There are a few things that I want to post that are not related at JavaOne. These are:

Crossing Roads

No-one jay-walks … ever. Everyone waits at the lights and then crosses when its green. There is also no sound to inform you that the light has gone from red to green, so you need to keep watching it or keep an eye on other people and move then they do. There is also no button to push to say ‘I want to cross’. I guess the road are always so busy that all the 4-way intersections around Union Square are equal phased. They also have the number of seconds till the lights go from amber to red so you know if you can cross, like they do down Queen St, but here they are everywhere. If we didn’t jay-walk in Wgtn no-one would get anything done!


The food is kinda strange here. There is a Burger King down the road, but that is it. There is a dairy below us and then there are the really nice restaurants in the nice hotels but I couldn’t seem to find any normal restaurant … until last night. I came out of a lab late and needed something to eat. I decided to take one of the side streets off Moscone Center and found a normal looking italian restaurant. It was a brilliant find. The meals are ‘family style’ (meant to be shared) but you can ask for a single portion of most things. So I got the chef’s family recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. It was divine. Once the waitress found out I was from NZ, I was treated like royalty (in the typical American sitcom way) and she surprised me with some italian beer. it was good but it tasted suspiciously like Stella! I will be going back there again thats for sure. it was pretty good value too, some focacia bread and oils, the main dish and the beer for UDS $18.

The food at the conference is another story all together. I don;t know if this is hw American’s usually eat but wow … its a lot of stodge! Breakfast is a bagel and something (your choice of danish, apple tart or muffin). Lunch is big roll or a chicken salad (a huge breast on lettuce) with a can of coke and a sweet slice of some description. No fruit to speak of. There is usually a guy with a massive thing of coffee on his back running around ready to pour you a cup then and there!


There are two extremes really. The people I have met at the conference have been really nice and friendly, although many are not from North America admittedly I have kindof got used to walking around the people on the street begging for money, some more vocal than others. Some are sitting there. others are asking you for it. Some stop you in your path and beg. Others just walk along in a drunken stupor talking to no-one about nothing. Then there is the guy on Market St trying to tell me that the sky is falling and Armageddon is coming. Just takes a little getting used to making sure you are in a bunch of people at night, which around Union Sq isn’t an issue. Its going to be strange back in Wellington to look at people in the eye as you walk towards them!

But in saying that, the other Americans I have met have been super sweet, almost sickly sweet. I am sure they mean well, again just something I am not used to. The other people in the hostel are really friendly too. They do a free breakfast and a $5 home cooked dinner. I will be using that more often as normal food is hard to find here.

In a very strange mix of cultures today I saw an old Chinese man playing an electric guitar (not pluged in to an amp!) with a bluetooth cellphone headset in one ear…

Well that is about it, its the same but very different! Last day of JavaOne tomorrow :(