn't pay too much attention.

I'm being especially tight with money right now, because the way that I'm looking at things, is that despite how hard and stressful this bootcamp has been, this is the easy part.

The real work starts once the bootcamp is finished.

I expect finding a job to be a months-long process, during which apart from applying for jobs, I'll be putting in an equal or even greater number of hours as I'm doing now, using the things that I've learned to build a portfolio.

Even if I have no plans on ever launching anything, I plan on building websites and applications that I can use as a demonstration to show people that hey... I built this. Can I have a job please?

This is the tech industry after all. Your GitHub account is more valuable than your resume.

And what I'm expecting is a months-long process of creating things and applying for jobs before I finally get a breakthrough.

Optimistically it'll take two months.

And the way that I see things is that so long as I can support myself and focus all my time on building a portfolio and applying for jobs, then this is a dream that's very much alive.

The second that I have to start working another job to make a living though, whatever that job may be, it just makes things that much harder. That's when the dream starts to fade.

In this equation, money equals time. The more money I have, the more time I can pursue this for.

So spending £50 on a one-day boat-trip, means what? Three or four days less that I can spend trying to make this dream a reality?

That's the way I'm looking at it now. I'm saving where I can. I'm not spending money on optional things.

By this point I'd been consistently starting everyday with thirty minutes meditation for a while, such is my daily get-up time of between 6:00 and 7:00am.

And everyday when I do that, I make a point of spending a few minutes focussing on the things that I have to be happy about, before moving-onto focus on my breath.

That I'm here, chasing my dream.

That I'm a free, self-supporting person in good health.

That I'm living in paradise.

That my ability is perfectly suited to this bootcamp.

I'm struggling with a lot of things, but I'm ok with that. If I found it easy, I wouldn't be gaining anything by being here.

I tell myself these things every morning, and start my day off well.

The time that happy feeling seemed to last though, was becoming less and less and less.

I was struggling to keep that smile going as I worked through my daily routine, everyday finding little annoyances that should be ignored, more and more annoying.

Kind of like when you listen to a playlist for the first time and love it, but by the fiftieth time you're just frustrated with the same ten songs in the same order, again and again.

I suppose it's to be expected. What we're doing here is very mentally challenging. I don't think anyone could smile through every moment of this. On this day, I was definitely in a trough though.

At the time I didn't know what, but I was determined to use the upcoming two-day weekend to do something different.

Ever since I'd realised a few days earlier that running along the beach to the airport and back would only be about 25km, it'd been a challenge that'd been on my mind.

It also taught me that, even without a motorcycle, I'm not confined to this part of Bali, because even if the roads aren't very pleasant, walking down the beach kind of is. So there's my path to the rest of Bali.

For example, it's only about a 14km walk to get to the closest thing Bali has to a reputable place to buy an iPhone.

Day 15

The first step to fixing any problem, is admitting that there is one.

On this day I made a very conscious effort to recognise anytime something insignificant started annoying me. And mostly that made this day go a lot better.

The one thing that did annoy me, and will probably always annoy me, is tardiness, quite simply because I've never been late to anything in my life.

Never been late to a day at work, never been late to a class.

Quite simply, there is rarely ever a valid excuse, so if you are late somewhere, especially somewhere like this where you're coming everyday, it's a slight against the people that came on time when you decided to be late.

We have to sit around twiddling our thumbs while the teacher, making a fatal error in my opinion, waits for you.

I really don't understand people's desire to be late. Perhaps it's for attention, or maybe it's a power thing, knowing that everyone is waiting for them.

It's certainly not out of necessity though, seeing as everyone managed to be on time everyday at the beginning of the course.

But one thing I learned as a teacher, is that if someone is two minutes late and you wait for them, then the next week they'll be four minutes late.

If they're four minutes late and you wait for them, the next week they'll be six minutes late, and so on.

And the desire of the teachers at Le Wagon to accommodate people by submitting to their misgivings, is starting to become a little frustrating.

I mean, I get it. Being liked as a teacher is important. It's hard to learn from someone that you hate.

But at the same time, your desire to be liked should never trump your ability to teach your classes in the manner that you want to, not least because other students who were on time, will see you trying to accommodate the retarded students at their expense. And that was kind of where we were.

It just bugs me when people are late, because it's an avoidable, hence intentional thing, for which others suffer.

Apart from that one though, I was able to smile through most of the annoyances of the day.

People sitting down beneath air conditioners, then turning them off because they're too cold...

Ok, just smile through it, it's not the end of the world.

I managed to stay positive through most of the day. It was also yoga today, so that helped too.

It unfortunately wasn't such a successful day in learning the stuff that was being taught.

I wasn't alone in just feeling completely fried and longing for the weekend, and in that regard, this had been the worst week since getting here.

It had become seriously intense. A form of mental torture. Your brain so worn-out that it was hard to take new things on board. You just hoped that somewhere, deep in your subconscious, things were getting learned.

This day, believe it or not, also marked a third of the way through this bootcamp.

There are 45 "working" days of this course, and this was day 15.

A part of me says that with the shock of fuck, this is going quickly.

But at the same time, when I think of Bangkok, it feels like a lifetime ago.

I'm just so embedded in Canggu, with my room that I come home to every night, my daily routine, my favourite restaurants, my school that I spend upwards of ten hours at everyday.

When I think that it was actually less than three weeks ago that I left Bangkok, I mean... it doesn't feel like it.

I've barely had a moment to think about Bangkok since I left. It feels a distant part of my past already.

Day 16

Insanity is going the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

A wise man once said that.

It was mostly me, but Einstein also said it a bit.

I woke-up on this day, as on any other, opening my eyes at about 6:30am. And on doing so had the epiphany of hey... you've been doing the same thing everyday and it's been making you short-tempered and grouchy, so, here's an idea, and I'm just floating it out there, why not not keep on doing the same thing again and again?

So I just said fuck it, instead of meditating, I'm going for a run this morning.

At 6:30 I'd opened my eyes. At 7am I was running along the beach.

That's something about Bali. And it's probably just because I have so little free time here, and as the saying goes, all the shit that you've got to do, will take up all the time that you've got to do it in. Or something like that. But things just happen quickly here.

Going on a run would be such a process in Bangkok. It was never something I could do quickly.

Here I just got up, brushed my teeth, threw on a t-shirt, and off I went.

And I don't know whether it was the extra energy I exerted, or simply the break in my routine, but this day was amazing.

The first day of this bootcamp that I'd really enjoyed for quite a while.

I was working with a guy who... I find him to be rather obnoxious.

Not a bad human being or anything, but always has to one-up anything you say, mostly by giving some abstract, philosophical response.

I know that doesn't sound like a very good person to be working with, but my mind was so calm on this day. It was in a really good place, and I was smiling. And as a consequence, code just flowed out of me.

Kind of like how Jesus healed people by touching them, I calmly touched my keyboard, and everything would appear perfectly on the screen.

I could do no wrong.

Although it's bad of me to say it, I derived some pleasure in watching my buddy for the day frantically banging away on his keyboard and nothing working. Where as I was moving at a quarter of the speed and progressing at four times the pace.

I know that's not how the buddy system is supposed to work, and I was genuinely trying to help him where he'd let me. But after three weeks of his obnoxious answers, it was so nice to be able to ask him 'do you need some help?', and each time see him die a little inside.

It was the perfect end to what had previously been a not remotely enjoyable week.

I had found it mentally exhausting, and I wasn't alone in that, which was probably the motivation for them ending the class an hour or so early today.

We had an impending two-day weekend; our last for a couple of weeks, and many people were visually in need of a break.

Some went out for the night together. I declined. After spending fifty hours in a room with these people over the past five days, I just wanted some time alone.

I watched some videos on YouTube and was in bed at 9:30pm.

My perfect evening.

The Weekend

As much for an excuse to get out of Canggu, as it was my desire to get a new iPhone, the mission I'd settled on for today was to walk to the nearest Apple authorised reseller, which I estimated was 14km away, and find out how much an iPhone 8 would cost me.

Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous.

I could tell you exactly how much an iPhone would cost me in London. I just checked on the UK version of the Apple Store. And I could tell you exactly how much an iPhone would cost me in Singapore. I just checked on the Singapore version of the Apple Store (and it was £50 cheaper than in the UK).

Literally nowhere on the Internet though, are the Indonesian prices of iPhones listed. And with the newest iPhones not released here yet, I had no idea whether Indonesia was on this year's or last year's prices.

So feeling like an African from the 90s looking for water, my mission for the day was to walk 14km to find out the prices of iPhones.

At least 10km of that would be along the beach, so I figured that going early in the morning would be a good idea to avoid the midday sun.

I could then spend the day in this part of Bali, which is populated with a couple of shopping malls, before walking home in the late afternoon once the earth has spun some more and Indonesia was a little further from the sun again.

So I was up as usual, and like Gandhi, I put on my flip-flops and off I went, firstly going to my favourite smoothie bowl shack, which thankfully opens as 7am, to get some breakfast before the trek ahead (having already completed my thirteen hour fast thanks to an early dinner the night before).

That place is about a kilometre from the beach, and on then making the walk down there afterwards... oh, so I guess this is the start of the rainy season then.

We'd been warned that the rainy season was due to start, but so far since I'd been here it had been nothing but sunny everyday, until very suddenly... it wasn't.

I took shelter on someone's porch for quite a long time until the rain stopped, meaning that my iPhone pilgrimage didn't get off to the best start. But once the rain stopped, it remained somewhat overcast, making the two hour walk along the beach far more bearable.

My first stop was this "shopping mall," although I use that term loosely, because the standard of shopping mall here is clearly lacking when compared to Bangkok.

It was one floor of a few shops selling things that I have no interest in. So it was only a few minutes until I'd left again in search of the Holy Grail for today, which was the next shopping mall; the one containing this elusive Apple authorised reseller.

This was where the part of this pilgrimage that wasn't on the beach came in.

I was now at a very narrow part of the island, and basically had to traverse most of the way over to the other side. And this area was what I'd feared Bali might be like when I decided to do this bootcamp here.

It was dirty, it was full of Australians, you couldn't walk two yards without someone saying "taxi, massage, have a look, where you go?"

It was disgusting.

Thankfully Canggu is the antithesis of this, so I'll remain thankful that I ended up where I did.

And after a wholly unpleasant walk from the first shopping mall, which included running across a lawless dual carriageway in my flip-flops, I finally arrived where I'd set out to come, having walked over 14km by this point in the day according to my watch.

Ok. So how much is an iPhone 8 in Indonesia?

£120 more than in Singapore. Great.

Couldn't you have just put that on the Internet?

It would actually be cheaper for me to fly to Singapore, buy an iPhone, and fly back again.

I had looked into replacing my ailing iPhone 6 before leaving Bangkok, because it's definitely seen better days.

The swollen battery is pushing the screen away from the casing, and thanks to presumably continually overheating, is now impressing onto the screen itself.

Unfortunately, buying an iPhone directly from Apple online before leaving Bangkok, it wouldn't get delivered in time. And at the time that I left, none of the shops had adopted the updated pricing, meaning that shop prices were more than a hundred pounds more than buying online so... well I'm not paying more than a hundred pounds more for something.

Not then, and not now either.

Just going to have to run the risk of blowing my balls off every time I put my phone into my pocket for next five weeks until I get to Singapore.

Fuck it, I don't want kids anyway.

How often have I said that you should never have a vacation so good that you regret being home again?

Well this was a simple day-out rather than a vacation, but still, apart from going running and the school-organised trip to Uluwatu a couple of weeks ago, it was the first time that I'd left Canggu since arriving three weeks ago. And it did make me so thankful to be staying there.

After seeing some alternative parts of Bali, I will never feel sorry for myself for being in Canggu again, that's for sure.

And after walking 14km to get there, and spending all of about 10 seconds finding-out the price of an iPhone 8, I literally had nothing else to do in this shopping mall.

I wandered around, trying to find ways to entertain myself, but it was just shops selling overpriced things that I didn't want.

So out of general principle, I bought a cup of green tea and sat down for a bit so I felt like I'd actually done something. And then it was time to put back on my flip-flops, and start the 14km walk home again.

En route I stopped at a disappointing vegetarian restaurant that was about 1km inland, so that added couple of kilometres onto my journey. Then I got dinner once I was back in Canggu, and by the time I arrived home, my watch told me that I'd walked 31.9km today, most of it on sand.

I sure know how to relax on my days off.

I did opt to have a quieter day today (Sunday) though, which is why I have the time to write this blog.

Yesterday I intentionally went the full day without my laptop. Today though, I wanted to write this blog quickly. And once I'm finished, at the very least I'll be going over some flash cards. I might do some coding too, although with this being the last two-day weekend for a while, I'm tempted to say it'd be smart to pace myself a bit.

I definitely suffered from mental fatigue last week, so if I can suppress it in the coming weeks that'd be nice.

And that's where I am with this bootcamp, and when I really think about it, there's not too much different to what I expected.

Are my peers all dedicated, hard-working, open individuals?

No, some of them seem more concerned with surfing and with partying than they are with learning, but I expected that.

I said long before I came here that I cannot expect other people to have the same kind of dedication to learning that I do, and I understand why.

As I said earlier, in my mind I've got more on the line than most of them.

Is it any harder, or more strenuous than I expected?

Not at all. In fact, if anything it's easier.

I was expecting, like with my CELTA, to have to dedicate every moment of my consciousness to this. But in actuality, I'm still managing to close my Apple Watch rings everyday, I'm still fasting for 13 hours every day, and I'm still finding some free time to do things like write this blog and go in search of iPhone prices, even if I don't have a lot of free time.

That doesn't mean I'm not getting out of shape.

The mirror's not being kind to me right now, but that's to be expected as well.

Eating endless meals in restaurants while being stressed is not a recipe for a good physique, but I didn't expect to leave this bootcamp as healthily as I started it either.

There's a lot to be positive about. And all importantly, am I learning sufficiently that I'll ultimately be able to find myself in employment in the months once it's all over?

Only time will answer that question, but I would say that I understand what's being taught to an acceptable standard. And this is a path that many people before me have walked before ultimately finding a job, so I'm cautiously optimistic that it ultimately leads me to one too.

Maybe not immediately, but hopefully within the first quarter of next year.

I don't want to get too ahead of myself. For another five weeks my focus is nothing but this bootcamp, where the biggest variable I face is who I have to work with.

It's been frustrating a couple of times for some mini-projects, but the big climax to this bootcamp, is the final project, where you work in groups of three or four for the final two weeks.

Pitch-night is this coming Friday. That's when all of the people with ideas pitch them. Then a vote takes place on which pitched ideas are going to be built during the project weeks, and groups are formed.

I have some feasible ideas, one of which I may or may not pitch. They are encouraging everyone to pitch one. Whether I want my ideas to be pitched to a roomful of budding developers or not, is another matter. I might prefer to keep them to myself, so we'll see about that. I honestly couldn't care less about the project that I end up working on.

What concerns me more is who I end up working with. And they're being very coy in only saying that they have an algorithm that selects the groups (whether that's true or not, I'm not sure. It might just be a convenient excuse so that they don't face a backlash from people who're put into groups that they don't like). And who I end up with for this ten day project will more or less make or break this bootcamp.

I could be with three people of the same mind as me. Hard working, open to collaboration. Or I could get three people who spend all day with their headphones on, thinking that they know best about everything, not really talking or communicating.

More than anything, that's what I'm most nervous about.

And sure, whatever happens I've got to make the best out of it. But this project is where everything that we're taught over these eight weeks all comes together. It's the culmination of what we've learnt. And to spend it with the wrong people would fucking suck.

But... well this is what I signed-up for. I knew all about it before I paid my money, so no use complaining if it does happen.

All that matters to me, is that I leave this bootcamp with as much knowledge as it's possible for me to gain. And I've got five more weeks to gain as much as possible.