- Hello world -

28th July '18

There's always an uptick in mood for the final classes of the term.

I don't know why, but when something has a sense of finality, it brings out the best in people.

That's true in all warps of life, and teaching at my school is no different.

The upcoming holidays always help. And if you disliked your students, there's the realisation that you'll never have to see them again. If you liked your students, there's a sense of gratitude that you had them.

On the final day of term, I enjoyed it enough to put some doubt into my mind and make me think... I'd miss this.

My 8am class were actually very good all term, considering that it started at 8am anyway.

In the name of simplicity, I just lumped them in with my other weekend classes when I talked about this term, but I actually liked that class, and we had a fun final session together.

I hadn't been so fond of my other two weekend classes, but even these were enjoyable on the final day of term.

Even if it was a day, where after leaving the teacher's room at about 7:30am to go to my first classroom, I didn't return to it until 4:40pm, after that final class had finished. I just hadn't had the time all day.

And because it was so non-stop, never once did my future pop into my mind, until after my last class of a fun final day of term, after all the students had left the room, I suddenly thought to myself... that might have just been my last ever class.

It was a weird feeling. Especially because of the doubt in those words.

Not knowing if I was ever going to do it again made it even weirder.

At the end of every term, although much more so at the end of a more trying term, there's a moment when you realise that it's over, and you just exhale in a state of subdued ecstasy.

'Finally, I'm free,' you think to yourself.

This term though, that feeling was marred by the sense of doubt that I would ever be a teacher again.

For all the bullshit that this job can and throw at you, I would miss it. The good moments of teaching outweigh the bad, even if it doesn't always feel like it.

I went back to an empty teachers' room, having finished my class typically late, and went through my usual end of term routine of emptying and recycling the water bottle I'd been drinking from all term, and sorting through my locker.

In this instance though, I didn't leave a single thing in there. I don't know why.

Even things that I'll never use in my life apart from in this job, I just cleared-out. Either throwing them away or putting them in my bag to take home.

It was almost like even though I hadn't consciously decided on leaving, on a subconscious level I knew that I wouldn't be coming back, so I just wanted to leave my locker as I found it three years ago: Empty.

That might be a red flag to anyone who happens to go in there while I'm away, because although I call it a locker, it's really just a small, unlocked cupboard.

Some teachers have three or four of them, and they're always overflowing. I only have one though, and it's always notoriously empty.

I just don't see how in 2018, the only copy of a document or a lesson plan that someone keeps, is a crumpled copy kept somewhere in their four lockers.

You people have heard of the Internet, right?

And you see these teachers, struggling and stressed, trying to locate this handout that they haven't seen for months but need for their next class and think... you know you can keep all of this stuff stored neatly in folders on Dropbox, and just print-out this handout from any Internet-enabled computer in the world at a moment's notice, right? And even if you don't know which folder it's in, a quick keyword search will bring it up right away.

I guess that with some people, old habits die hard.

Despite the fact I always have a notoriously empty locker anyway, it might still raise a bit of a red flag to my status at this school, if someone happens to open it while I'm away and find that it's now completely bare but... oh well.

I cleared-out all my stuff, and was just getting ready to have a moment to take it all in, to really focus on this place and to think about what it means to me, and if I want to return, when another teacher came into the teacher's room.

He's a nice guy, but he just talks, endlessly, about himself, all the time.

And so instead of getting a moment of peace and finality, I walked out of that room to the tune of him telling me how he wanted to take a term off too but he didn't have the money because of this reason but that he might have enough to go home over Christmas instead buy that'd suck because the weather would be so cold and...

In amongst his ramblings, he did ask me "so are you going for good, or is this just a term off?"

I've told not a soul outside of this blog my plans, so I'm not sure where this came from. Perhaps my mood and demeanour of late have given away my thoughts, because a day or so earlier, a student that I know quite well had asked me the same question.

I'm not someone who can naturally lie, so I just responded with the least compromising version of the truth I could come up with: "I'm scheduled to be back here in September."

I don't even know if he listened before he started talking about himself again.

As I was leaving the school, the girl behind the front desk who's assigned to help me with certain things; a policy of the new manager. I used to just do them all myself, but on his inception, he stopped us from entering our own grades at the end of every term, and printing our own certificates.

Don't ask me why, because it was much simpler to do all those things on my own, but I think that when he came here, he immediately attempted to turn this branch into a mirror image of his other branch, hence the hastiness with which he got rid of preference forms.

I get along with this girl though, and as I was walking through reception she told me to "have a nice trip."

Looking back at her smiling as I said thank you, was the last thing I saw of this school as I walked out the doors and over to the elevators.

Something that I've done six days per week for almost three years, but might now be doing for the last time.

I'm just not sure yet.

That sense of possible finality meant that I had a strange feeling for the journey home.

This might be the last time that I take the MRT home from work... but it might not.

This might be the last time that I get back to my apartment here after a hard day, and sense the relief of taking off my work clothes knowing that my day is over... but it might not.

It was truly weird not knowing if it was over.

And not knowing what I was going to do, meant now, and had meant for a couple of weeks, that I had to go forward under the assumption that both possible scenarios were going to happen.

I wouldn't have cleared-out my locker so resolutely if I thought I was coming back, but I still went through my usual end of term errands like scanning my registers for the term, filing away the annotated paper copies of my lesson plans, and archiving the electronic versions into a folder on Dropbox.

These things are only ever going to be useful to me if I am going to return here, teaching. But on my list of things to do the next day, was cancel my gym membership on the assumption that I won't be.

In fact I had three things that I wanted to do at the gym.

I wanted to get a Fitness First "passport" so that I could use my local Fitness First in London, I wanted to cancel my membership, and I wanted to pay my membership for the month of August.

That all sounds awfully contradictory, so I'll elaborate in a moment. But I figured as seeing as I was coming all the way to the gym anyway, I may as well go to my usual Monday yoga class.

In my first year living back in Bangkok again after I left China, I flew home on the Tuesday after the end of term.

A tradition was established then, that before my flight each year, I would give my apartment its annual every fucking thing clean.

On the day prior to this flight two years ago, I cleaned every single cupboard, inside and outside, every window, every mirror, every surface, I pulled-out the washing machine to clean all sides of it and behind it, I pulled-out the sofa, I pulled-out the fridge to clean it inside, outside and behind, I cleaned the air conditioning filters, I washed the bathroom mats, I cleaned the cooker extractor fans...

Basically, every single nook and cranny in this apartment that you can fathom, and probably many that you can't, got cleaned.

It's a tradition that remained true last year, and moving-out or not, I was determined to keep it true this year.

When I established this tradition two years ago, as I was flying on the Tuesday, I had to do all this cleaning on the Monday, and it was a miserable day.

It takes between twelve and fifteen hours to clean everything in this apartment, so on that day two years ago, I cleaned pretty much from when I woke until I slept, and it was brutal.

Last year I decided to fly on the Wednesday instead, giving me two days to clean instead of one, and it made it a lot more bearable, so I kept up with that this year.

And having two days to clean everything meant that I could afford the time for some comforts in my Monday, like going to a yoga workout.

I got a haircut on the way to the gym, seeing as that's far cheaper here than in London; I only pay the guy 100 baht (£2.29) per time. But I guess that the person in the chair before me was really hairy or something, because he took an age to get finished, so by the time I actually made it to the gym, I didn't have the time to do anything else before going to this yoga class.

At no point did I think that this would be my final time coming to this gym; after all, I have about a week left on my membership after I land in Bangkok again. So I enjoyed this class, I like the instructor on Monday's, but still couldn't help but think... I'll miss this gym, once I stop coming here next month that is.

95% of the exercise I've done for the past year has been here, so I've definitely got my money's worth.

But then what happened, was I got showered and changed, and went to the reception to do the three aforementioned things that I needed to do. And I'd actually established in my head the order I was going to do them.

Firstly, I'll get my Fitness First passport. That's a bit of card that means I'll be able to go to my local Fitness First in London. Then I'll cancel my membership. Then with that all done satisfactorily, I'll pay for next month.

I don't especially want to cancel my membership, but Fitness First the world over has a retarded policy:

If you want to cancel your membership, you have to do it the month before the month before you want to cancel. So if you want to cancel your membership for September, you have to tell them in July.

It's fucking retarded.

At Virgin Active, Bangkok's other big gym chain, you can cancel anytime you want, but whatever.

What I'd figured, is that if I do decide to stay in Bangkok, then cancelling my cancellation won't be a problem; after all, they're always happy to take my money. So I'll work on the assumption that I'm leaving, and cancel it now, meaning that my membership expires in September, and then I can change my mind later if I need to.

So I went up to the front desk and said that "I'm going to London, I need to get a passport so that I can use my gym there."

The girl behind the desk responded in her supposed to be cute tone, "I'm sorry, the passport is only valid for Fitness First clubs in Asia."

"Fuck off you stupid cow," I said.

I didn't really say that, but a little irritated I did say that "when I signed-up, one of the reasons that I signed-up, was that the girl who I signed-up with told me that I could use my membership in London. Knowing that I go to London every year, that's why I signed-up for a twelve-month membership."

"I'm sorry sir," she responded with her stupid accent, "from the first of January 2018, our policy changed, and the passport is now only valid for clubs in Asia."

You can't just change it like that, that's the only reason I signed-up here.

"It's ok, you can freeze your membership for next month instead," she told me.

"Do I have to pay for that?" I asked.

"Yes, it's five-hundred and something baht," she responded.

Alright, you're clearly not very bright. Why on earth would I pay for a gym that I can't even use, and freeze a membership that I want to cancel next month anyway.

I shouldn't have got pissed-off at her. She's the pretty face that they put on the front desk to recite from a script for whatever the customer says. And that part of it was why it was so infuriating.

She was all like "I'm sorry sir, your contract expires here, and you can pay this much, and you can do this..."

She was saying all that crap, while deliberately not understanding that one of the reasons that I joined this gym in the first place, was specifically because I was told that I could use my membership in London. Were it not for that, I might not have joined at all.

"Well you can try taking your passport to your gym in London. Now sign here to cancel your contract from the beginning of September."

No, you can fucking tell me whether or not I can use this "passport" in London, before I agree to pay you until September.

"I'm sorry sir, I don't have that information. I'll send the gym in London an email to tell them that you're coming."

Well what good's that going to do?

It was just going around in circles. She obviously had no power to do anything about this. I was furious that I'd signed-up to this gym on the understanding that I could use my membership in London, and then they'd changed the terms of that without telling me, but still wanted me to pay for a month when I wasn't even in the country.

Eventually I signed the cancellation paper, threw my pen down on the reception desk in anger, which I probably shouldn't have done, and took this "passport", which is likely not worth the paper it's written on in London, and stormed-out of there.

You may have noticed that I neglected to do the third thing on my list: Pay next month's membership fee.

That wasn't an accident, and anticipating this kind of bullshit was why I'd left it to last. Because unbeknownst to them, the credit card on file that guarantees my payment, expired in June.

They've never noticed because I always pay in cash.

And fuck them if they think I'm paying for a month's membership when I'm not even in the country, when they'd promised me that I'd be able to use that membership in London.

I don't know much about credit cards, but I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that seeing as my credit card is expired, it won't accept any payments made by it.

At which point my gym membership will be cancelled at the beginning of August when they're unable to take any money, and I'll probably be banned from signing-up for Fitness First in Thailand ever again.

I don't know that's what's going to happen, but that's my guess. Maybe they are still able to charge my credit card, I don't know.

But assuming what I think is going to happen is what is going to happen... well I don't have a gym in Thailand anymore.

And although that's not the end of the world; I didn't have a gym for my first two years there, it's still another foot out the door.

That doesn't make any sense, but you know what I mean.

I don't have a gym, and that's one less tie to Bangkok. One less reason to stay.

Although considering how much longer it takes to go to a class at the gym, compared to say, going running at the park or going swimming in my pool, in a world where time is seemingly always at a premium, not having a gym isn't the worst thing in the world.

That time saved, both in Bangkok and in London, can be put to more pressing things, like learning programming.

Still raging from the gym, I soon got a message from a girl who I once had a bit of a thing with, but haven't heard from for in excess of two years.

She picked a pretty bad time to crawl-out from whatever rock she's been hiding under.

We were friends for a while before, and then stayed friends for a while afterwards. In fact, to begin with she was one of my students in my first Bangkok job. But then suddenly she blocked me, without a word of explanation as to why.

Ok, I guess we're not friends anymore then.

I'd always assumed that she got a new boyfriend, so didn't want to keep seeing my face on Facebook. But one day we were messaging each other, and the next she was gone. Until after more than two years, while I was still raging about the gym...

What, you suddenly need me for something, so now we're friends again?

Yeah, that doesn't really work for me.

Had I been in a better place mentally, I might have dealt with this better. As it was, she just pissed me off even more, but it did make me think that... money is out there.

For the somewhat forgotten fourth option on my list of quitting my job and becoming a hobo, if I did go that route, I definitely could establish some kind of income.

In truth, I had a pretty good idea by this point what I was going to do. You can probably tell by the way that I'm writing of what was learning towards doing. I was just determined not to rush into a decision that'll affect the rest of my life. But by now following several of the Le Wagon branches on Instagram, I appreciated the regular reinforcement that they gave that this was a good idea, with this particular post coming from Le Wagon London:

I pressed on with my day, which included paying next month's rent to my landlord and letting him know I'd be out the country for a month.

I intentionally didn't mention the expiration of my lease, and I thought that I'd got away with it until he messaged me an hour later saying "What about the contract?"


So I just told him honestly that I didn't know for sure yet, and I'd give him a definitive answer by mid-August.

He was cool about it, and actually offered to make an extension to any length of my choosing.

I can't blame him for trying to keep me. I've never been any less than two days early with the rent, and I almost never bother him with any problems.

I'm basically the perfect tenant, and apartments can sit unoccupied in Bangkok for years at a time. So even if they are able to find someone to replace me, they're unlikely to find someone as responsible and low-maintenance as I am.

If I were a landlord, I'd want to keep me as a tenant too.

I don't exactly know what changed between finishing my last class on Sunday, where I was 50/50 as to whether I'd be remaining in my job, to waking-up on Tuesday and feeling 99% certain that this job was a thing in my past. For some reason over these couple of days, my brain had just decided... nah, you're not going back there.

I still had to keep up the charade though, just in case I had a change of heart, so cleaned my apartment as if I were going to live there forever.

But when it came to packing... I packed like this was the end.

Assuming that I am leaving Bangkok, I have some things of value that I don't want to leave behind, but that I don't want taking up space in my suitcase either.

My PS4, controller, and ten physical games. My Apple TV, remote, and Nimbus controller. My body-fat monitor, my old laptop, my old (so quite large) external hard drive.

I wouldn't want to leave any of them behind on leaving Bangkok, but wouldn't want to take them with me either. So I figured that the best thing to do was use the space in my suitcase, to take them back to London and leave them there.

So I did.

Couple that with my MacBook Pro, my iPhone and power bank, and my Apple Watch that I was carrying as hand luggage, and I had enough tech on me to open a branch of Currys.

Fuck I hope this journey goes smoothly. It could be quite a costly trip if either of my bags go missing.

I was so certain by now that I was leaving Bangkok, that I had cleared some things pretty essential to my lifestyle there and taken them to London with me.

My mind was set. I'm leaving Bangkok.

I've had enough of this job and this city. Regardless of what I decide for my future, it's time to leave Bangkok.

If fact I was so set by now that I was leaving, that my ex would have been the only person in this city who could have turned my mind, and I haven't seen her for months and months now.

She's had a hellacious work schedule of late, one conflicting with my own, plus some personal things to deal with, so we haven't met for four, five, maybe six months.

I don't remember it's been so long.

And just as my mind was set...

She's always supportive of the dumbass ideas that I have, like going to live in China, and quitting my stable teaching job to learn a challenging profession like programming, that I have zero experience in.

She was supportive, but I could see on her face that she didn't want me to leave.

Our relationship is a complex one. At least it is in my mind.

We're not a couple, but we are very close. And the disappointment on her face after telling her I was likely leaving Bangkok, again, as she tried to name other professions that I could do here besides teaching, is perhaps the last beacon of hope that I take with me that I'll stay in this city.

It probably won't be enough, but moving away from her would be the hardest part of leaving, even if we've barely seen each other recently.

It was one last thing to cast doubt into my mind.

As a side-note, Thailand does now offer a 'Smart visa', whatever that means.

As this image shows, the included industries seem to include programming; I'd assume that would be included under 'digital', with a requirement of a 200,000 baht (£4,563) per month salary.

So all I have to do is become competent enough as a programmer to earn £50,000 per year, and I get a free Thai visa without the retarded hassles like work permits, re-entry stamps and 90-day notifications that I have to go through now?

Challenge accepted.

For reasons that I still don't understand, I'd checked-in for my flight two days before I had to go to the airport.

If anything, that eases the paranoia for someone like me a little bit, and gives me a little less concern about missing my flight. So I only left for the airport about four hours before take-off.

And seeing as the last time that I hailed a taxi on the street, the driver spent most of the journey talking about how well endowed English men were compared to Thais, although wording it far less eloquently, I opted this time to go with Grab.

As you'd expect, the driver had his phone mounted on his dashboard. Most Grab drivers do, because it allows them to easily see the GPS.

This guy had videos playing on YouTube, so he was basically watching TV at the same time as he was driving.

That felt safe.

I'd already checked-in for some mysterious reason, but once I got to the airport, I still had to go up to the desk and check my bag in and print my boarding pass, where the girl behind the desk also confirmed that I'd ordered a vegan meal.

It was exactly the same process as if I hadn't checked-in yet, just without a queue.

I still don't understand.

And then my flight was... a little bit short to be honest.

My first disappointment was that although they still had Tetris, you no longer got a remote control/games controller attached to your seat to play it with. Everything was touch screen.

And the lack of control over your Tetris blocks when using touch screen, coupled with how tired my arm got just holding it up to the screen for an entire game, meant that I gave up after one.

'Well this is disappointing' I thought, so I instead moved onto some podcasts and TV shows that I'd downloaded on the airport wifi prior to the flight, before giving the games on the TV screen another go, eventually getting hooked on the action mode of a game called 'Bookworm'.

Apart from to eat, I played it for probably four straight hours prior to landing, and it was a little disappointing when we did, because I was mid-way though a rather intense game.

I was on something like level 17 and it'd taken me over 45 mins to get there.

I could have done with a few more hours to keep on playing but... oh well. Stupid flight has to be so bloody punctual.

So back in London now, there are two things that I really need to focus on:

Of course, if isn't a foregone conclusion that if I get into programming that I'll have to live here again. People often get hired as remote programmers, for example. It would be likely though, in the beginning at least. So if I could make peace with moving back to England, it would make it an easier choice.

And... well England isn't very good at first impressions, is it?

Why is everyone so angry here?

Thailand is famous for it's smile, and for how happy the people are.

Personally I think it's bullshit, in Bangkok at least. Perhaps in the provinces it's more true, but if you go to Bangkok and then to any other nearby foreign city, for example Phnom Penh or Vientiane, you wouldn't say that Thai people are happier.

You compare them to people in London on the other hand, and Jesus Christ, they're all on happy pills.

Many people in this country just look angry, like they've forgotten the reason that they do anything, and are just determined to do it as quickly as possible.

In Thailand, I'm one of the more rushed, stressed-out people. Here I feel like a ray of sunshine.

Not the healthiest looking people either, the Brits, are we?

I have a bit of a disdain for Bangkok's appearance-centric attitude, where perception is reality, and substance really means very little.

And the means by which people pursue that dream of beauty often isn't healthy, with cosmetic surgery centres littering some of the shopping malls.

On the other hand, it does put some societal pressure on people to not be overweight and... I think we could use a bit of that here.

So many people are just obese. Like... worryingly so.

I remember noticing last year how supermarket aisles are wide enough for two shopping trolleys to go past each other side-by-side, but some people are now wider than shopping trolleys, so soon they're going to have to widen the aisles anyway.

It hasn't got any better this year.

Sure, I don't like people being endlessly appearance-obsessed in Thailand. But with some notable exceptions (like make up and plastic surgery), if you look healthy then it's generally because you are.

You come here and you realise that societal acceptance of obesity is actually far, far worse.

This is what I've got to look forward to in my future if I move back to England? Being angry and obese?

I have an endless list of things to do over the next few weeks. I am potentially deciding on the rest of my life after all, so even if my schedule were completely clear, which it never is, I cannot spend enough time learning about programming.

Luckily for me, I'm jet-lagged so woke-up the next morning at 4am, despite not going to bed until midnight.

I guess that I'll get my day started then.

And downloading a copy of the coding book that I want to work from, I started to realise why everyone is so angry.

I wanted to download this book directly from the author, rather than from Apple, because firstly he'd sent me a $5 discount for signing-up to his newsletter, secondly, he included a load of extras if you bought directly from him, and thirdly and most importantly, fuck Apple.

Why should they take a 30% cut of this author's book?

They've got though money already, and this is a guy just trying to make a living.

I'd been onto the purchasing page for this book so many times already, but I'd never ended up buying it. Didn't seem much point until I was going to have the time to sit down in front of my computer to start working through it, and good luck finding that with the schedule that I'd just had.

But now it was 4am, and I was raring to go, so I logged-on and... a $7 VAT charge to purchase in the UK?

Fuck off, UK.

So just to be able to download this book without giving any money to the government, I had to download a VPN. And then I wanted to pay with PayPal, but I couldn't do that, because my UK PayPal account wouldn't work, presumably because the government wasn't getting a cut, and my Thai PayPal needed to send a confirmation text to my Thai phone number, which doesn't work in this country.

I was eventually able to figure-out how to purchase it, but my God I had some problems getting it onto my iPhone.

After a lot of Google searching, and a lot of shouting at my computer, I eventually found that my iPhone's iCloud setting for syncing iBooks was turned-off.

Well... why the fuck was that turned-off?

I got there eventually, but after all that stress and considering my jet-lag, I'd pretty much used up all the energy I had for the day.

And it's not a good omen when I want to learn programming, that it takes me two hours to figure-out how to buy and install the book that I want to learn from.

And what I've kind of got in my head, is that for the last six weeks or so that I was in Thailand, I followed the premise of eating within an eleven-hour window of daylight everyday.

I didn't stick to it religiously because, for example, on weekends I'd leave for work at 6:45am and get home again around 5:15pm. So unless I was going to skip either breakfast or dinner, eating within eleven hours was impossible.

I more or less kept to it though, and on days where I worked evenings, I'd eat within a far smaller window, sometimes eating my last food of the day before 3pm.

It's weird to think about it now because it's just become normal, but dinner last term, excepting weekends, was a completely foreign concept.

I went from being someone who ate dinner for pretty much every day of his life, to being someone who just doesn't eat dinner.

My own observations though, were that I didn't feel as good as I did in Chiang Mai, when I kept a strict daily eating window of eight hours per day.

It didn't matter what time of day I was eating, but I wouldn't eat each day, for a period of more than eight hours. And I felt great.

So without the distraction of work now, that's what I want to get back to.

And seeing as being able to eat in the afternoon/evening is going to be far more convenient when meeting people for lunch/dinner, then I may as well just skip breakfast everyday.

And if the morning is the time of day when I'm most awake anyway... well I guess that's going to be the best time to learn programming.

So every morning from now on, when I'm feeling like a hungry lion, and without the excuse of distractions, that's my time to just focus on this. To learn programming, and see if it's really something that I want to do.

My attitude towards jet-lag has always been one of trying to get my body onto local time as soon as I get somewhere.

That means from the very first night back, going to bed at a normal, local bedtime. And on my first night back, I did that by going to bed at midnight.

I don't know why I've always kept to that rule though, because I always feel like crap because of it. And I did this time too, after waking-up at 4am, and either napping or feeling exhausted for the rest of the day.

'Alright, fuck this shit' I thought by the second day, and I went to bed at 7:30pm instead.

I still woke-up at 4am the next morning, but at least this time it was after eight and a half hours of sleep.

Much better.

And true to the promise that I'd made myself, with it still dark outside, I got up at 4:30am, and spent four solid hours working through my book.

I took a bit of a break at 8:30am to nap for a couple more hours, but then got right back on it, and by 12:30pm, yet to eat a thing all day, I'd done six hours of work already.

That got me to the end of the introduction chapter of this book, and starting again from scratch... that was a good idea.

There were bits of code; things that I'd written maybe hundreds of times while following along with the video tutorials of my Udemy course, that just suddenly made sense.

I just hadn't fully understood what they meant or what their purpose was before, and then suddenly reading about them, it was like a light went off.

'Oh, so that's why I've been writing that all along.'

One of the accompanying materials that I got by buying directly from the author, was a "guide book" to the main book.

Calling it a guide book is a strange choice of title; it's more of an accompaniment. But in this extra book are challenges for when you reach certain points in the main book. And having done six hours, I was now through to the first challenge: The Fizz Buzz challenge

According to the link that I gave, which has no connection to the book that I'm using, I just added it for reference, this challenge is 'an interview question designed to help filter out the 99.5% of programming job candidates who can't seem to program their way out of a wet paper bag.'

So it gave me some confidence that I managed to complete this challenge fairly easily without any help.

I'm not sure how much sense this book would have been making had I not already spent so much time on my online course. But coupling the knowledge of them together, I actually felt like I was getting somewhere.

My routine then followed a similar pattern as the day before, as I was in bed by 8:30pm, but awake again at about 3:30am this morning.

But instead of lying there, unsuccessfully trying to sleep, I got up and carried on working through my book.

Yesterday had just been an introduction to concepts, but today we were building the first app.

And it took me somewhere between four and five hours to complete this first app, while working slowly to really try to understand everything I was doing and every line of code I was writing.

But before 9am; so before I'd usually even be awake in Bangkok, I'd already built an entire app.

I thought about going straight onto the next one, but I can do that this afternoon. I decided to take a break in between to write this blog quickly.

And I know that this is only a couple of days in, so I'm now producing very rash and ill-thought-out thoughts but... well what's new?

I'm enjoying doing this so much and feeling like I'm actually learning, and also thinking about how I can apply the things I'm learning into apps of my own that I'm kind of all... ah, I don't need to spend £5,000 on a bootcamp.

I'm still determined to leave my job. I've spent more time learning about programming in the last two days, including today when I haven't yet learnt anything since before 9am, than I was able to do in the entirety of last term.

For some reason I was still included on the email list for the weekday schedule of the upcoming term.

I browsed over it very quickly, and not one permanent teacher has, what to me, is an acceptable-looking schedule. A schedule resembling that which was common under the previous manager.

All teachers have at least three classes. Many have more and some are working split shifts.

Even though I'm one of three teachers to take this term off, they have three temporary teachers to replace us, and the schedule is still this bad, yet the manager still seemingly refuses to replace the five teachers that left two terms ago?

If I go back to that job, it's the death of this dream. I can't do that to myself.

What I'm struggling with now, is the dilemma of spending £5,000+ plus living expenses on a two-month programming course, when the total cost of that could afford me... I don't know, at least six months as a hobo, just mulling around between different cheap countries as visas require, and spending all of my time teaching myself.

Chilling next to the beaches in Cambodia, or in the mountains in Thailand, with no boss and no responsibilities, just teaching myself, and eventually building my own apps.

I mean... it wouldn't suck, would it?

My one fear would be that I do that, still end up getting nowhere in a financial sense, meaning that I'm unable to make my own apps that can create revenue, and I'm still unemployable (I would doubt that the latter would be true if I really put-in the time; after all, I've posted in this blog before about people who got their first job offer after two months of self-teaching. If I still couldn't after six months or more then... well I should probably go a different route anyway).

I think that my chances of getting a job are probably greatly increased by doing a bootcamp.

It's less exciting though, if I'm honest. It's basically following an already-set path with the goal of finding employment.

Employment has though, always been my ill-favoured although more likely second option, behind being able to scrape together a living on my own.

A part of me just wants to say fuck it, and see how far I can make it by myself. But then another part of me thinks that lack of guidance leads to a far greater chance of failure.

Perhaps I can find a nice middle ground.

Assuming that I leave my apartment in September, perhaps I make a promise to myself that if I haven't made sufficient progress by, say December, that I sign-up for a bootcamp starting in January.

By that point, having been living since this month without an income, things might be becoming a bit tight financially but... I suppose that the obvious thing is to just quit my job and tell my landlord that I'm leaving my apartment, but leave signing-up to a bootcamp until as late as possible.

My intention was to always do all three things at roughly the same time. Probably signing-up for the bootcamp first though, just to ensure I got accepted which... well I doubt that they would turn down many, if any people. They need to make money after all.

And with that then confirmed, I could quit my job and leave my apartment, knowing that I had a set plan come October.

I could instead just leave it open and see how I feel in mid-September. Although I'd already be homeless by that point, which I guess doesn't really matter.

I feel like, as I type this sentence, that I've taught my last ever class as an English teacher.

If I ever have to do it again, then it's because something went wrong.

On the other side of that though, it is quite a nice safety net to have. I do know that if this all goes completely tits-up, which is definitely possible, then there will always be jobs for me teaching.

So I mean, it's not like I'm ever going to be completely up shit-creek. And taking that comfort with me, I've just got to decide which path and possible outcome interests me more, which is more financially responsible, which one is more likely to lead to success, and simply which one I want to do.

The way things are now, I have two choices left:

I do a programming bootcamp and subsequently seek employment, or I see how far I can make it on my own. And I'm not really favouring either of them right now. So I guess I'll just see what happens in these next couple of weeks to sway me.